It seems like everyone is interested in doing some sort of a detox. As the interest in detox diets increase, so do the number of cleansing plans and products. Personally, I don’t think there is anything wrong with a healthy individual doing a mild detox or cleanse from time to time for short periods of time. Living in a big city, even my own body can get congested from environmental pollutants alone without even touching on diet.
More often than not, however, people want to start a detox diet because they want to loose weight or de-gunk their system of junky food, caffeine or alcohol. Waking up on Day one after months of dietary abuse with the goal of detoxing is commendable, but an uphill battle – to say the least.
Giving your body a chance to adjust to a life with less toxins before starting a detox will make any plan much easier and more successful. If you want to start a detox, make sure you’re healthy enough to be able to handle common detoxification symptoms, ranging from feeling generally unwell to headaches and everything in between. If you already have a cold and start detox, you’ll feel worse before you feel better.
Before jumping into a detox, try integrating these six tips to make your life a little easier. Start anywhere from three to five days before your detox begins. Just like athletes need to build a strong fitness base before competing, each of our bodies need a stronger nutritional base before cutting out foods we’re addicted to.
1) Increase water consumption
It never hurts to increase your water intake, especially in the days before starting a detox. Not only will the extra hydration help, but the added H2O will help start flushing toxins out of your system.
2) Cut back on caffeine
Normally cut from any detox diet, cutting back on caffeine before starting will make your life easier, especially if you’re making more than one trip to the coffee pot every day. Cut back by 1/2 to 1 cup a day. Easing off can help buffer caffeine withdrawal headaches many deal with when going cold turkey.
3) Ease off of sugar, including high sugar fruits
Forgoing sugar on a detox diet is a no-brainer, but since it’s so addictive, it can be the most challenging part of a plan. Start weaning yourself off sugar early, including high sugar fruits, like grapes, pears and bananas.
4) Get an hour or more sleep each night
Detox plans are stressful on our body. Starting on a detox diet with a lack of sleep can really put you behind the 8-ball. Sleep deprivation not only affects our drive and motivation, but also our ability to make smart food choices.
5) Cut out alcohol
Like sugar and caffeine, alcohol is always nixed from a detox diet. Avoid happy hour for a few days before you start the plan do give your liver a a leg up on ridding toxins in advance.
6) Watch the wheat
Many people don’t realize how sensitive they are to wheat-based products (or just how much they eat) until they cut them out. Most “wheaty” foods are refined, something a detox diet does without. Do yourself a favor an take a vacation from sandwiches, pastas and pizza in the days before you start you plan.