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Does Detox Help With Weight Loss.

You hear of many people who have undergone detox diets and the health benefits that they have experienced as a result of such detoxification that help remove toxins in the body. Several individuals have undergone detox regimens of varying lengths, ranging from one day to as long as a week and have reported benefits such as:

  • Improved energy levels
  • A sense of lightness
  • Weight loss
  • Relief from constipation
  • Overcome muscle aches, fatigue and headaches

But does such detoxification actually help you? And more so, does it help remove toxins in the body and lead to significant weight loss?


What Is a Detox?

A detox diet typically includes a short-term regimen designed to remove the toxins in the body. Although the specifics of a detox diet differ from one to the next, it usually involves a duration of fasting or a controlled diet that is based on your body type. This is generally followed by a gradual return to a normal diet.

Some people, to ensure the full benefit of detoxification, also choose to undergo a colon cleansing (enema) to clear out their intestines.

As per Ayurveda, an essential aspect that determines your health is the metabolic fire called agni (digestive fire in Sanskrit).

  • Agni drives all processes of physiological transformation. 
  • It governs metabolism everywhere the body 
  • Regulates digestion, absorption, and assimilation in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Governs the exchange of nutrients at the cellular level 
  • It is also responsible for your defense system against ill health and disease


When your digestive fire is affected, it may affect your overall health. On the other hand, focussing on your digestive fire can act as a catalyst to improve your health.

A detox is one of the most effective ways to restore the capabilities of your digestive fire. It fortifies the agni that helps eliminate the toxins from your body and is the beginning of a process of renewal of your entire metabolic cycle.

Some of the other critical reasons people choose a detox diet are:

  • Offers much-needed rest to your organs that are constantly under the pump as they are required to digest the food that you consume every day.
  • Nourishes your body by providing wholesome nutrients that are easily assimilated.
  • Improves the expulsion of toxins through bodily functions such as sweat, feces and urine.
  • Triggers improved function of the entire digestive system.
  • Allows the body to break down stored fat cells.

An Ayurveda specialist may recommend a full body detox cleanse for multiple reasons, some of which could be:

  • Eliminating toxic substances, synthetic chemicals and heavy metals that are ingested due to certain lifestyles and could cause harm. This could be done as a preventive measure as well.
  • As a supplementary method in weight-loss regimens.
  • To overcome digestive issues.


What Does a Detox Do?

Your body gets energy from carbohydrates which are stored in your liver and muscle cells. Although protein is another fuel source for your body, it accounts for a very insignificant portion. When your body requires energy, carbohydrates are converted into glucose for use by the muscle cells.

The process of detoxification begins by limiting your food intake. Once you do this, your body starts breaking down the stored energy reserves required for normal bodily functions. This triggers the fat-burning process that reduces your fat mass and also leads to weight loss and loss of inches.

It is important to note that detoxification, or in effect fasting, is explicitly different from starvation. When you follow specific detox diets, you will continue to get most of the metabolic benefits of fasting but will still maintain nutritional sufficiency by eating some food. When you fast, your body draws upon the excess reserves stored in your body. According to Ayurveda, different body types require different types and intensities of detox treatment.


How Often Should You Detox?

There is no one rule for all when it comes to how often you should detox. This is something that people do because they’ve gone a long time without giving their body enough rest, or have undergone a prolonged period of consuming processed or oily food. You can go on a full body detox cleanse when you feel sluggish and think you need to limit your intake.

It all depends on your lifestyle. Your body is intelligent enough to take care of optimum functioning and give you the right signals when it comes to either detoxing or providing nourishment when your body needs it.

The best way to be sure about how and when to do a detox diet is to consult an Ayurvedic expert who will chart out a personalized detoxification regimen that includes diet and treatments to improve gut health. This is done by identifying your specific body type through an ancient non-invasive practice called pulse diagnosis.

Until then, a smarter approach is to be aware of what you’re eating. It is important to eat fresh, healthy and nourishing foods rather than stale and processed foods and be consistent with this regimen. The odd binge is of course unavoidable, but it is important to keep such occurrences to a minimum.


What Are the Benefits of a Detox Cleanse?

Although a detox diet is a non-scientific term, it communicates a perception of cleansing and purifying the body. It helps process and remove the harmful chemicals that you are exposed to every day. The human liver is the primary organ armed with the responsibility of detoxifying your body.

Research has indicated the cleansing of liver enzymes and lower levels of triglycerides after undergoing a detoxification process. This means that the fatty acids in your system are removed from circulation and directed into the liver to be completely eliminated.

