Detox Diets: How Intense Do They Really Need to Be?

By January 9, 2020 Diet Tips, Weight Loss

Want to know a secret? With all my lofty advice, I overindulged on occasion this holiday season. So even those you might assume should have the willpower don’t always! There is something to be said for all those yummy foods that invoke memories of happy times. The way I look at it is there are 31 days in December, and only about five (usually) of those are filled with parties. It’s really only a small chunk of time, so indulging isn’t a huge deal. What do you do though if you took leftovers home and snacked on them for days? As we head into the new year, you want to start with a clean slate, and detoxing may be the answer.

The words “detoxing” or “detox diet” can evoke all sorts of terror. But detoxing can be as extensive or as light as you want it to be. An example of an intense detox is no sugar, no refined wheat, no dairy, and sometimes, no meat at all. You could add in all the fruits and veggies you can handle, but the withdraw some people will feel can be intense. When you come out the other side, it really is worth it, but all this eliminating is not always necessary. Limiting sugar, eliminating processed foods, and scaling down on meat can also work wonders!

The benefit of going on any type of detox can vary, but it tends to always be helpful. Your body is an amazing machine. It has a very efficient detoxification system. When you have spent a lifetime eating foods that may or may not be the most beneficial, your body might not be working as it should. The goal of detoxing your body is to help it return to its factory settings, so to speak. There are some practical suggestions to help you get started or just incorporate into your everyday habits. I believe that by incorporating some of my tips here, you will get on the road to a healthier life.

Intermittent fasting is a way to give your body a break from eating and digesting. It gives your body the time to detox, burn fat, and boost your metabolism. There are many philosophies on the hows and whys of intermittent fasting, but the best person I have seen explain it is Karen (Candy) Morgan, APRN-BC in this great video.

When it comes to your diet, there are several things you can do to help further support your very own detox system. Branching out and adding 2 cups of cruciferous veggies (vegetables that contain phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, and fiber that are important to your health) a day can work wonders. These include a wide variety including cabbage, sprouts, kale, cauliflower, mustard greens, radishes, and turnips.

Adding in sulfur-rich foods such as garlic, onions, and shallots is also important. Seasoning your meals with cilantro, rosemary, curry, or turmeric will help aid in detoxification. Sprinkling in berries, citrus, and grapes for added antioxidants is an easy and beneficial addition as well. All these foods will help your body detoxify the added stress the holidays put on your body.

Staying hydrated is also an important and crucial step to your detoxing because it helps to remove waste products from your blood. It also aids in nutrient absorption and aids in digestion. Drinking half your body weight in ounces a day is a great place to start. Consume even more the more active you are. You can drink water flavored with real lemon juice to help with metabolism and digestion if you get tired of straight water. You can add in teas such as green tea for an antioxidant boost or fennel and dandelion tea to aid in digestion. It doesn’t matter how you get your liquids, as long as they’re real and not processed!

Sweating is a big player in helping your body to detox. Whether you do it in a sauna, by practicing yoga, running, or cardio at the gym, just get moving. Sweating is your system getting rid of toxins, so the more you sweat, the better! Obviously, don’t overdo it. Start slow and work your way up. An added bonus of sweating is you crave more water, and it improves sleep, so it’s a win-win situation.

Making sure you get plenty of sleep is also extremely beneficial in helping your body detox properly. Your liver regenerates every night while you are sleeping. That is bad news for my fellow night owls, but I am working on it and you can too. Small steps! Getting enough sleep is important to help your body recharge and eliminate all the toxins you accumulate throughout the day.

Supplements can be a help in your detoxification. The most helpful (besides considering necessary medications some might be taking) are chlorella and probiotics. These are the supplements that I would recommend you start incorporating into your daily life. Taking a high quality probiotic is always a great idea. Taking a probiotic such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria species helps normalize gut flora and reduces toxins. Chlorella can help eliminate toxins from your system. It is always a good thing to add to your diet. These two items can be found at your local Whole Foods, Sprouts, or Amazon!

If you need a more specific approach tailored to you and your lifestyle, I am here to help develop an individualized plan. Everyone’s journey is unique and should be treated as such! Everyone at Physicians Weight Control & Wellness Center is here to help you on whatever journey you are on! Let us know how we can help.

At Physician’s Weight Control and Wellness, our weight loss programs are unique in that they are physician-guided and individually tailored to each patient. Because every patient is different, no two treatment plans are the same. The same philosophy applies to our nutrition consulting and coaching programs.  These programs are designed to be the next step after meeting with our doctors to ensure your investment in your new lifestyle takes root.

Contact us today to get started!

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash