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Cleanses, custom diets and magic pills


It seems like I can’t go a day without seeing some advert or post about someone offering the newest detox/cleanse or some magic pill that’s “proven” to do all sorts of wonderful things to your body and help torch that belly fat or tone up. Please excuse me while I seethe and vent. All done.

Well, without beating around the bush let me get straight to the point. THERE IS NO MAGIC PILL. In general any over the counter so called fat loss aid is going to be utter trash and definitely not worth your money. The most common will be thermogenic aids and will either claim to increase your metabolism or fat mobilization (and will probably called something that sounds hot like thermoblitz or something)  or alternatively be something ridiculous like the acai berry supplement or raspberry ketones. Let me just reiterate, there is no magic pill, so dismiss these scamming claims and don’t be fooled by before and after photos, these pills are a worthless scam! The only real way to lose weight is to put yourself in a calorie/energy deficit and I’ll give you a few little secrets to help you achieve this:

  • Move more
  • Eat less
  • Drink more water

That’ll be £30 please.

Now, onto detoxing. To put it briefly, no you are not full of toxins and cannot detox your body by sipping wheatgrass and sucking lemons. If you were so full of toxins as the people spouting this crap say then you’d probably be dead. Furthermore our bodies contain a liver, kidneys, lungs, skin and a whole range of organs and vessels in order to “cleanse” the body and keep us kicking.

“But, I’ve lost loads of weight on my detox diet”

Well, while that may be the case I’m guessing you feel anything but healthy at the moment. Most (I think all) detox diets require you to drastically decrease your calorie intake (not a good idea) and instead substitute meals for healthy sounding shakes (which are often no more than fiber and laxatives – oh yeah you’re just excreting all those toxins right?) and overpriced multivitamin pills. This is a recipe for disaster. Sure you’ll lose a lot of weight to begin with, but once this stalls you won’t be able to reduce your calories any lower and I’m pretty sure you won’t have the energy to start being more active and in the end this type of living just isn’t sustainable so it’s likely you’re gonna regain all your weight once you resume your normal eating habits because you won’t have learned anything.

On a similar yet side note I just want to mention juicing. Juicing is all the rage at the moment and it sounds all well and good because after all, fruit is healthy right? Well yes, fruit is healthy but as a whole food. What juicers do is essentially remove the fiber and leave behind the easily digestible nutrients and sugars. Doesn’t sound too bad, and perhaps it isn’t  but fiber is an essential nutrient in our diets that helps with satiety and promotes healthy digestive function, removing it is quite frankly pointless.

Now, time to rustle some feathers and onto my take on “custom” meal plans, or copy-paste meal plans as I like to call them. I’ve seen a huge influx of personal trainers or “fully qualified nutritionists” offering completely customized meal plans and really, I think it’s all a load of b****cks. In general I find meal plans either too generalized or too over complicated and dieting or simply eating doesn’t have to be like that.  Losing weight is made out to be far more complicated than it is, and as I outlined above takes only a few steps. If you need help  with how to go about these steps then seek out a (decent/respected/knowledgeable) personal trainer to coach and guide all aspects of your fat loss journey. I personally find the key aspect to fat loss is to take things a step at a time and to enjoy the foods you are eating. A generic (sorry “customized”) plan will, at best give you a solid starting point, but what happens when your weight loss stalls? If you continually follow this plan then at some point you are going to plateau and then what? Buy another plan? Just continue this process forever?  Sounds tedious.

This is where I strongly believe getting a trainer (or even spending time to teach yourself) to help you learn to count calories, use online databases (my favourite is calorie king) and read food labels is pivotal.

So let’s conclude, today I’ve discussed my issues with detox diets, fat loss supplement claims and paying for meal plans and my final conclusions were:

  • Fat loss pills are way over hyped and won’t work. Only through diet and exercise can you achieve your fat loss goals.
  • Detox diets, cleanses, or juice diets are just stupid. Like any fad diet they serve as an unhealthy quick fix but don’t teach you the importance of progressively reducing your calories which often leads to huge weight gain when you ultimately relapse.
  • Paying someone to tell you what to eat is a huge waste of money in my opinion. You’re better off hiring a reputable personal trainer or learning how to eat properly yourself.
  • Companies like JuiceLife and Herbal+ (do the math) can get f****d.


Cheers for reading and as always Lift Strong and Conquer!




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author: Louis Whenlock

Hi I’m Louis, a passionate freelance Personal Trainer on a mission to cut through the BS and gimmicks of the fitness world and deliver honest, hard earned results to my clients.