Do you really need to detox to lose weight?

Around 6 years ago I went on a weekend nutrition course that basically said in order to lose weight you need to ‘detoxify’.

What did that mean?

Well apparently all man made food contained chemicals and nasties which were known as ‘toxins’ that the liver didn’t like and dumped them in the fat cells – fuck me I’m cringing writing this to think I once believed it.

Cereals, packet foods, biscuits, crisps, diet drinks you name it – all highly toxic and a recipe for us to instantly gain fat.

Not only this but in order to ‘detoxify’ you would have to eat only 100% organic and use certain ‘detoxifying’ powders and blends to aid your liver in its cleansing so that you could now burn fat efficiently again.

Of course being the passionate enthusiast that I am I preached this message of ‘detoxification’ to all of my clients even becoming an affiliate to the company to recommend its powders and potions as a supplement to my online programmes which I would call ’28 day detox’ or ‘42 day detox’.

I repeat my mission was only to do the best for my clients and at the time I FIRMLY believed this was the way.

As a man of integrity, earning money has always been a by-product to doing something I am extremely passionate about – I would never try and make money unethically.

I therefore downed a greens drink (which I could not fucking stand) every morning whilst holding my nose and swilled on ‘alkalising salts’ to ensure I would never be ‘toxic’ or ‘ill’ – even though my doctor friends and clients told me you can NOT change the PH of the body.

I also became the ultimate clean eater – evangelical about not eating bread, cereal etc. I would worry if chewing gum was gonna give me an insulin spike if the chemicals in balsamic vinegar would make me fat and if non-organic coffee was gonna kill me because of the pesticides it was sprayed with!

This was passed down to my clients and I would go heavy on them if they ate the odd bit of bread or junk food – thinking to myself what the fuck is wrong with these people?

It even got to the point where I was advising female clients not to use certain creams as the chemicals contained in them would lead to fat around the thighs.

I cringe looking back but this was the message being pumped out by my peers and most of the industry were preaching the same!

Not so long ago I would start each week going ‘clean’ and strict then crash by Thursday falling into epic binges on junk food because I’d banned everything non-processed for the sake of being toxic. At weekends I was so tired and often dived head first into junk food whilst still trying to push this message of ‘100%’ clean and ‘detoxification….

It couldn’t continue and I had to seek a better way – what once worked for me just didn’t anymore because LIFE took over – becoming a parent changed everything.

I started to look at what was going on in the industry and could see a shift – there seemed to now be a lot of trainers laughing at the way I had been preaching.

A new breed of coaches were telling it how they saw it – the message was ‘You have a fucking liver, its entire job is to help you detoxify’. Sure you need to be hydrated but as for these powders and cutting out all processed food there was no need.

For the first time there seemed to be a shift towards tracking calories and macros in the industry, something I had always been massively against (and still don’t believe you all have to track by the way).

Focusing more on energy balance – cals in versus cals out meaning you could lose body fat without having to be super strict all the time and certainly without worrying about detoxifying!

The modality known as ‘flexible dieting’ has taken a lot of stick because if you follow ‘flexible dieters’ on Social Media you generally see them bragging about eating pizza and getting shredded!

The truth is flexible dieting is not too different from eating ‘100% clean’ – you actually have an understanding of energy in vs energy out and eat around 85% ‘clean’ with 15% of whatever the fuck you like as long as it fits….

I started to look at lot more closely at this as to be honest, restricting so many food groups for fear of ‘toxins’ and ‘chemicals’ was fucking unbearable and as I’ve mentioned, sustainable for no more than Monday to Thursday…..

I played around with it at the start of the year and bought a Fit-Bit to track my steps and expenditure so I could measure this up with my cals in.

I found the Fit-Bit NOT to be a reliable source for expenditure as it DRASTICALLY over estimates calorie burn by around 500 cals (that’s a LOT when tracking).

Therefore I started to use another app to gauge my average daily output and found that a lot more accurate – this in turn helped me track my cals accurately and shed around 17lbs for my 4 in 4 half marathon challenge earlier in the year.


Not worrying about detoxifying or eliminating food groups has actually made me more of a competent ‘clean eater’ because I now sustain eating 85% whole foods daily without any crash and burns.

Fuck me it feels so liberating.

I’m back to the weight I was before the kids came along and feel amazing – I’ve said before I didn’t give birth to the boys, but tiredness, left overs and verging on an eating disorder trying to be so bloody restrictive lead me to gain 20lbs after they came along….

So before you all jump down my throat and say ‘Tregs you have changed full circle’ I’m telling you I haven’t!

The message has always been, eat more greens, fruits, good quality fish, eggs, meats and food as close to mother nature as possible for both health and vitality and that will never change.

But what I’m saying is you DO NOT HAVE TO FEAR one food group for fear of toxins, you don’t have to swill a fucking disgusting greens powder to cleanse yourself or try and alkalise!

Simply control what you can control.

Drink more water, eat your greens, move more and your liver will help you along the way with detoxification!

And for fuck sake DO NOT eliminate one food group – it’s fucking miserable and unsustainable as I found out, plus fruit pastille lollies are LIFE.

Get an understanding of energy balance and eat real foods (doesn’t even have to be organic!) you don’t have to track calories, just be mindful.

As a man of integrity I can’t help but be honest.

Detoxification – ain’t nobody got time for that!

Keep Truckin

Coach Tregs

About The Author

Mark Tregilgas is the creator and owner of 30+ Mens Fitness which he founded in 2010. He is extremely passionate about helping over 30s males feel better than ever using his adaptable and easy to follow methods. As a coach with over 10years experience, he specialises in working with men who feel their best years are behind them and are looking to regain the energy and zest of their younger days.

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