The 7-Day Detox Diet

Follow along to see how a detox diet can be easy--and delicious!

Fresh meals on a detox diet.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are staples of a detox diet.. Westend61/Getty Images

Forget what you think you know about a detox diet. This version is a delicious eating plan to reset your diet after a period of overindulging. It replaces added sugar, processed food, dairy, wheat, and gluten, with nutritious, satisfying meals made with antioxidant-packed vegetables and fruit, plant-based protein, detoxifying drinks, and probiotic-rich fermented foods. People often find that the emphasis on discovering whole foods inspires them to try new recipes and leaves them feeling energized and focused.

1) Before the Diet

Certain foods and drinks such as coffee and sugar are typically phased out before starting the diet in order to avoid headaches and other reactions. Find out how to prepare for a detox.

2) Foods to Eat

Here is a sample list of foods to eat during a 7-day detox diet. Simply stock up on your favorite ingredients or try these 27 delicious detox meals. Learn more about our top 20 detox foods and how to use them, and check out our sample menu plan.

3) Foods to Avoid

A sample list of foods to exclude on a 7-day detox. Use it as a guide, not an absolute rule, instead focusing on how the food and meals that you eat make you feel.

4) Common Questions

Here are the answers to some of the more commonly asked questions about this type of diet. Keep in mind that there are many other detox diets, from 3-day juice cleanses to plans that allow three meals per day. While it may be tempting to make a drastic change, sometimes simple changes such as drinking more fluids or eating more vegetables can have a profound effect on how we feel (see simple ways to detox your body every day).

 The key is to choose the diet that best matches a person’s health, energy level, and lifestyle. 

5) Daily Do's

  • Rest. Be sure to get enough sleep. 
  • Breathe and relax. Stress can have wide-ranging effects on health. In addition to breathing deeply (which means doing diaphragmatic breathing rather than shallow breathing), other ways to decompress include progressive muscle relaxationmindfulness meditation, yoga, listening to music, going for a walk, or taking breaks from your phone or other devices.
  • Move. Light exercise can enhance your experience whether it's going for a 20-minute walk, simple stretches or exercises at home, or a gentle yoga class. Even taking frequent breaks to get up and walk around your office can help. 

Diet is just one component of any well-designed cleanse. In addition to an eating plan, there are additional things that are sometimes suggested during a cleanse:

1)  Skin brushing may be done before a regular shower, for a few minutes. Find out more about dry skin brushing.

2)  Hot/cold treatments. Usually done in the shower, a contrast shower involves alternating a few minutes of hot water with a few minutes of cold water to enhance circulation 

3)  Aim to have regular bowel movements. When toxins that are stored in body cells are mobilized, they travel to our blood and should be eliminated from the body through stool, urine, or sweat or they can be reabsorbed and recirculated. The fiber-rich foods on a detox diet from vegetables and whole grains will help. Also consider eating specific foods that prevent constipation.

4)  Massage. If your time and budget allow you to, schedule a massage. Here are the 10 most popular types of massage.

5)  Incorporate probiotics. Found naturally in fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kim chi as well as yogurt and kefir, probiotics are beneficial bacteria in the intestines that keep potentially harmful bacteria in check.  So-called "bad” bacteria, in excess, may produce toxins that impair the intestinal lining, enter the bloodstream, and injure cell membranes in the body. Probiotics are also found in supplement form.


Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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