August 6, 2018

21 day detox cleanse. Can it really work?

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There are so many 21 day detox cleanses advertisied online, and I'd always been skeptical of them. Having heard a few people say they had results, I decided to try one out. Here's how I got on...

Although I'll discuss the 21 day detox cleanse here it will be more about the way I felt throughout it so you know what to expect if you decide to give it a go.

What did the 21 day detox cleanse claim to do?

A caucasian female holding blue jeans that are too big for her becasue she has lost weight.
"Drop a jean size with the 21 day detox cleanse" is what the advert says.

This detox was marketed as a 21 day drop a jean size challenge by Richard Morris who runs the Bootcamp classes that I attend three times a week.

The plan was aimed at those wanting to cleanse their bodies and drop a jean size in the program.

  • Daily fat blasting metabolic workouts
  • Daily eating guides
  • Detoxing
  • Carbohydrate cycling
  • Daily support from Richard
  • Group support from everyone that's on the program
  • Your body back in 21 days

It goes on to say that we are given a list of all the foods to eat each day, we'll be part of a close facebook group for motivation, and you can ask as many questions throughout the program which Richard will answer personally every time.

I had seen a few of the adverts for the 21 day detox cleanse before and slight variations of the program (i.e 14 ab-blast, 28 day detox cleanse) since joining as he advertises them through his facebook page and email.

Each time I saw it to begin with I rolled my eyes a little (sorry Rich) thinking it's just an additional plan for him to make a few extra £ or $ on the side.

Hearing other members chatting about it while they were doing it and how much more in shape they felt, along with having extra energy piqued my interest a lot more too.

I will say that when I asked Richard about it, he did state clearly that it's not just a quick fix thing to lose 10-12lbs, it's a course about educating people, so that you can learn and understand more about the food we are putting in our body.

I had nothing to lose (except maybe 10-15lbs) so I signed up for it.

+ the overall winner of the detox could win £100 prize!

I had nothing to lose (except maybe 10-15lbs) so I signed up for it
A bowl of healthy food including tomato, spinach, boiled eggs, carrot and Quinoa.
The kind of colourful foods we're going to be eating on this detox!

Initial cost and preparation.

The initial cost was £33 (approx $45) plus shopping, which was around £25-£30 for the week just for me ($35-40).

Once payment was made, I was added into the facebook group, where Richard had pinned a shopping list for the group. I can safely say, there were a lot of foods on that list that had never even been in this house.

Avocados, Quinoa were just two along with Almond Milk. What the hell is Quinoa?? (now I know it's a superfood, but you look like a tit in the supermarket when you ask for Quinoa, and actually pronounce it like it's spelled!) Yes, now I know it's Keen-wah.

So off we went to do the shop.

Healthy food isn't cheap, but think of the money we're saving not having takeaways for the next three weeks, and then it works out a lot cheaper!

The idea of a detox is that you cleanse the body of toxins, so these were the things that were banned for the next 21 days...

  • All processed foods
  • Anything with artificial colours, flavours or preservatives
  • E-Numbers
  • Sugars and sugar substitutes
  • Caffeine (the toughest one for me... no Starbucks!)
  • Dairy (no lattes or flat whites from Starbucks!)
  • Wheat (no bread, no toast!)
  • Alcohol
  • Natural sweeteners

This wasn't going to be a walk in the park. We were all told that we are not eating fro pleasure, we're eating for results.

Starting pictures with measurements

three images of a man with no shirt showing his "before" body. Back profile, side profile and front profile.
I'd suffered so badly with heartburn the night before, this detox was long overdue.

To hold oursleves accountable, we had to provide our "before" pictures along with our starting weight and measurements. A how-to video was provided so we knew how to take the measurements properly each time.

My starting weight - 224lbs (16 Stone)


  • Gut 42"
  • Waist (not true waist but where jeans sit) 39.5"
  • Arms relaxed 13.5"
  • Thigh 24"
  • Chest 44.5"

Week 1 - the weaning of the toxins

We were given what Richard called "An Accountability buddy" Mine was a guy called Andy. He wasn't a member of the Bootcamp, he was from London, although we never actually spoke throughout the program, some of the other buddys seemed to have more interaction. Maybe its just a "bloke thing"?

Weaning off coffee

Coffee is my achilles heel. I fail at everything without it, so a few days before starting I tried to wean myself off it. I think it made me a bit of a grouch, something I'm sure my wife will testify. But I did it. I went from around 8-12 cups of coffee a day to none by the time day one came around. Even thinking of the 21 day detox cleanse made my coffee pot shudder!

