Detox doesn’t mean deprivation. Instead, think about detoxing as adding more plant foods to your diet that will help alleviate that stuffed feeling from overeating/drinking. Add in veggies and fruit that stimulate your body’s natural detoxification system, such as cruciferous vegetables (bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, rapini, watercress, etc) and berries.
Eat more plant-based proteins such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Have less or no animal protein which lessens your exposure to hormones and potential chemicals or pharmaceuticals. Try to go organic when possible to further minimize exposure to potential toxins.
You see, detoxing is not about cleaning your body, but rather re-nourishing your body by adding the right kind of nutrients to help your body convert toxins to a water-soluble form for excretion through bowel movements and urination.
Tip #3: Eat moderate amounts of food and listen to your body.
Eating too much accumulates more toxins in your body. Tune into your hunger and satiety cues. Simply eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re comfortably full (and not stuffed).
Sometimes we simply eat because it's supposedly time to (e.g. lunch is at noon, dinner at 6:30 pm). However, I'd like to challenge you to eat when your stomach tells you to. Wait for the little tummy grumbling, which is your body telling you it's time to eat and not the clock.
Tip #4: Drink water to keep you hydrated and your skin looking healthy.
The kidneys are major players in toxin elimination, so keep them clean by drinking enough water to stay hydrated. If you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated. Try not to get to that point.
Get into the habit of carrying around a water bottle. Drink at least half your body weight in water ounces per day. E.g. Drink 75 ounces if you're 150 lbs. You may need a bit more if you exercise, engage in physical activity or live in a humid climate.
Water keeps you hydrated, and your skin looking healthy. Plus, if you're trying to lose weight, drink water first when you feel the hunger pangs. Sometimes you're not really hungry, you're just thirsty.
Tip #5: Drink sugar-free, dairy-free, decaffeinated drinks.
Herbal teas are a good choice. Take a break from inflammatory foods like sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine, and alcohol.
Tip #6: Limit or eliminate sugary snacks and refined carbs.
Limit your exposure to low-nutrient and inflammatory foods such as chips, cookies, pastries, and muffins. Ever feel like you can go through a bag of chips or cookies, yet still feel hungry? That's because these foods are empty calories and you're not getting the best bang for your buck. These hyper-palatable foods don't fill you up (yet you're consuming the high calories), so you may end up eating more than necessary.
Replace these snacks with more nutrient-dense foods that will give you energy and keep you satiated longer. Try apple slices with nut butter, veggie sticks + hummus or guacamole, nuts and seeds, berries or green smoothies.
Tip #7: Get regular exercise and/or movement.
Regular exercise helps remove toxins from your body and shed fat. There are toxins in subcutaneous fat (fat you can pinch), and exercise can help shed that fat.
A common myth is that detox diets help shed fat. This is false. You may lose weight, but not fat. Detoxing rids water weight and muscle mass.
So if you want to lose weight and keep lean muscle, eating well and exercising is your solution versus detoxing.
Here are some of the ways exercising helps detoxify the body:
- You sweat. The skin is cleansed from the inside out through perspiration. Many toxins can be eliminated through the skin by sweating.
- Moving the body forces heavier breathing, circulation, stretching, and sweating - all which speed up detoxification. Plus by drinking more water, your body can flush out toxins, fats and waste even more effectively.
- Moving the body helps to circulate both blood and lymph. The more they circulate, the more the liver and lymph nodes can do the job of cleansing and purify the blood and lymph.
- Exercise improves digestion and bowel movement.
- Exercise strengthens the heart and helps the lungs increase their capacity to expel carbon dioxide as a waste product.