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"I tried a teatox. It did not go down well."

Image: Laura Boyd, teatox survivor

About twelve months ago, my mind was abducted by aliens.

That is the only rational explanation I have for why I decided to undergo a 14 day ‘teatox’ (which shall remain nameless).

I was feeling chubby and just downright crappy (read: insecure). Ignoring the packet of Tim Tams that permanently resided next to my computer, or the late nights spent finishing uni assignments, I decided I needed a quick fix. Now!

‘What is a teatox, exactly?’, I hear you ask.

Teatox is short for tea detox. Each company boasts different teas to cure all of your ailments, from bad skin to bloating and stomach fat. Mine involved simply drinking a cup of tea in the morning, and every second day drinking a special ‘colon blend’ at night (WHY WERE THE ALARM BELLS NOT ALREADY RINGING?) and voila! Cue bangin’ bod, with no effort involved.

I was sold, particularly on the zero-effort part. I figured this teatox was going to help me lose weight and make me a goddess of health. It wasn’t like all those other phony detoxes, no sir! This was natural!

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“I tried a Gwyneth Paltrow detox and lived to tell the tale. Just.”

I eagerly started my teatox regimen. The instructions warned me not to brew the colon-cleanse any longer than 1 minute, as the effects would be extremely potent…which wasn’t alarming whatsoever (again, I remind you about the aliens).

I had my colon cleansing tea 30 minutes before bed. In the middle of the night I woke up with terrible cramps. Then, it started.

My friends, I’m sorry for the disturbing mental images, but let me just say that it flowed out of me like lava. ‘It’ being poo. So much poo.

Yep. That happened.

I expected this. The colon tea was described as ‘improving digestive health’. What I didn’t expect was for this and the cramps to continue for TWO DAYS. So I conceded defeat and stuck to my morning tea, deciding that I didn’t actually enjoy diarrhoea enough to endure it on a daily basis.

At the end of the 14 days, having had only the morning tea for 12 days, I took a photo of myself and compared it with the photo I had taken 14 days earlier. What did I see?

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Nothing. ZILCH.

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Was I surprised? Not exactly. After further investigation, many of the ‘success stories’ on the site, and others, attributed their weight loss to a healthy diet and exercise along with the tea. Hmm. Things were now falling into place (or rather, the aliens had kindly returned my brain).

The site also recommended I follow their diet plan while teatoxing. They advised cutting out meat, dairy, wheat and basically everything except vegetables. Um… great?

This was the final straw. If the site was recommending a ‘clean eating plan’ and regular exercise, why did I need the tea?!

I believe in the benefits of herbal teas. They are full of antioxidants and other little beauties. Can they improve your health and wellbeing? To a degree, yes. Can they give you the body of Miranda Kerr, make your skin flawless or ‘detox’ you completely? Uh, no.

Stick to the Earl Grey. Trust me.

Many of these weight loss, ‘fit’ and detox teas use an ingredient called senna, which is a herb that irritates the bowel and causes a laxative effect. The short term effects? Most definitely weight loss, as you’ll be losing a few, er, unwanted kilos you were previously carrying around.
The long term effects? Dehydration, dizzyness, and in the long term the bowel could become reliant on this type of laxative in order to work.

Scary stuff, isn’t it?

In theory, using a detox tea could seem like a great way to lose weight and de-bloat. But what happens when you stop using the tea? Like any other ‘quick fix’, it simply isn’t as effective as a healthy diet and exercise.

5 lies the diet industry wants you to believe.

My teatoxing experience was a good reminder of the fact that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And that I need to shut up and accept that I’m fabulous just the way I am.

Take my (and my bowel’s) advice. Steer clear and stick to the Earl Grey.

Have you ever tried a teatox, or any other bizarre detox diet? Tell us more...