I’m not usually one for quick-fix diets or “detoxes”; I’ve always said that a healthy diet is a permanent change achieved through balance, and not a temporary restriction. So when an email popped into my account asking if I wanted to try a three day detox trial with Nosh I initially skipped right past it. But, I’m human and also a 20-something (nearly 30-something) woman who is self-conscious just like everyone else. Soon enough, the desire to squeeze myself into a slightly-too-tight hen night outfit took over and I thought “why not?”.
A few days later I received a delivery with my three days’ worth of food/smoothies. I chose Nosh’s Body Smooth and Tone plan, which boasts results including “rapid but stable weight loss”, “feeling fuller for longer” and an “ability to work out whilst on food”. For me, that ticked all the boxes.Nosh Detox: tried and tested. Click To Tweet
Day 1. Nosh Detox
I started my morning by stepping on the scales and whipping out the tape measure – if I was going to do this I wanted to know how effective it was! I took note of my weight, body fat percentage and bust, waist and hips measurements.
- 74kg at 31.3% body fat
- 36.5″ bust
- 31″ waist
- 41″ hips
9am, breakfast: Smoothie.
This took me 30 mins to drink, which is probably longer than I usually take to guzzle my breakfast! I could taste banana and it seemed as though there might have been some oats and nuts/seeds ground up in it.
I sipped on water until lunchtime – I knew I’d be at the gym later so chose to save my morning smoothie for post-workout.
12:15pm, lunch: Mung bean salad.
This was quite a nice meal with mung beans (which are high in protein at 24g per 100g), green beans, spring onion, red onion and salad leaves. I was very conscious that this was my only solid food of the day, so scraped out every last bite from the pack and savoured every mouthful! I sipped on a lime and ginger green tea.
1pm. I started to get a headache (I assumed from lack of caffeine).
3pm, afternoon snack: Nosh fruit smoothie.
This was bright orange, which I thought would either be carrot or papaya… I’m pretty sure it was the latter. The headache was pretty intense at this point and I started to feel a bit lethargic, but this could’ve been psychological.
6pm, dinner: Kidney bean and leek soup.
This was a very kidney-bean colour… obvious, yes maybe, but I hadn’t quite prepared myself for this. It tasted pretty good though, packed with flavour. I heated it on the pan and it still maintained a good level of thickness.
This was hard. My headache still hadn’t shifted and every time I tried to put any effort into shifting weights my head just felt like it was going to explode. I also found myself not really having the energy to talk and messing up the plates I was supposed to be putting on the bar. Darren noticed and suggested I call it a day, but I tried to push through it.
9pm, “morning” snack: Nosh superfood smoothie.
This was supposed to be my mid-morning snack, but I saved it for post workout as I thought I might need something to replenish my energy levels. I didn’t really want it, but once I’d opened it I was glad I did.
10:30pm. I went to bed with a headache.
Day 2. Nosh Detox
6:30am. I woke up with a headache.
9am, breakfast: Smoothie.
This was a different smoothie to yesterday – it was yellow but tasted quite a bit like cucumber. It had some black bits in it, which I assume were broken up seeds.
11am, mid-morning snack: Nosh superfood smoothie.
I think this was the same smoothie as yesterday? It’s admittedly hard to tell as I think my tastebuds are adjusting to not as much sweetness.
12:30pm, lunch: Chicken and avocado salad.
I met Charlie for lunch and brought my lunch with me. I had been looking forward to it, mainly because it was my only solid food for the day, but also because I love chicken and avocado. However, about halfway through I started to struggle. I felt nauseous but didn’t want to stop eating as it was my only solids. I finished. Walking back to the office I felt dizzy, sick and hot, with a slow heart rate.
2pm. After putting up with a pounding headache for 24 hours, now feeling nauseous, lethargic and unable to concentrate, I decided to call a stop to the detox. Grabbing myself a banana and satsuma from the work fruit stash, I caved.
3pm, the detox is over.
The sick feeling now gone, I still had a headache. I bought a snack-size pack of Cadbury’s shortbread biscuits from the vending machine and made myself a cup of tea. Within 15-20 minutes my headache had gone.
Response From Nosh
Shortly after deciding to end the detox I emailed Nosh and received a very apologetic response – it became apparent that my activity levels (and BMR) hadn’t been taken into account and I was given a detox pack for fairly inactive individuals.
When I’d gotten in touch earlier in the day to say I’d had a headache a few remedies were suggested, including snacking on celery sticks, drinking hot water with ginger, etc. but the Nosh nutritionist who contacted me after I stopped said that, had they realised my activity levels, they would have suggested I add protein powder to my breakfast smoothie, and perhaps a snack or two. I asked the nutritionist to send me details of the adjustments that would have been made to my plan in order to cater for my situation. This is what I received (changes in blue):
“See below the changes to your 3 day menu that would have made your ability to work out and detox (considering your BMR) a successful Cleanse. The cleanse omits refined carbohydrates, wheat, dairy and caffeine.”
