Let’s first discuss the difference between a detox and a cleanse.
According to LESMILLS (https://www.lesmills.com/knowledge/newsfeed/detox-versus-cleanse/) “Detox refers to the liver and kidneys, and their primary function to remove harmful toxins and chemicals from the body. The goal of a detox is to enhance the body’s own detoxification pathways, while eliminating any negative effects on the body from pesticides and additives in our food.” A detox helps to eliminate the toxins stored in our body’s fat cells, increases our metabolism and helps in the process of weight loss. Toxins also affect how we burn fat naturally. The more toxins that are in our body the more difficult it is for our body to burn fat naturally.
A cleanse helps to clean our digestive tract which includes the colon, from undigested foods, toxins and parasites. A cleanse is a gentler way of removing toxins from our body.
Before a cleanse or a detox, you must have a plan. A plan? Yes a plan. First know why you are going to cleanse or detox your body. Second, what are you looking to get out if it? Third, how will you handle temptation? Fourth, how often will you cleanse or detox your body? Finally, after cleansing your body, what types of food do you plan on eating?
There are many types of detox/cleanse products on the market now. When you choose one, read the directions carefully before buying, read the reviews, ask if someone has tried it and what their experience was during and after. One thing to remember, after you have detoxed/cleansed your body and you begin eating solid food again, your weight will go back up some.
There are side effects when detoxing/cleansing. A few are listed below:
- Headaches: You don’t want to take anything because it can disrupt the detox/cleanse. Use ice or massage your temples.
- Frequent and/or uncomfortable bowel movements: Make sure you stay hydrated and try drinking lemon/cucumber water
- Gas: Try chamomile oil on your stomach
- Fatigue, weakness and lethargy: Avoid excessive physical labor and exercise. Pay attention to your body. If you begin to feel dizzy, stop what you are doing, sit down and relax until the feeling goes away.
- Bad breath: Floss, brush your teeth often, gargle with mouthwash and scrape your tongue.
- Cravings and temptation: Increase the amount of water or lemon water you are drinking
Again, always, always, always read the instructions if you are doing a product based detox/cleanse.
If you aren’t looking to use a product based detox/cleanse program, there is a very easy, simple program you can follow. You can naturally detox and cleanse your body with the food you eat and what you drink.
Below are food and liquid you can eat to naturally cleanse your body on a daily basis:
- Drink plenty of water. Why is this important? Our kidneys work hard to remove waste from out body. Our kidneys remove uric and lactic acids from our body but they need a lot of water for this removal to occur. Did you know that we lose 10 cups of water a day from sweating, using the bathroom and breathing. Make sure you increase your water intake (let me drink some now).
- Eat vegetables (preferably organic). Fiber plays an important part of the detox/cleanse process. What type of vegetables can you eat? You can eat: artichokes, avocado, beets, broccoli (can make you gassy), cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, collard greens, dandelion root, celery and seaweed. Also dill, cilantro, fennel, green tea, lemons, milk thistle, onion, garlic, wheat grass, probiotics, apples, blueberries, grapefruit, cranberries and flaxseeds.
Another way to detox your body through the skin is to sit in a sauna for 30 minutes at 145 degrees; less time if its hotter. You also want to make sure you have as little stress in your life as possible.
What I do
Every 4 weeks I do what is called a mother nature cleanse. For 5 days, I will only drink water or herbal tea (no sweetner of any kind), fresh fruits, raw veggies (nothing cooked), roasted and unsalted nuts (no peanuts). If having a salad; lemon, vinegar, balsamic vinegar can all be used as salad dressing. When I first did this cleanse, the first day went great, days 2-4, were a little rough. I started to get a headache and wanted to eat cooked food and other foods. But I held out. Now that I do it every 4 weeks, my body has become accustomed to the cleanse and I don’t get headaches any more. I always feel great after the cleanse.
Should you detox/cleanse?
A detox/cleanse is great for your body. Don’t do it to lose weight. That is why a lot of people do it. A detox/cleanse is more than just making your stomach smaller or feeling less bloated. It can help to eliminate the toxins in your body. One thing to be aware of is, our liver, kidneys, small intestine and colon has its own self-cleaning system that keeps it working properly. If you are going to do a cleanse, do a natural one where you are eating the foods I listed above. Do your research. If you have an ailment, detoxing may not be something you want to try. When researching products, look carefully at the ingredients. A lot of the products will contain a laxative.
For more information on should you cleanse, click the following link: https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/should-you-go-on-a-cleanse.html
Always speak with your physician prior to changing the way you eat. Discuss your desire to do a detox/cleanse and why.
If you have ever completed a cleanse or detox, please let us know what your experience was. The good, bad and ugly.
Zhivi Williams has over 30 years of experience in fitness. She is the founder of Leading by Example, LLC, author of Who Needs a Gym? Using Social Media for Weight Loss, speaker and a health, wellness and fitness accountability coach. She has remained on the cutting edge of the health, wellness and fitness industry by developing training programs and meal plans, writing magazine articles and books, developing strategic partnerships to help individuals increase their personal health and providing personal training to help people improve their lives. For more information on her health, wellness and fitness services please go to http://www.leadingbyexample.us.
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