If you’ve been living on planet Earth for the last few years, then I’m sure you know of at least a few friends who are “on a detox” every once in a while. Whereas ten years ago everyone was “on a diet”, now people are discovering that diets don’t actually work and that we need to do something different with our bodies in order to keep healthy…but do detox weeks really work, or is it just another trend that will disappear like “diets”?

First of all, what exactly is a “detox”?

This can include many things, here are some popular examples:

• Juice or smoothie cleanse
• Colonic irrigation and enemas
• Liver cleanse
• Anti-parasite cleanse
• Going vegetarian/vegan/raw for a while
• Drinking special herbs or teas
• Candida cleanse
• Toxic metal cleanse
• Master cleanse

And the list is endless, if you have an issue, there’s bound to be a “cleanse” for it if you search hard enough.

Determining whether a detox week “works” will greatly depend on what it is that you were looking for it to do to begin with. Are you looking to lose weight, get rid of parasites or clean your liver?

I’ve seen people lose 5kg/week on a juice cleanse and pass liver stones the size of peas after a few days of drinking apple juice, so for some people these techniques certainly work.

Which detox is right for you?

Unfortunately, there are many many kinds of nutritionists out there, and an even larger amount of people who wish to get healthy, but we are all different. I don’t believe that there is one magical solution to help every single person in the world to obtain perfect health.

I believe that in order to get the best results is to firstly, have a clear intention in your mind as to what you wish to achieve. Next, research the different kinds of detox plans. Ask people you know and trust if they’ve done it. Then try out a few that you like the sound of.

Perhaps most importantly – be consistent. It’s no use doing a juice fast for 1.5 days and giving up because you’re not seeing results or because you’re bored, or because your friend’s invited you for dinner. If you’ve set your mind on doing a detox week (or two, or three!), then stick to it and let your friends and family know too, so they can support you through it.

Find out if you’re a gradual or cold-turkey person

Some people respond better if they are eased into a healthier lifestyle. For example, you may wish to go vegetarian for a few weeks, then vegan for a few months, then slowly begin incorporating more raw food into your diet, before becoming fully raw. This is easy on the body and there’s a good chance that you will stick to your new “diet” if you don’t scare your body into a shock.

However, for some people, eating meat burgers one day to juice-fasting the next is the only way to go for the optimal results. Maybe you feel more motivated that way or wish to get results fast. So I urge you to find out if you’re an all-or-nothing kind of person when it comes to detox, or if you prefer to keep it slow and steady, as that will greatly affect your results.

As said, I don’t believe in “one size fits all” solutions.