When you mention the words ‘detox diet’ to most people you will be met with a distasteful groan or exasperated eye roll. The mostly negative view of detox diets is due in part to the high rate of failure and the harmful side effects of a bad detox. What is important to know, is that those bad things are really “operator failure” rather than anything actually associated with a proper detox diet.
By ‘operator failure’ I mean it is something that the person detoxing does—that is not in line with suggested detox dieting guidelines—that leads to failure. Many people look for a shortcut through the detoxification process and unfortunately there simply is no shortcut. The only thing that can guarantee a successful detox is following all the recommended steps.
Contrary to what many popular fad diets will tell you, there is a right way and a wrong way to detox. The guidelines listed below will help you discover the best way to detox. Your next detox will be a success!
The Best Way to Detox:
Step 1: Determine the Goal(s) of your Detox?
Before you even begin to prepare for the preparations necessary to begin a detox diet, you should question your motivations. This doesn’t mean that there are necessarily bad reasons for detoxing, but if you know why you are doing this you can use it to keep you motivated when things get hard…and believe me, for most of us they do get hard at some point.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, sleep better or reduce the stress toxins place on your body functions, make sure you know why you’re doing a detox.
Do not start the detoxification process simply because your colleague is doing one claims to “feel amazing” or because it is the newest “it” diet. If you don’t know your motivations or don’t have health-centric motivations for detoxing your body, you will most likely not have the dedication required to see a successful detox through to the end.
Step 2: Begin the Countdown
Many of the people who do not succeed in their first or second detox experiences do so because they don’t set an end date. One of the worst things you can do is simply detox “for as long as you can take it” because then you turn this exciting new way of life into something to endure. In fact this is the exact reason most diets, in general, fail.
What you need to do is set a detox timeline. If you are new to detoxification start with as little as a 2 day detox and increase it upwards of 21 days when you are comfortable you can complete the detox.
By beginning to countdown to the end from day one of your detox diet you can plan your detox to the letter. Plan your meals and make sure you have recipes for the fruits and vegetables that are in season in your area. Furthermore a predetermined period of time allows you to keep the “end in sight” which will motivate you to keep going. A simple motivational “3 more days” will help you when you begin craving brownies, beer or pizza.
Step 3: Start Early
Along with acknowledging your motivations, you should start preparing for your detox about a month before the detoxification period begins. By slowly adjusting your body for what is to come, you can reduce some of the common detox symptoms like nausea, fatigue and moodiness. These are common symptoms that you will experience as your body starts to get rid of those nasty toxins floating around inside your body.
Start early by cutting toxins like alcohol and nicotine from your diet. Whether you smoke generic cigarettes or expensive hand-rolled cigars, they are chock full of poisons that will make your body react in a way that is both negative and uncomfortable if you do it cold turkey on day one of your detox.
Get used to eating healthy by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet and reducing—and eventually eliminating—processed foods, refined sugars and junk food. Think of the month prior to your detox as the beginning of your new way of life.
Without this month of preparation your body will find it extremely difficult to make it through the detox process, decreasing your likelihood of completing the detoxification process.
Step 4: Do it Organic
Eating whatever fruits and vegetables your supermarket has available is not an effective way to detox. Of course it is better than not detoxing at all, but not by much. Now, before you roll your eyes and proclaim yourself not to be a granola eating tree hugger, consider that organic means natural, as in in its natural state. So, how can that be a bad thing?
It can’t. In fact it is a very, very good thing. Organic foods are great for every day diets but specifically perfect for detoxing because they contain NO toxins, which fit in perfectly with your goals to rid your body of toxins. Foods treated with pesticides, hormones and other chemicals cause chronic illnesses and diseases after years and years of ingestion.
These chemicals affect the natural (i.e. organic) way in which your body breaks down food, which may explain your reaction to certain foods. Ever wonder why as a kid you were able to drink milk without problems and today you have to go for the vegan inspired almond and rice milk? Here’s a hint: chemicals. The same is especially true for whole fruits and vegetables like apples, onions and spinach.
Organic detox dieting lets your body return to its natural breakdown process. This means you will begin digesting food more efficiently and experience regular bowel movements rather than the infrequent ones common to people who eat lots of chemical-laden foods.
Of course it is true that the body has its own natural detoxification system, but that system cannot work as efficiently as it is meant to when it has to muddle through chemicals the body isn’t used to processing. When you combine the toxins in the air from automobiles, smokers, window cleaner and run of the mill germs with food filled with chemicals, your body has to work far more efficiently than your processed food diet will allow.
An organic detox diet will allow you to eliminate unnecessary toxins so your body can work as efficiently as possible.
The best way to detox is simple, thoughtful, comprehensive and filled with organic raw food!
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