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5 Reasons Detox Retreats Don't Work

5 Reasons Detox Retreats Don't Work

And, I have to say, I am a believer in some detoxes and retreats. But here are 5 reasons why a detox retreat might not be the thing for you if you don’t do it properly.

#1 - Too much of a focus on fruit

Many detoxes that involve juicing focus too much on fruit in the juices. While it can make them taste better at first, it’s just going to be feeding most people’s natural sugar addition, not to mention the candida that is lurking around in a lot of us. It also makes it that much harder to acquire the taste for vegetables. The best way I’ve found for overcoming this dilemma, is start maybe with 60% vegetables and 40% fruit on the first day, and then gradually get to 100% veg by day 4 or 5. This makes it a lot easier and healthier. Of course, if you can, start 100% vegetables from day one. And make most of that green by adding some lemon and ginger too, for a bit of zing.

#2 - No real education

My first detox retreat that I went on was really well run from a logistics point of view. It had almost everything. Massage, sea, pool, yoga, sun and so on. Where it fell down though was in the education of the participants. There were no talks or workshops explaining what was going on and why we should or shouldn’t eat/drink in a certain way. Obviously there is not “one size fits all” when it comes to diet, but there are certain fundamentals that do hold true across the board. If you’re not educated while you’re there, the tendency will be to go back to your old ways when home.

#3 - It’s not a magic pill

I met so many people on detox retreats who believe that one week a year cleansing will make amends for 51 weeks of abuse to the body. Having a detox week is a great gift you can give to your body (a bit like a car M.O.T.), but really you need to look after the body all year round and not think to yourself, “Well, I’ll do a detox in January so I’ll do what I want to my body in December.” It’s a flawed paradigm. When you feel amazing after your detox, just imagine how good you could feel year round if you didn’t abuse your body as much.

#4 - It’s all in the mind

When you detox, you might feel amazing. And that might be enough to prompt continuous lifestyle changes. For most people though, although the intention is there, it’s rarely enough. The problem lies that your pattern of thinking hasn’t necessarily changed. The way we think is so very deeply ingrained into us that it can be difficult to break it. Most detox retreats don’t focus enough on the mind. And most people aren’t aware that there are techniques and teaching strategies to help people transform years of inbuilt behaviour in short amounts of time. Techniques from Neuro Lingustic Programming (NLP) can help initiate shifts (on both a conscious and unconscious level) that would be ordinarily unavailable to people.

#5 - No long term plan 

This ties in to point #2, about not providing enough education. Once participants leave a retreat, there’s nothing really supporting them going forward. They may not know what it is they need to do in order to stop having such a big buildup of toxins in the first place. The best retreats I know have some kind of ongoing support. For example, the option to sign up for coaching or leaving with a manual, to be used for continued guidance in implementing healthy everyday practices. The real work to keep your body energized and able to handle toxins really happens away from the retreat.

So I do on the surface agree with detoxes. In fact, I love them and believe everyone can benefit from them - that’s why I run them too (check out for more on that). Just before committing to one, ask whether it covers the above points. Otherwise you could find yourself having a nice holiday, but little else.

By Hari Kalymnios                                                                                             

Edited by Jessica Raye

Hari Kalymnios is a high performance coach whose passion is helping people who need more energy in their lives, understand what it takes to achieve this and live optimally. One of the ways Hari does this is with giving people the gift of experiencing just what a detox cleanse can do for you. To find out more about the ‘Detox with a Difference’ that Hari is running, head to for more information.

Start prepping for your next detox retreat with one of the following YogaDownload Classes: 

Yoga Nidra - Celest Pereira 

Tough Flow - Celest Pereira 


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