Detoxing for a day or even a few days is probably not too harmful…if you’re in good health. However, detox diets aren’t recommended for anyone with chronic conditions, like diabetes, or heart, liver, or kidney disease, or for certain populations, like pregnant women, children or teenagers, and older adults. Short-term side effects of detox diets include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lightheadedness, and swings in blood glucose levels. Longer-term, and more serious, effects include loss of lean muscle mass, irregular heartbeat, heart or kidney damage, bowel perforation (if enemas are involved), infections, and severe dehydration. So, resist the temptation to detox and remember that any benefits you might derive from it will be very short lived. As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race!
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For example, breakfast can include three eggs, any style; lunch can include up to 6 ounces of poultry, fish or tofu and a green salad, and dinner is basically a larger version of lunch, though steamed vegetables such as broccoli, kale and spinach can be eaten in place of salad. Snacks include an ounce of nuts and sliced peppers with hummus. Beverages include water, unsweetened tea and black coffee.
Discover the root of your endless sweet tooth by adapting your daily routine first; you may find your body responds immediately (goodbye afternoon sugar crashes!) "You want to prioritize food that can anchor sugar in your diet, so that it's not releasing into your blood stream so fast (hence the crashing)," Sassos explains. "Protein and fiber are two things that can help you avoid a sugar rush and crash in a given day, especially if you know you've overdone it... incorporating those two things in your daily routine can stabilize your blood sugar."
While it felt like an undertaking to commit to such a change, I figured that I could do practically anything for 10 days, so why not give it a shot? As I prepared to make everything that passed my lips for the next week and a half, I filled my shopping cart with raw nuts and coconut oil, hemp and flax and chia seeds, a lot of avocados, and a farmers market’s worth of leafy greens and cruciferous veggies. I was ready to detox.
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You may believe that cutting out all sugar entirely from your diet is the best solution. Sassos, however, says this isn't the case for those with years of unhealthy sugar habits under their belt: Simply cutting out sugar or cycling through compensatory behaviors (like "running it off" after eating third helpings of dessert) can lead to even more unhealthy eating patterns down the line. Whether you like to call it a detox or think of it more like a "reset," she argues a long term lifestyle change is the surest way to kick the bad habit.
A 7-day plan can help you optimize your diet to be closer to the ADA's recommended daily sugar intake, and also to make better choices after you've eaten too much sugar (it happens!). If you find yourself feeling more energized and better, you may think about a longer diet change in the future — Sugar Shock also provides a 21-day meal plan and shopping list. That plan could help you grow into good lifelong diet habits with targeted recipes, meal plans, and shopping lists.

Dr. Hyman’s research made sense to me, so I thought I’d give his diet a try. With little less than a month until my follow-up doctor’s appointment, I wanted to jumpstart my progress. I read his 10-Day Detox Diet, which cuts out not only the inflammation triggers of gluten, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol, but also all grains, most fruit, legumes, and starchy vegetables, to help maintain balanced blood sugar levels. I welcomed the return of humanely-produced lean protein and an almost laughable amount of healthy fats — nearly 20 g per meal — which was absolutely shocking to someone who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, when fat was the enemy. Could this really produce results? I was about to find out.
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