Coffee is my achilles heel. I fail at everything without it.

This week was the one where you and your body started to realise what was in store. You're cutting out the crap foods and ridding your body of toxins, but your bosy is used to this crap. It wants this crap!

I'm not a huge sugar eater anyway, but you don't realise how much sugar is in stuff, until you stop eating it. Just look on the back of a packet next time and you'll see!

This week was a mix of low carb and medium carb days. Plenty of water was essentiual for making sure that this was going to work too. We had to drink 3 to 4 litres of water every day, as we were going to be exercising too. (My bootcamp sessions counted for this).

The closed group that allowed us to discuss the program throughout.

The facebook group really came in useful, as people started posting about headaches, spots on the skin and maybe a sense of not being able to do it, everyone was jumping in and giving support. It's a great feeling to have behind you.

Week One weigh in

This week I lost 11lbs! Yes, in a week! I was so bloated before I started, that it wasn't that much of a surprise. 

In just one week, I stopped getting heartburn during the night and had no bloatedness whatsoever.
(Continued below ↓)

Week 2

There wasn't much change in the following weeks, it was a mix of carbohydrate cycling, with plenty of water and slightly tougher exercises. The premise of the whole detox cleanse is quite simple. Stop eating rubbish and eat clean, unprocessed foods.

A lot more of the members started to mention the trip ups they'd had, and were always encouraged by Richard to just put it behind you, and carry on. It wasn't about the slip ups, it was how you dealt with them that defined how you were going to cope.

I had so much more energy, I was sleeping like a log and waking up feeling really fresh. I sleep well anyway, but I was having the deepest sleeps ever. I felt amazing!

I think a few of the members who initailly joined were suffering, possibly from the social side of it. Not being out to have a glass of wine, and some teeny tiny excuses started slipping out. "I was away from home" etc. It just shows how tought the program is, so all the while through you need to focus on the end result... and the £100!

The end of week 2 weigh in was surprising. I'd lost inches from my measurements, but lost no weight at all!

Richard said this was quite normal, your body kind of wants to know everything is OK. You've shocked it massively so it kind of makes sense that it wants to hold on to everything it can. The bootcamp sessions contained a lot more bodyweight training too, so it was likely I'd lost a pound or two of fat, and gained a pound or two of lean muscle.

This was a shirt I wanted to be able to get into after just two weeks. (Ignore the creases, it was shoved at the back of the wardrobe thinking i'll never get it on again!)

Befpre and after of Mark wearing a denim shirt
You can see the shirt is still a bit tight, but fits a lot better after just two weeks. The face seems a little less bloated too.

Week 3

The beginning of week 3/end of week saw us with a cheat meal. Mine was a healthy Nandos made up of butterfly chicken, avocado, mexican rice, salad and the portion of chips was the dirty part of the cheat. I wanted to go overboard and have a whole pizza, but I refrained!

By this point, I thought I'd settled in to being clean on the food, but I was really starting to crave the coffee again. I think it was because I was now closer to the end, than I was to the beginning.

The first 3 days of week 3 were definitely the hardest for me, plus the slight disappointment of not losing weight after the second week made it all the bit tougher. I stuck to it 100%.

My sweat started to smell like spinach. Nice. I can safely say one thing though... I was never hungry.

The end of the detox weigh in, photos & measurements!

So after 3 weeks... it's all over. I feel so much fitter than I've ever felt before and I'm keen to see what I've lost in total... here are the before and after images.

The final facebook post. I didn't win the £100! I came second, which I'll take. The girl who won was a very worthy winner!

Will I do it again?

Yes, absolutely! I'm planning to do the 21 day detox cleanse that starts in September. We're going to Cornwall and I want to be in good shape for surfing. I'm confident I'll be able to see my abs by that point too, so keep watching!

Dany at Weightletics recommends doing a detox when the body's metabolism changes during Spring and Autumn, and no more than that. You can read the article on the Weightletics website.

By learning what I have, I've continued to lose weight consistently and I've lost another 7lbs since. I've stuck to the 80-20 rule, which is to eat clean 80% of the time. Each time I do a detox plan throughout the year, it will be 100% clean.

If you'd like to get in touch with Richard for more details, send him a message here and please mention the Fat2Fit Magician article if you do. He may give us a cheeky discount each! :-)

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