I did it. I survived a week at the world's hardest detox centre. 

My Dad and I decided that we needed a father-daughter trip this summer—for bonding purposes. Whilst I was thinking more along the lines of sandy white beaches, BLT's and strawberry daiquiris, my Dad had a very different idea. A detox. 

I consider myself a relatively healthy person. I go to the gym around three times a week, eat healthy 70% of the time, sleep a solid seven hours a night and do the occasional hamstring stretch. 

So when Dad suggested a detox, I thought maybe I should get out of my comfort zone and do something different. 

beer, tea, coffee, water
Sophia Dearie

I took it upon myself to find the right detox centre. I googled and read some articles about other people's experiences in the centre. After all of this, I decided that Vivamayr was the place to go. I convinced myself and my Dad, if we are going to do this at all, why not go all out and do the hardest detox. 

Before we headed off on our detox adventure, I was incredibly nervous and aprehensive. I had no idea what to expect, all of my knowledge coming from the articles I had read which painted the detox as some sort of rebirth. 

At the airport, I bought some nuts, dried fruit and chocolate. This was me creating our emergency supply, incase we were starving during the week and needed a snack. Much to our surprise, the supply was untouched for the duration of the detox. 

wine, tea
Sophia Dearie

The week begins

We arrived at the centre on a Saturday night. They suggest for guests to arrive on the Sunday as the new treatment weeks begins every Monday. Upon arrival we were greeted by friendly staff members who took us on a tour of all the facilities, which include an indoor pool, numerous saunas (including a garden sauna), steam rooms and steam baths, 2 private jetties where we were told we could tan, swim and take tours of the lake. 

Other facilities of the clinic include light and sound therapy rooms, infaRED chairs, colonic irrigation rooms (luckily neither of us had to step foot in those rooms), a huge gym and yoga studio, and many other rooms specific to certain bizarre treatments. 

cake, beer, tea, coffee
Sophia Dearie

The Saturday and Sunday when we arrived were spent lounging in the sun, going for mountain walks, eating surprisingly normal sized meals of meat, fish and vegetables, and finding it strange how quiet the clinic was after 9.

puree, parsnip, lamb, venison
Sophia Dearie

Monday is when the real deal started. We were presented with our schedule, and appointments were made for both of use to meet our doctors. The doctor asked a series of questions about our lifestyle and what we hoped to achieve from our week at the Mayr clinic.

coffee, tea, pizza
Sophia Dearie

After the first meeting with the doctor, my Dad and I were given our schedules for the week. Upon the first glance, my Dad and I did not know what the majority of the treatments listed entailed, and so we got to googling. By this point in the week (Monday) our doctors put us on different diets/eating plans. I was nervous about the lack of food so I proceeded to sneak some of the chewing trainers out and kept them in the safe in the room in case I felt like I was going to crumble under the weight of my hunger.

cake, pizza, chocolate
Sophia Dearie

What I ate during the week 

Once we began our 'treatment', this is what I ate every day. 

For breakfast: 2 proteins and the gluten free chewing trainer (stale gluten free bread used to help teach us how to actually chew). We got to choose our proteins from a list. This list included boiled egg, smoked salmon, turkey slices, brie, goats cheese, and avocado. 

The first day I ate my boiled egg in approximately 47 seconds, but by the last day - I was taking a solid 10 minutes to eat my egg, savouring every single bite.   

Sophia Dearie

For lunch: Lunch was a vegetable soup (served with a teaspoon to help you eat slower, and also trick you into thinking you have more soup than you actually do) with one spread and the chewing trainer. 

The spread changed everyday, so at least there was a bit of variety. My Dad was on a different diet than me so he was given a bit more food at lunch. 

cheese, tea
Sophia Dearie

For dinner: For dinner we were given another vegetable soup, spread and chewing trainer. Honestly, we were so exhausted by the end of the day that this light meal was perfect. 

Sophia Dearie

By the 3rd day, when we got allergy tested, I was told that I should be gluten free - as the gluten was stressing my body, which also explained my constant state of bloat. I also discovered that within the seemingly strict guidelines of the 'restaurant' that there were many options. This lead to my discovery of the gluten free crackers, which I believe are the only things that kept me sane during my time at the clinic. 

What we did

During the days, my Dad and I would lie out by the lake and read and swim and sleep. Speaking of sleep, I was super tired by around 9pm every night, but would wake up without an alarm around 7am. It felt as if my body clock was adjusting to what it should be and it was amazing. 

water, wine
Sophia Dearie

The surroundings of the detox were so incredibly beautiful. I would wake up the hills surrounding and take in all the nature. 

I was 100% the youngest person at the detox centre, which made me feel really energetic. I had a couple session on the stand up paddle board and my Dad and I took a great tour on a boat of the lake. 

The treatments

Each day consisted of a meeting with our doctor, an abdominal massage (the premise of their detox is all centred around our gut, hence the focus on the stomach), a massage at some point and then a range of different treatments. 

Sophia Dearie

One of the craziest treatments was the electrolysis foot bath, which I was told would draw out my toxins through my feet. I was skeptical at first, but the photos below really illustrate how much gunk their is in our systems.

*Disclaimer: these photos are gross*

Here is a photo of the bath before, when they added salts to the water to help with the detoxification process. 


pizza, beer, cake
Sophia Dearie

30 minutes later, this is what the water looked like. 


Sophia Dearie

Honestly so gross, but also very interesting to see that there are ways to rid ourselves with all the toxic waste trapped in our bodies. 

What I Learned

Don't eat raw food after 4pm.

This is due to the high amounts of fibre in raw fruit and vegetables that your body has to work very hard to digest before you sleep. If and when your body is unable to fully digest these fibres, they stay in your digestive tract and ferment creating gas and sugar, which inevitably leads to bloating and weight gain. It all makes sense!!

Chew slowly.

It helps give you digestive tract a break, and also tricks your mind into thinking that you have eaten more than you have, which lets you stop eating before you normally would. 

Don't drink water when you eat.

The first stage of digestion takes place in your mouth (the enzymes in your saliva), so when you drink water this dilutes your saliva, meaning that your food isn't being broken down fully. 

Go to sleep when you are tired. 

If you are reading and you begin to doze off, let it happen. This is your bodies way of telling you to shut off and get your rest. You're body re-energises when you sleep so try to get as much rest as possible. 

Post detox

Upon leaving, my Dad and I both felt energised, no joke. Not the type of energised you feel when you drink a strong coffee, but how it feels when you get 8 hours of sleep, do a face mask, drink a smoothie and go on a brisk walk. 

I didn't feel sluggish in the mornings, I actually wanted to get up when my alarm went off and start doing things (this lasted until about week 2 of getting back to university). 

My skin looked more clear and brighter, my eyes were more white and the bags under them had faded slightly. I didn't use concealer for the rest of the summer, but this may of had to do more with my fresh tan (thanks to the Austrian sun) than my new found lease on a healthy life. 

I lost 2 kilos during the 7 days there (roughly 4.5 pounds) and I lost 2 more kilos during the following weeks of being home. My appetite had gotten smaller and I no longer felt the need to snack in between meals. Looking back now, I think that part of the reason I wasn't so hungry in between meals was because I was drinking so much water and herbal tea, that I was eating when I was hungry instead of when I was just dehydrated. 

After we got out of the detox centre I was more than happy to be able to finally drink liquids with my meals and eat soup with a normal sized spoon. 

Sophia Dearie

Although the detox was initially daunting, I would highly recommend it to anyone feeling as though they need to regroup and focus their body and mind. The detox reminded me to take care of my body and think about what I put into it. 

For more information about the detox and the Mayr treatment click here.