It’s getting warmer here. The ‘It’s time for a detox!’ topic has been getting a lot of buzz over coffee dates and dinner tables lately. The cheerful weather and longer days remind us the bikini season is right around the corner. Besides wanting to hang out at the beach, spring time offers us the opportunity to press a ‘refresh’ button on our metabolism, so you can rock that beach body and feel truly rejuvenated from the inside out.
Being a nutritionist, I have looked into many types of detox programs out there. I also witnessed my hard-core nutritionist friends had their juice cleanses delivered to the office. Many of our break-time chats are centred around the detox experience. I often ask them:
‘are you feeling tired/irritated?’
‘What kind of cravings are you getting? What are you allowed/not allowed to eat?’
Many people turn to detox/cleanse because they are feeling ‘something is off’ because they can’t seem to pinpoint why they are feeling sluggish, dependent on caffeine for energy, feeling bloated and their skin is freaking out.
Yes, an ’emergency detox’ they feel a boost in energy, lost a few pound, but the result I’ve often hear is that the old habits kicks in and the result is hard to maintain.
The initial adjustment is another big challenge for many. Regardless what type of detox program you choose, it’s important to be clear about the purpose of committing to the program. You want to keep up with your daily life and find something that is realistically for you to commit to and complete. So one might ask, what’s the best way to reset your body and is it worth the money to invest in a detox program/product? I recommend getting to know what your body actually need during this process. By supporting your body with the nutrients it needs, your metabolism will become more efficient at resetting itself naturally.
What do you mean by detox?
To most of us, detox can be a daunting concept because it often requires admirable commitment and persistence. However, you might not realize detox is already happening naturally in your body. Your skin, liver, digestive track and kidneys are working hard every living, breathing second to neutralize and rid of toxins. They work together to create the detoxification system in your body and protect you from unwanted substances.
I really like Dr. Frank Lipman’s definition of detox.
‘Detoxification is about improving and optimizing the function of your body’s own detoxification systems. This is done by decreasing the amount of toxins we put into our bodies while at the same time supporting our body’s detoxification and elimination systems with the nutrients it needs to function properly.’
When thinking about reducing our body’s toxic load, let’s take a look at what are some of the toxins our body is exposed to:
Toxins can be anything that has an adverse effect on the body. You might find some of these have gone under your radar. This chart will help you to be mindful of the toxins that’s lurking around us:
Liver is a major organ where the body’s natural detoxification process happens! When your body gets enough of the nutrients listed in the chart above, the liver can neutralize and rid of the toxins efficiently without having toxin lodged or backfired into the body. That’s why I don’t recommend doing a prolonged fasting/juice cleanse because there’s barely any protein or fat (for carrying fat-soluble antioxidants such as vitamin E).
As you might have noticed from my weight-loss journey blog post, I love food and I enjoy my treats. A fasting-based cleanse is not my style. I believe in nourishing your body with clean food so you have the energy to keep up with work and social life. Regardless what type of detox program you choose to use, I want you to consider the following check-list to make sure your body is up for the challenge:
1. Reflect on your eating habits, sleep and exercise routine. What’s standing out to you?
For example, is that afternoon treat becoming more like a routine? Keeping a 2-3 day food/wellness journal is an easy way to find those patterns. Click here to download a FREE template of my wellness journal.
2. Make sure your body is strong enough to take on a detox.
If there’s no immediate health issue that’s standing out to you, be sure to pay attention to the more subtle cues that your body might be off balance, such as PMS, light-headedness, heart palpitation, fatigue. If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, you might want to consider food-based, gentler cleanse instead of fasting.
3. Optimize your digestion.
Your digestive track removes solid waste from your body. Pay attention to any digestion related issues, such as bloating, heart-burn, constipation, or pain in the abdomen after eating.
4. Do it from a place of self-love.
I highly recommend taking this ‘inside-out’ approach when it comes to doing a detox or approaching weight-loss goals. Too often we are motivated by negative thoughts towards ourselves, but remember the purpose of doing a detox is to give your body an opportunity to naturally reset its pace.
5. Have a realistic and positive mindset.
After all the effort you put into any detox program program, having a positive mindset is also critical to your long term success. Prepare yourself for your first post-detox meal and knowing that you are allowed to enjoy the food you love but still incorporating the tips you’ve learned through the process. Instead of taking the result for granted, taking this as an entry point to a healthier and more mindful style of living. If you need help with keep you on track, a nutritionist will help you design a personalized wellness that is applicable to your taste and lifestyle.
This month I will be sharing budget friendly, fail-proof tips to help you reset your body for the summer!