Dear Doctor. Blonz: I attended a lecture on the buildup of toxins in the gut and how they are responsible for hard-to-lose weight. The doctor’s presentation talked about a weight loss detox routine that includes a five-day herbal diet drink. I tried and lost almost eight pounds. It was amazing, but when I turned off the routine for the vacation all the weight came back. How could I have dealt with it to keep the weight off? – TS, Tulsa

Dear TS: Reliance on your scales was misleading. We store energy in the form of fat, the most high-calorie material. (Fat has nine calories per gram, compared to four for protein or carbohydrates and seven for alcohol.)

Body fat tissue consists almost entirely of fat. We need to burn about 3,500 more calories than we take in to use up a pound of stored body fat.

I don’t know how many calories this diet drink was, but even if the number was close to zero, it would have been difficult to lose more than a few pounds of body fat in a week.

Check out the ingredients in this drink as I predicted it had diuretic and laxative components. Our body consists of about 60% water and diuretics cause a decrease in body water. Laxatives cause substances to be quickly expelled from the queue to be excreted through your digestive tract.

These are both temporary changes that are rolled back after stopping. In your case, you also have the problem of switching from drinks back to high-calorie foods. Such programs can create frustration and help explain many diet failures.