Diet detox symptoms

by | Jan 8, 2023 | Blog, Fitness & Wellness, Nutritional Education

After a week of clean eating and restricting sugar, soda, alcohol, and/or processed foods, your body can feel terrible. Diet detox symptoms begin to set in once your organs, including your brain, have gotten over the initial shock of the removal of these substances and foods. Some diets like the ketogenic diet are known to cause a detox so severe it’s been coined the “keto flu”. 

  1. You expect to feel better, but instead, feel frustrated by your body’s response.
  2. You want to feel focused, but you may get brain fog.
  3. You were anticipating an energy boost, but you are experiencing tiredness and fatigue.
  4. And, instead of feeling more positive and optimistic, you end up feeling irritable.

Why do I have diet detox symptoms?

When you have been on a diet that is based on toxic and addictive foods — such as high salt, fried foods, snack foods, and sugary drinks — you not only build up free radicals and toxic materials such as advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in your cells, but you also set the stage for feeling ill when you are not digesting these foods. 

Plant-based proponent, Joel H. Fuhrman, MD, states that “Unhealthy food allows your body to create waste byproducts that must be removed by the liver and other organs. Only when digestion ends can the body fully take advantage of the opportunity to remove toxins. If the body is constantly digesting, it can’t go through this detoxification process effectively.”

Common symptoms 

Read below to understand common diet detox symptoms.


Headaches are the number one withdrawal symptom reported of all diet detox symptoms.

The best fix? Hydration. You should be drinking half of your body’s weight in ounces daily. That will help rid your body of toxins and rehydrate you. A sugar-free and caffeine-free hot tea in the evenings may also help.

Nausea and diarrhea

Your gut is working overtime to rid your body of sugar, toxins in processed foods, or alcohol. Not only is your head aching, but you may also be having more frequent bowel movements and feeling abdominal distress. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as they are more easily digestible and make sure to allow for at least 8 hours of nightly sleep. This is key because your detoxification and restoration happen during your sleeping hours. 


When choosing to detox your system, you are steering away from a path that you have traveled for a long time. You will feel and look so much better once you are done. Congratulations! However, throughout the road to get there, you are suffering a loss from the comfort foods and substances you were consuming just last week. Diet eto. This loss can cause a real bitch-fest. Sorry, it’s true. So be gentle with yourself and give your loved ones a heads-up. Maybe even give them a little love note if needed. Don’t worry, you’ll be back to feeling like yourself in no time. 

Loss of energy or lethargy

“All I want to do is nap and sleep.” “My energy and my brain are feeling off.” 

Good! It’s working. Your body is working overtime and adjusting metabolically to its new fuel source. As humans, we need the vitamins and minerals found in whole foods to function at our peak and now your body is getting what it needs while it’s getting rid of chemical waste. Keep it up! This is a diet detox symptom which means you are on the right path.

Poor sleep

The Sleep Foundation recommends 7-8 hours of sleep per night for adults. Seldom do adults currently report obtaining sufficient hours at night. Throughout this time of adjustment, it can feel even more challenging to get to bed on time and sleep through the night. This is because your body has been disrupted from its routine, so it’s lost its normality and comfortability. This just means that your body needs time to learn this new lifestyle and conform to the new vitamins and resources that you are providing it. Also, this means you should make an extra effort to shut off the lights early and get your beauty rest!

How long will this last?

Most detox symptoms subside after two weeks and your body settles into easier digestion, less gas and bloating, and better bowel movements. You will soon find yourself able to have a few meals, including Standard American Diet (SAD) foods, with high amounts of added sugar and salt without returning to those detox symptoms. 

Finally, what’s next?

Prepare to have… 

→ Clean and natural energy

→ Better gut health

→ Better sleep 

→ More confidence

→ Increased intimacy

→ Smaller clothes 

→ Decreased oxidative stress

→ Gorgeous skin

→ Increased dopamine and serotonin to contribute to overall happiness

In the end, we recognize that life is meant for living, so don’t let your diet take over and hold you back from living your life to its fullest. Therefore, be intentional with your eating choices. Save your indulgences for celebratory events such as birthdays, anniversaries, and other special events.

However, learn your limits and learn when to choose the cleaner, healthier option. As long as these limits are set, you can avoid reverting back to your old diet of processed foods and sugar. Going back to these old ways is only setting yourself up to experience detox symptoms again the next time you adjust your diet. Do yourself a favor, and let this be the last time you experience detox symptoms. Live your life and live it wisely!