Rule 1: Know what a detox diet is
Detox diets are based on the idea that our body can naturally rid itself of toxins. The human body already has systems such as the liver, kidneys, and sweat in place to get rid of unwanted molecules. This happens all the time and you don’t need to do anything to make this work—it happens automatically. But sometimes it can help to have a controlled diet that limits the intake of any environmental chemicals and pollutants.
Over time, and through various means, we ingest trace amounts of heavy metals, pollutants, and preservative chemicals. A standard Western diet that includes processed foods like microwave meals and fast food will not contribute to a healthier life. Detoxing is when you stop the intake of all the possible sources of toxins that you can, and you focus on eating clean.
There are various kinds of detox diets—they can range from liquid diets to diets that only limit certain things like animal meats and packaged or processed foods. Detoxing is all about eating clean. Eating organic fruits and vegetables will limit your intake of pesticides, and sticking with fish or vegetable protein will limit the cholesterol found in other kinds of meats. Packaged and processed foods often also contain high amounts of cholesterol, sugar, or sodium which are all detrimental for the body. Sugar and trans and partially hydrogenated fats are also to be avoided.
Rule 2: Choose the right one for your goals
If you want to use a detox diet for weight loss there are a few options for you to choose from. It’s best to keep liquid diets to just a few days at most if you are exercising at the same time. If you try a solid-food detox diet you, could keep that going for longer since you’re getting more sustenance from the food. A middle-of-the-road option would be to eat one meal earlier in the day and do only juices after that.
A juice diet that is a few days long will make you lose weight, but it will be mostly water weight and stored carbs. When, you go back on solid food it might be harder to keep that weight off. You could have more success losing weight if you do a solid food detox diet for a longer period—with regular exercise. The diet that you pick should be different from your regular diet. If you already eat pretty healthy and organic, try limiting the amount of total calories and tipping the balance more towards high fiber foods and high protein foods which will give you energy to last.
When, you’re shopping around for diets, there are some things that should throw up red flags. If a diet makes an unbelievable claim, it might be too good to be true. Also, any diet that is very low in calories and lasts longer than 3 days is suspect. Without enough calories for your body to function normally, you’ll start to experience fatigue and even malnutrition. That’s not what we want. We want to lose the weight, purify our diet and feel good. So now that we’ve talked about what different kinds of detox diets are, let’s talk about the foods to focus on.
Rule 3: Veggies are valuable
Vegetables are especially important in a detox diet. Many of them have wonderful properties providing nutrients, antioxidant powers, and high-value for the amount of calories that they contain. It is important to avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes when you are on a detox diet, but there are many other tasty alternatives to consider. A few vegetables that are good for detoxification are: carrots, broccoli, onions, turnips, beets, cabbage, kale, and celery.
Some good sources of complex carbohydrates are brown rice, quinoa, oats, and sweet potato. When, you are shopping for your vegetables, try to stay with whole and raw vegetables. Canned vegetables contain large amounts of sodium, and even some frozen vegetable mixes can contain sodium or other additives that you don’t want on your detox.
Sometimes vegetables seem boring and it is hard to incorporate more of them into our meals. If this is the case for you, you could try juicing or making smoothies and adding vegetables. Many vegetables, especially leafy greens, can add an interesting and delicious flavor to what you are enjoying.
Rule 4: Don’t skip the protein
if you are exercising on your detox weight loss diet, it is super important to have a good source of protein. Carnivores might feel like they are limited on a detox diet, but that is not the case at all. Protein is made up of 9 different amino acids and many plants contain these molecules. While most plants don’t have all 9 at once, it’s simple to find a combination that gets you a complete protein (plus, you really only need a source of each amino acid once per day).
Here are some combos that will give you a complete protein: lentils and brown rice, rice and beans, hummus and pita, pasta and peas. Some of these Foods might be off limits for your diet, but there are plenty of ways to get clean and raw protein without animal sources. Some more plant sources of protein include: tofu, peanuts, almonds, tempeh, quinoa, hempseed, and Ezekiel bread (bread made with sprouted whole grain and legumes). Also, did you know that a cup of green peas has just a bit more protein than a cup of milk? 9 grams to be exact.
Rule 5: Keep exercising
Rule number five of detox diets for weight loss is to keep exercising. This is because you will have a better chance of keeping the weight off if you stick with an exercise plan and a detox diet of solid foods. If you just want to lose a couple quick pounds for a special occasion, you can achieve that with a liquid diet, but it’s hard to have enough energy to exercise and not feel faint during the day on just liquids.
When, you’re exercising on a detox diet with raw fruits and vegetables, you might start to feel a lot better than you did while exercising on a regular diet. Complex carbohydrates give you slow-burning energy and help to keep your energy stable so you don’t crash after a workout. Keeping a source of protein in your diet is especially important if you are doing strength training.
Rule 6: Fluids are your friend
At the beginning of this article we talked about the body’s natural abilities to detoxify itself. A lot of that happens through the kidneys and through sweat, and for both of those processes it’s important to drink a lot of liquid. With the change in diet your body might be getting rid of old pollutants, and water or fresh juices can really help to keep everything stable. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices are also great way to get nutrients into your body when you’re on-the-go, just before workout, or relaxing after a long day. Just be careful to avoid processed juices as they often contain high amounts of sugar which is not what you want.
Another good reason for drinking lots of fluids is that they can help you feel fuller when you’re on your diet. Drinking a whole glass of water before a meal will help you to eat the meal a slower pace, enjoy it more, and feel satisfied.
Rule 7: Know when to stop
Most detox diets are short, ranging from 3 to 7 days, but they can be longer if the diet is easier for your body. However, if you start to experience any sort of pain or discomfort, stop the detox diet immediately. It can be hard for your body if you have never experienced a detox diet before, and if you start one with a period of fasting you need to be prepared to return to a normal diet at the sign of any negative reaction.
Most people report positive experiences when doing a detox diet for weight loss, but it always depends on a number of factors. These include your age, cardiovascular health, how well you stay hydrated, and others. If you feel that you might not be in the best health, it’s a good idea to consult a doctor before trying one of these diets. Another option for people who can’t do a full 3 or 7 day detox is to try it every other day. That way, you’re still getting the benefits of raw veggies or juices but it is less of a shock to your system.
We’ve covered 7 good rules to know when it comes to detox diets for weight loss. We hope you have a better idea of what a detox diet is, the process on choosing a diet, and keeping a balance of veggies, protein, fluids and exercise to achieve the results you want. When done correctly, detox diets can lead to better health, lower weight, and a general feeling of well-being.