Detox is, to put it simply, cleansing your body. But it shouldn’t entail going on fad detox diets to drastically restrict your calorie intake. If your diet makes you feel cranky and miserable, it will be unsustainable in the long run, which means you will ultimately regain the weight you may have lost while dieting.
“The air we breathe is polluted; the food we eat is processed; our lifestyle is sedentary; our body cells lack oxygen, vitamins, minerals and enzymes; our organs in charge of detoxification and excretion are overwhelmed, and our body is overloaded with waste products and toxic metabolites, which renders it vulnerable to all sorts of bacteria and viruses,” explains Alessia Tan, certified nutritionist at USANA Health Sciences.
“A healthy body can eliminate the toxic substances generated by its normal functioning. However, over the years where our liver is used as dumping ground, it will reach its breaking point.”
Detoxification, according to Alessia, is a decisive step towards restoration of the body’s regulatory mechanisms, and purging out the toxins we put in.
“The short-term effects of detox include the healing reaction when the body is trying to get rid of all the bad bacteria and toxins and waste from the body. Some common symptoms include muscle and bone pain, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, eczema, and restlessness. The symptoms may last days, weeks or months depending on your health status. The long-term effects of detox include increased energy, heightened immune system, more self-confidence, overall feeling of well-being, and lowered risk of health issues. When your body is free of the waste, it can finally savour the goodness and nutrients you are feeding it.”
You can either eliminate the excess weight and toxins by going on a juice cleanse or detox diet that will most likely send you back to your old habits once they’re over, or slowly and steadily incorporating simple detox habits into your regular routine.
The latter is, of course, the recommended option. It’s best to steer clear of quick-fixes and focus on a diet that is sustainable in the long term and doesn’t involve laxative teas or starving yourself.
“Do not go full-on and eat like a supermodel when you have been a fast food junkie. One week’s worth of motivation is not going to turn 10 years of bad eating habits around. You will feel more discouraged upon not seeing results from a yo-yo diet,” Alessia cautions. “Change progressively and not drastically. Swap white rice with brown rice, soft drinks with fruit-infused water. A gradual change in diet is the long-term method to maintaining a healthy weight.”
Here are more ways to detox without going on an extreme diet.