I’ll admit it: when I first came across Kylie Jenner’s post on Instagram about her 28-day teatox diet, I was intrigued. What a great alternative to a juice cleanse, especially since teatoxes are designed to be consumed on top of a normal diet.
I love tea (especially green), and I have about a cup a day. It seemed like all I had to do to lose weight was drink something I already enjoy on a regular basis — every lazy girl’s dream come true.
But as we’ve learned time and again with sketchy diet pills, there’s no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to weight loss. So what’s the catch? Detox teas come in sets of two: one for the morning, and one for night. The morning tea’s effectiveness lies in its combination of caffeine and dandelion root, both of which are well-known diuretics (i.e. substances that can promote the production of one’s urine). Basically, all the morning tea really does is drain your body of water weight.
The night tea is the real hard-hitter, given that its primary ingredients are the root and leaves of a plant called senna. Senna is an FDA-approved laxative — yes, that’s right, a laxative. It’s literally used to prepare patients who are about to have a colonoscopy. People who take senna often experience cramps and diarrhea.
It’s not just a one-and-done trip to the bathroom; it’s intense. Prolonged use of Senna weakens the colon and can actually lead to dependence on the drug, which, as nutrition-therapist Dr. Karin Kratina says, is good for business. It’s an easy way for teatox companies to guarantee themselves repeat customers.
Long story short, no matter how badly you want to get in shape for spring break, teatoxes are not the way to go. Risking your health and comfort for the sake of body image is never worth it. When you feel the desire to become leaner and stronger, a balanced diet and active lifestyle are your only options.