What can you expect from a nine-day detox?

Aloe vera - 9 day detox

The start of the year brings New Year’s resolutions and the desire to make a fresh start. Many of us choose January to start a weight-loss plan, eat more healthily or experiment with quick ways to do both.

I started the new year needing a boost. While I have ‘done’ detoxes in the past, I didn’t have the inclination to overhaul my diet for a month. Regardless of the results, which have always been good.


However, my real motivation to try something quick came in the middle of January when I had a long weekend with a good friend who has Crohn’s disease. She had recently started a hospital prescribed a liquid diet to give her ‘guts a break’. Rather than tantalise her with food, I restricted my diet too. After a fair bit of research, I landed on a nine-day detox by SMUG which I bought through Amazon. At the same time another friend (S) undertook the Forever Living Clean 9. This post compares the two regimes and our results.

Tell me about the products

Forever Living is a US company that specialises in Aloe vera and bee products. It sells through franchises (business owners), its own website and Amazon. Many people have heard of the C9 (Clean 9) and written about it on websites from Mum’s Net to Huffington Post and lots of blog sites.

For about £110 you will get a box with two Aloe vera drinks, a protein shake (choice of flavours) and a bundle of supplements (see below for a list). Each supplement has a purpose, but no scientific proof. You also get a measuring tape, shaker and journal style booklet encouraging you to record your activities and successes.

On the other hand, the SMUG 9 day detox is low key. They make the products in the UK and you can buy the box directly from SMUG or on Amazon. SMUG have recently re-branded; their previous name was Nutri VIP.

The detox costs £40 for which you get Aloe vera tablets, other tablets (with a surfeit of psyllium husks and an equal lack of scientific evidence), a protein shake (choice of flavours) and shaker. The guidance is a single A4 card with the rules and tips.

What did we have to do

The plans are very similar – take the first two days:

Forever Living C9 SMUG 9 Day detox
Aloe vera drink (120ml four times a day), a shake and the supplements One shake and the supplements
2.5 litres of water 2.5 litres of water
Exercise Exercise

Both add in more calories for the remaining seven days:

Forever Living C9 SMUG 9 Day detox
Aloe vera drink (120ml once a day), two shakes and the supplement Two shakes and the supplements
A 600 calorie meal A 600 calorie meal
2.5 litres of water 2.5 litres of water
Exercise Exercise

Can you eat well?

S and I are both fond of good food and eat reasonably well. So, rather than take nine days off cooking, we both found recipes that would keep us inside the 600 calories a day limit and be tasty.

These are my recipes:

Monday https://www.slimfast.co.uk/recipes/meat-recipes/moroccan-chicken-and-couscous

Tuesday https://skinnyms.com/honey-dijon-glazed-salmon-with-a-hint-of-lemon/

Wednesday and Thursday https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/pomegranate-chicken-almond-couscous

Friday and Saturday http://www.itscheatdayeveryday.com/low-calorie-spinach-mushroom-fettucine/

Sunday https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/lentil-kofta-orzo-feta

Monday and Tuesday https://www.womanandhome.com/recipes/the-hairy-bikers-southern-style-jambalaya/

I have found some new favourites and a bunch of websites to mine for inspiration for my ‘fast’ days.

Did it work – which was better?

But the heart of the matter are the benefits and difficulties we had:

Benefits C9 SMUG
Weight loss ~4lb ~4lbs
Energy gain Yes (until the end) No
Inches lost ~1 all over ~1 on hips and thighs
Bowel movements Less regular 😦 More regular 🙂
Other benefits   Flatter tummy at hip level
Difficulties C9 SMUG
Hunger No (extra hungry after though) No
Headaches No No
Furry mouth, teeth, tongue No No
Grumpiness No No
Less regular bowel movements Yes No

You will have noticed that we didn’t experience the common claims for either benefits or difficulties. But we were starting from a reasonably healthy base and I follow the 5:2 diet.

Did we permanently change our diets? Unfortunately not. I am returning to the 5:2 and S will have protein shakes for lunch when working from home, but indulged in chocolate and red wine soon after.

So we can’t really claim a ‘kick start’. And neither of us plan to do it again. I don’t think S could stomach another 9 days of Aloe vera, started to feel extra hungry afterwards and lost all her gained energy and I am certain I could put a similar range of supplements together if I fast for longer than two days again.

What you get in your detox box

Forever Living C9* SMUG 9 Day Detox
Protein shake 24g protein – chocolate or vanilla. Protein shake (21g protein, 120mg green tea extract, 120mg acai berry, 15mg CLA powder (Conjugated Linoleic Acid),117 calories)

Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, banana
Two litres of Aloe vera juice Aloe vera capsules – 6000mg – gelatine capsule (two per day)
Forever Fibre – high in fibre low in saturated fat Psyllium husks – 500mg – gelatine capsule (three per day)
  Vitamin B Complex (5,3,6,2,12) (one per day)
Forever Them – (tea tree leaf extract, Guarana extract, coffee bean extract, vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin B3, B5, B6, B2, B1, B12 and Folic Acid) Cleanse and detox blend psyllium husk, inulin, calcium carbonate, konjac fibre, vitamin C, Aloe vera, anise seed, fennel, rhubarb root, liquorice root extract, sea buckthorn, gentian root, lactobacillus acidophilus – gelatine capsule (three per day)
 Forever Garcinia Plus (contains gelatine) Garcinia cambogia – 500mg – gelatine capsule (two per day)
  ‘bonus’ green tea antioxidant 850mg (one per day)
Measuring tape  
Shaker Shaker
Journal style guide Card guide – A4

*Forever Living don’t publish the exact contents of their protein shake or supplements

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