Whether you choose a detox diet or an herbal remedy for removing harmful chemicals from the body, detoxification is not something to be undertaken lightly. If it were easy to stick to eating foods that are good for us, there would be less of a need for detox!
It’s great to start a process like this with enthusiasm, but don’t go in blind. There are a few things to consider before you begin detoxification.
Is This a Good Time?
Don’t try to start detox during a major holiday—who wants to try to avoid Christmas dinner? Any vacation or family time should be dedicated to enjoying experiences and people around you. Choose a period of time when you can stick to your commitment with minimal interruption or temptation.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, don’t undertake detox regimes. Calorie-restricted diets can interrupt milk supply or harm the development of a fetus.
It’s also inadvisable to start during physical training of any kind, since heavy exercise can stress the body. Detoxification is tough enough, especially detox diets that severely restrict calories. Undergoing strenuous exercise during a detox diet and heavy training simultaneously can be a serious health risk.
What to Do Before You Start
It’s important to be prepared when you start your detox plan. To increase your chances of success, follow these four tips.
- Do your homework. Many detox diets are not only ineffective, but potentially dangerous. Some of the options on the market involve shakes and supplements with unregulated amounts of herbal ingredients that can actually throw your body’s natural healing and weight loss abilities further out of whack. Instead of going for pills or potions, choose fresh foods and a balanced mindset to help you feel better.
- Consult a physician. It’s important to talk to your doctor before starting any diet, but especially a detoxification plan. Make sure that your body is physically prepared for the calorie restrictions of a detox diet or the stresses of herbal detoxification. You’ll be making a radical change in your usual habits, so make sure you’re physically ready for the process.
- Fix adrenal fatigue. Detox can be hard on your adrenal glands, which are already overtaxed in most people today. The adrenals help regulate stress and the “fight or flight” response in humans. If your adrenal glands are fatigued or in “burnout,” you will tend to feel tired even after sleep, frustrate easily, have a decreased sex drive, and crave certain high-protein/high-fat/high-sugar foods. Fix adrenal fatigue by finding ways to relax, getting adequate sleep, and adding apple cider vinegar to your diet daily for at least two weeks before you start detox.
- Commit. Commitment is the single most important factor in a successful detox. Detoxification takes dedication to a regular schedule, the determination to eat only your prescribed foods, and the ability to follow through from the first day to the last.
Detoxification isn’t designed to help you lose a ton of weight in a short time. Rather, a detox regime should improve the function of your body’s systems, so that over time you can lose weight healthily and easily. When your adrenal glands are functioning normally, food cravings are under control, and digestion and elimination are smooth and regular, you’ll lose weight and feel better each day. Don’t expect to keep off every pound you lose during a detox diet, and don’t expect to lose a lot of weight during an herbal detox. Rather, treat detox as a first step, a springboard to healthier living.