BST Menu: Day 1
Breakfast: Nosh Break-fast Smoothie
Nosh Superfood Smoothie Quinoa and Cinnamon pot with pumpkin seeds
Lunch: Mung bean Cold Salad with hummus
Fruit Smoothie Nuts and seeds with goji berries
Dinner: Red kidney bean & Leek Soup
BST Menu: Day 2
Nosh Break-fast Smoothie Nosh Protein Smoothie
Nosh Superfood Smoothie Gluten Free Oats with almond milk
Lunch: Chicken & Avocado Salad
Fruit Smoothie Hummus with celery sticks
Dinner: Cream of Mushroom Soup (Non-dairy)
BST Menu: Day 3
Breakfast: Nosh Break-fast smoothie
Nosh Superfood Smoothie Toasted almonds and coconut flakes
Lunch: Wok-style Asparagus, Mushroom & Courgette Salad with prawns
Fruit Smoothie Quinoa and green bean salad
Dinner: Curried Cauliflower Soup
It is a shame that my activity levels weren’t considered when Nosh sent me my plan (I had put “maintaining energy levels for CrossFit” as a goal on my registration form) and I’m sure that if they had, I would have been able to continue the trial. I would have been interested to see how I felt towards the end of the detox, and what physical results might have come out of it, but unfortunately I’ll never know.Detoxes: are they for you? Perhaps not if you're active... Click To Tweet
I’ve put together a few pros and cons of the service, with the hope of helping those looking to try a detox, and also as feedback to Nosh to hopefully make some tweaks.
Nosh Detox Positives
Diet awareness – the detox gave me an appreciation of food, even after only 1.5 days. When you have very little to eat you do become a whole lot more aware of what you’re sticking in your mouth; flavours became more intense, I looked forward to meals and I ate more slowly and consciously.
Giving your body a break – while I am fully aware that the body has its very own, and super-efficient, detox system (the liver and kidneys) I can’t help but think that a detox could have some benefits in given them a rest and allowing them to repair themselves.
Convenient – I love to cook, but sometimes I really just can’t be bothered to put anything together, so I grab an easy option. Usually this would still be a relatively healthy option, but sometimes it’s not. Having three days’ worth of meals and snacks delivered to my door was certainly convenient.
Supported – I received an email on day 2 asking me how I was finding the detox (I assume this is standard service and not because of my review), and there was a chat facility on the website, which I used during my trial.Have you ever done a detox? Read these pros and cons before committing. Click To Tweet
Nosh Detox Negatives
Non-personalised – I can only assume from my experience that these detoxes aren’t personalised to individual BMR requirements. I was asked to fill out a registration form with stats like my height and weight and also my goals, but it was clear that none of this was, initially anyway, taken into account.
Not for the control freak – one thing I found difficult about this detox was the fact that none of the meals or snacks had an ingredients list, and there was no calorie or nutrient information… I’m a bit of a control freak so not knowing fully what, or how much, I was eating or drinking was quite hard to swallow (excuse the pun).
Unsociable – I had to ask Charlie if I could bring a packed lunch instead of, our originally planned, Tossed date. Even on some of the most strict diets you could find something in a cafe/salad bar to fit, but not really with a detox.
Unfortunately, despite the meals and smoothies being quite nice, I had a bad experience with Nosh and, because of this, I am unlikely to try another detox unless I can be sure of a more sustainable (short-term anyway) approach.
Nosh have since informed me that they are “currently working with more young fitness bloggers” and “improving our questions to tweak the programs to suit their dietary needs”. I hope that this is the case, and that the plans become more tailored, as I think this would result in more positive experiences. I think it’s within the price point to be able to do this – and I’m sure anyway that a range of prices (to cover those who require more food) would be well acceptable to most.
I, despite my knowledge, wrote off my initial symptoms as part and parcel of a detox – it’s meant to be tough, right?! But perhaps alarm bells should have been ringing. I worry that more determined people may have stuck with it even with feeling as unwell as I had. If you are thinking of doing a detox, please please consider your activity levels and pack some emergency snacks just in case. Nothing is worth suffering for and if you need to eat, you need to eat.Detoxes: nothing is worth suffering for and if you need to eat, you need to eat. Click To Tweet
For those interested, I still took my stats the morning after finishing the detox. After 1.5 days of the diet, plus an afternoon and evening of “normal” eating there was… zero difference.
- 73.2kg at 31.6% body fat.
- 36.5” bust
- 31” waist
- 41” hips
Have you ever tried a detox? What was your experience? Comment below or tweet me, @fitcetera!
I received the three days’ food as a review sample – as always, my opinion is my own and not affected by items gifted to me. Thank you to Nosh Detox for the chance to trial their service, and for taking the time to speak with me afterwards.