Are Detox Programs the Way to Good Health?- The Clean Program

Earlier this week, while browsing Bryan Boy (a popular fashion blog) I came across a diet I hadn't seen before. It's called the Clean Program. Eager to find out more I played the 2 videos he attached:

The diet seemed to have a good foundation at the beginning, remove the obstacles and add what is lacking. All good right? Until I heard the doctor’s solution:
His diet is based on a juice at breakfast, a solid food lunch from his approved list of foods and another juice for dinner and throughout the day a cocktail of supplements. 

According to him all foods consumed should meet the following criteria:
  • Free from packaging or processing including canned foods, foods in any boxes and all fast foods
  • Remove foods that are known allergens: egg, dairy, gluten, soy, corn, shellfish, nuts, nightshade plants
  • Reduce acidic and mucous forming foods such as red meat, dairy and wheat
  • Remove foods that cause inflammation such as processed and refined grains, sugars and hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats
  • Remove caffeine, sodas and alcohol
  • Remove foods that suppress liver detoxification such as grapefruit and oranges
  • No pesticides, growth hormone or genetically modified foods. Choose wild fish not farmed.
I must admit I have not read his book but I have read both the positive and negative reviews on Amazon and checked out his website as well as other reviews on the diet. The reason why I decided to comment on this diet is it is quite a typical detox diet.  Many people often love trying detox diets as it promises quick weight loss, feelings of well being and is temporary.

Let me just say, I am an advocate of a healthy lifestyle and to me a detox is not a lifestyle.  I have read many diet books: Some rubbish, some great and others fantastic! Sometimes behind lots of jargon and emotive language, it becomes difficult to distinguish a good diet book from a bad one. More often than not detox diets belong in the rubbish and dangerous category.  

Here is why I don't support his Clean Program:
  1. A 21 day detox is not a balanced diet. Your body has systems in place to clean and filter itself. It does not need a detox! Most people who go on detoxes return to their previous diet right after which doesn't change their lifestyle at all and often any weight lost is gained back, sometimes in places you didn't want it to go to....   
  2. A diet should not eliminate whole food groups. I believe there are no bad foods and there is a place for all types of foods in a healthy diet in varying amounts. Dr Junger's reason's for excluding certain foods are unfounded on evidence based science (such as the dairy and mucous example) and people with no allergens should not be cutting out certain foods based on their potential to be an allergen. It's like saying people with no fear of heights should not be sky diving because of the potential of dying, or people shouldn't swim due to the potential of sharks. You get my point. Cutting out a large variety of foods means the possibility of missing out on essential nutrients which is probably why Dr Junger has a multitude of supplements to sell you. 
  3. Liquid diets aren’t very fun. I mean really do you want to only have one solid meal a day? Could you keep that up as a lifestyle? The other thing that comes with liquid meals is weight loss. There isn't very much energy/calories in a cup of vegetable juice and if this was a long term diet it would lead to loss of muscle mass and malnutrition. 
  4. He promotes colonic cleanses if you are not emptying your bowels every day. That has to flag a warning sign up for people! While for some people it may be normal to empty your bowels every day for others it may be every 2-3days. As one of my lecturer's once said "your bowel is as individual as your face." Colonic cleanses and laxatives can be expensive and dangerous and can affect the nutrients your gut is absorbing or more seriously your electrolyte balance. The diet puts in the minds of its customers that the body needs to be flushed clean to make it pure and healthy and that only clean foods can enter the system.  
  5. His supplements are ridiculously expensive!! A balanced diet doesn't really require the input of supplements. However you can purchase his 21 day detox kit for $250 which includes 6 bottles of shakes and supplements. He also sells 1 month supply maintenance kits that also sell for $100+.  Hmm I thought he said you shouldn't be eating anything packaged?  
The thing is many diet books have characteristics of the traits I described above so look out for them the next time you read/hear about a new diet book. The truth is a healthy lifestyle incorporates a balanced diet and exercise. Doesn't sound like it sells books because it's pretty boring sounding right? But it doesn't have to be!! Which is what I'm trying to show you in my blog ;) 

There are a lot of claims I haven't addressed and many people still say they feel better after a detox. Here are a few further reading articles that might help answer some other questions:


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The information presented on this blog acts as general nutrition advice and is not tailored to meet individual needs. It should not be used as a replacement for any medical advice you have recieved from medical practitioners. Please discuss any concerns for your health with your doctor or Accredited Practicing Dietitian before starting a new dietary or exercise regime as they can give more personalised recommendations.

I make every effort to ensure information on Nutrition with Wendy is correct and up to date however nutrition is an evolving field and discrepancies can arise. If the information here appears incorrect or out of date please let me know and I will do my best to update my posts.