There is a lot of confusion regarding a cleanse or detox diet. According to WebMD they said regarding detox diets “They typically are short diets – they’re not a way of eating you can stick with in the long run.” In the same article the author says “You’ll be hungry and may feel weak.” On the mayoclinic.org they point out that there is little evidence they remove toxins from the body. They also point out that there is a lot of different detox diets out there and that they vary, but they typically start with a period of fasting followed by a strict diet of raw vegetables fruit and fruit juices and water.
A good detox is designed to improve liver function. While our liver is made to handle the toxins that it encounters, it can be overwhelmed from the amount of stuff we get from bad diet, alcohol, medication, and chemical exposure (like air fresheners, candles, household cleaners, etc.). Since your liver plays a crucial role in regulating your blood sugar level, it will be able to do that much better after a good detox and that is why one of the benefits is more energy.
I have used different detox diets for over 20 years now in my practice, and have found that there are some essential qualities of a good healthy cleanse. Here are five essentials of healthy detox:
1. You are eating real food throughout the program. Hopefully there is an emphasis on organic fruits and vegetables, with more vegetables than fruit. While being given shakes is not bad, if it is the only thing you are eating you are just going to go back to eating bad food when you are finished.
2. A balanced diet. This is huge, a detox that produces lasting change is the best. So not only should you have real food but it should be a balanced diet that emphasizes healthy fats, lean proteins, along with vegetables and fruits. You should be able to continue the diet indefinitely. This kind of detox with teach you the shopping and cooking habits for long term health and not just quick radical change to drop a few pounds.
3. You are eating. While there is data showing that periodic fasting helps with blood sugar regulation, long term fasting can lead to catabolism which is our body breaking down muscle tissue for energy. This is bad because our muscle mass determines how much energy we burn at rest. Less muscle means less calories burnt which means that it will be easier to gain weight after you fast and start eating again.
4. You eliminate the foods that many people have sensitivities to. The most common foods to eliminate are dairy, wheat, soy, nuts and grain fed meats. These foods are then re-introduced (if you want) one at a time so you can determine if you are sensitive to that food. Food sensitivity is a much less dramatic reaction than allergy. I have seen chronic lower back pain, headaches, and mucus discharge clear-up during a detox only to come back after people resume their old diets.
5. You should not be hungry. A good detox diet will provide a good balanced diet that includes healthy snacks that will help erase hunger. Remember you want a detox that provides a diet you can continue afterwards. If you are miserable and hungry that will not happen.
Call 925-210-8000 and schedule a consultation to use my 20+ years of experience to guide you to a healthy detox. There is no risk is learning how to eat healthy, and everything to gain.