Some of the other benefits of a detox diet are:

  • Higher consumption of vitamins and minerals due to the inclusion of fruits, fruit juices and vegetables in your diet.
  • Helps identify sensitivities to specific foods by removing them from your diet.
  • An increase in neuroplasticity (brain plasticity) – the ability of the nervous system to alter its activity in response to internal and external stimuli.
  • Reduce the chances of liver damage {1}.
  • Lower prevalence of getting diagnosed with diabetes {2}.
  • Reduces oxidative stress {3}.
  • Helps optimize energy metabolism and enhances cellular protection {4}.


Ayurvedic Treatments for Full Body Detox Cleanse

Ayurveda asserts the importance of preventing diseases before their onset and maintaining good health through healthy lifestyle practices. One of the methods to achieve this is a full body detox or cleanse.

These detoxification procedures draw out and expel the toxins from the tissues and the digestive tract. The Happiness Center’s individualized holistic care treatment packages curated by our Ayurveda experts cater to the entire mind-body complex to build a strong foundation for overall good health.

Ayurvedic detoxification procedures are highly effective in restoring the balance of the three doshas (three forms of energy) of the body and bringing it back to its bio intelligence to improve immunity.

These procedures involve a series of cleansing and rejuvenating processes that are designed based on your specific body type to address the current state of imbalance under the watchful eyes of an Ayurvedic expert. Some of the effective procedures are:


Virechana (medicated purgation)

Virechana involves the elimination of toxins in the body through the anal route via induced purgation. There are a few procedures that are performed to set the stage for Virechana. This includes administering oral medications followed by Ayurvedic therapies such as Swedana (induced perspiration).

These preparatory procedures channel the toxins into the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the final process of Virechana eliminates these toxins from the GI. Virechana helps reduce weight, improves metabolism, removes toxins accumulated in the arteries, veins and blood vessels and improves blood circulation {5} & {6}.

Vamana (medicated emesis)

Vamana is a process of eliminating toxins through the oral route. It removes the excess mucus via induced vomiting and is a very effective technique to clear the respiratory tract from toxins and other foreign particles that lead to congestion {7}.

Basti (enema therapy)

As per Ayurvedic practices, Basti (enema) is one of the most effective methods to eliminate the accumulated toxins in the body. Basti mainly helps in colon cleansing but also impacts other major areas of the digestive tract which is why calling this process a simple enema is a little unfair.

The process involves cleansing the intestines and the colon directly using herbal preparations without them being digested by the stomach or the gastrointestinal tract. According to research on pharmacokinetics, drugs that are administered through the rectal route are absorbed by the body quickly and also act much sooner as compared to other modes {8}.


Does Detox Help With Weight Loss?

Although most detox diets do lead to noticeable loss of weight or inches (and in some cases both), there are other factors that you must consider. Since a detox diet primarily aims to reduce your food intake leading your body to breakdown the stored fat cells, going on a detox diet does help you lose weight. But you must be aware of the fact that this is only in the short term.

Once you go back to your normal diet, you may gain the weight that you’ve lost. To ensure a lasting impact of the detox, bring some changes to your lifestyle by including some physical exercises and being aware of what you consume as many people, after a period of detox, tend to binge.

All these reasons are why it is recommended to look at a detox program as a starting point in your larger commitment to a healthier, more active way of living rather than as the only solution. Once again, it’s important to note that detox diets are highly personalized and it is strongly recommended to consult an Ayurveda expert who can guide you on the best way forward.

Pregnant women, diabetics, people with heart conditions or those with any other medical conditions would be better off looking at other options.


The Happiness Center offers several therapeutic treatments and packages that are personalized to suit individual requirements based on specific circumstances. You can book an appointment with one of our experts to know how a detox diet would help you.



Venkat - AuthorAbout the Author:

Venkat is a freelance writer and an SEO buff. He writes about health & wellness, technology and finance.



Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine: “Effects of intermittent fasting on liver physiology and metabolism.”

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “Health effects of intermittent fasting: hormesis or harm? A systematic review.”

Current Obesity Reports: “Intermittent Fasting: Is the Wait Worth the Weight?”

Cell Metabolism: “Fasting: molecular mechanisms and clinical applications.”

An International Quarterly Journal of Research in Ayurveda: “A clinical study on Virechana Karma (therapeutic purgation) over the gut flora with special reference to obesity.”

An International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences: “A review article on role of Virechana karma in the management of amavata.”

An International Quarterly Journal of Research in Ayurveda: “A study on Vasantika Vamana (therapeutic emesis in spring season) – A preventive measure for diseases of Kapha origin.”Frontiers in Pharmacology: “Physiological and Pharmaceutical Considerations for Rectal Drug Formulations.”