Have you put on a lot weight, have a bloated stomach most of the time and have low energy on a daily basis? A detox diet may be for you…
A detox diet is not a magic pill or a quick fix. YES it can make you feel better, get you motivated and shed some weight. It can definitely get you on the right path. Planning your detox diet may seem like a very hard task. Whether you decide to go on a weekend detox, a 7 day detox or a 2 week detox will depend on you. If you are on medications or have an illness you DO need to get the ok from your doctor before you proceed.
There are so many different detox diets that you can try. Some are more restrictive than others and you need to do your research to find one that’s going to work for you.
If you are at the point where you are seriously considering a detox diet, you probably don’t feel too great in your own skin. I know as I have been there. No doubt you have fat around your stomach. You probably feel tired and slightly unwell for no real reason. And your belly is probably bigger than it has been before. Add to this being at an age of somewhere around 40 – 55 and it can be a very depressing combination.
As we get older it becomes harder to lose fat. Not only that, but our energy levels and motivation decline. If you around 50, you probably have a knee joint that doesn’t work like it use to…or have back pain that comes and goes. Any type of ongoing pain is demotivating and can block us from taking positive action.
The purpose of a detox diet is to reduce the toxins in our bodies and lose a few pounds. A smart approach to a detox diet, is to think long term and avoid a detox diet that eliminates healthy food groups from it, completely. You are better off to do a detox diet that includes more food and goes for a longer period of time, than to do a crash detox that sees you only surviving on liquids. Many people cannot cope with a crash detox, and they are not healthy for you either.
Remember, the state that your health is in now in has taken time to develop to get to this point. You cannot erase years of wrong eating and lack of exercise in 3 days. It will take time to reverse what you have done to yourself.
But don’t feel down, even after a week of a gentle detox diet you can feel so much better mentally and physically.
It is very easy to develop unhealthy eating patterns over time and with determination and a simple plan to follow you can get back to a healthier lifestyle and a healthier you.
Common Problems On A Detox Diet
Having A Bad Reaction
Common reactions to a detox are getting a headache and feeling nausea’s. You may need to phase out caffeine and sugar in the week before your detox rather than cutting them out cold turkey on day 1 of your diet. If you are a coffee addict try dandelion tea or herbal teas in the week or 2 before to help you break the addiction.
Starting On The Wrong Day Of The Week
Don’t start your detox on the most busiest day of your week. You want to take your time and make sure you have it all under control rather than feel stressed out and doing it all in a rush. For some people starting on a weekend may good and for others it may be a Monday morning. Plan to start on your easiest day of the week to avoid failure on day 1.
You Must Drink Water
Water is essential to a detox diet. Most people don’t drink enough water. You must drink while you are detoxing as this will help flush out toxins and waste from your bowel.
Try To Exercise (if you can)
If you have been doing some form of exercise before your detox diet, then you should try to continue on with it during your detox. If you haven’t, then you will have to decide during your detox, if you feel good enough to start. If you are getting headaches and feeling nauseas then we suggest you should probably avoid exercising. Again if you are under a doctors care for an illness or injury, consult with them.
A Detox Diet Is Not For Everyone
Detoxing isn’t for everyone. If you have an ongoing health problem or illness that is being managed by a doctor like; diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, liver disease etc. you need to get a clearance from your doctor to make sure that you are doing the right thing for your health before you make any changes to your diet or exercise plan. Your doctor may say that a detox diet is not suitable for you or that you need to do it at a later stage.
What Foods Should You Eat
You should eat fruits and vegetables that contain lots of fiber. Naturally fresh fruit and vegetables contain anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. You can also include plant based protein such as lentils, chick peas, tofu, peanuts, almonds and spirulina.
It is also good to include probiotics and fermented foods such as yoghurt, kefir, tempeh, sauerkraut, kombucha, pickles traditional buttermilk (not cultured) and miso.
Prepare each meal so that it is balanced. Each meal should include:
- Healthy fat (like avocado)
- Whole grain carbs
- Fruits and/or vegetables
Try to keep your meals interesting and tasty.
Include spices into your detox diet.
Take the time to experiment and try out new flavors to make your meals tasty and delicious, such as;
- Black pepper
- Cilantro (Coriander)
Foods To Avoid On Your Detox Diet
Do not eat processed foods, or any foods that will slow down the digestive process such as:
- Dairy; cheese and milk
- Sugary foods
- Packaged or frozen foods/meals
They key is to eat fresh foods.
Detox Diet Tips
- The purpose of your detox diet isn’t to deprive or starve yourself. It is to improve your health.
- During your detox try to get adequate sleep and do things that make you relaxed and happy.
- If you live a busy lifestyle and get stressed out a lot, try to figure out what you can adjust to reduce the effects of your busy lifestyle on your mind and body.
- Eating a lot of fiber may take a few days for your body to get used to. Be prepared you may need to go to the bathroom more often.
- If you have a slow digestive system or suffer from Gluten intolerance that tends to make you constipated, try to add herbal teas into your diet, preferably caffeine free.
- Remember that the first few days you could feel lousy and have headaches. But try to get past that and by day 4 -5 you should start to feel better and have more energy.
- If at any time you feel very unwell on your detox diet, stop. If you get a blinding headache, blurry vision, vomiting, fainting, mental confusion etc., stop. Do not continue and go and see your Doctor.
Once The Detox Is Over
Once you have finished your detox try to include some of the easier elements into your daily life. Such as drinking more water, eating more fiber based vegetables or probiotic foods. Try to build on what you have achieved.
Failing On A Detox Diet
If you try to detox and it is a failure, it may be because you tried to go too big or too extreme. Don’t be afraid to take baby steps. Make smaller adjustments or less changes to your diet and lifestyle until you get to a level you can cope with and then add to that.
Don’t judge Yourself Too Harshly
It can take 30 – 60 days for new habits to become our new normal. Don’t put yourself down if you have a bad day or slip up. Just start fresh the next day.
Repeating Your Detox Diet
It is quite normal to repeat a detox diet several times throughout the year. If you take a gentle, more long term approach rather than a crash detox, this is totally achievable.
Who Should Not Do A Detox Diet
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding women
- The elderly
- Chronically sick (seek your Doctors advice first)
Remember if your detoxing to lose weight, it is best to lose a pound or 2 a week. It has been proven that a 1 or 2 pounds a week is better than losing 10 pounds in a week. Fast, extreme weight loss usually comes back on.
Detoxing is a great way to lose a few pounds while getting healthier.