A cleanse is when the ability of your body to detoxify itself is increased. It is a series of steps you take over time, rather than a product you buy. It gets you to a place of long term balance and improved habits through a period of sustained focus.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the secrets for the perfect detox cleanse, let us first take a look at today’s commercial detox diets.
Most of these come in liquid form due to the belief that it will “flush” the toxins out of your body. It is because of this belief that they have become extremely popular. However, I urge you to take extreme caution as they include an unhealthy formula of minimal calories and nutrients, along with foul tasting ingredients such as cayenne pepper and vinegar as they are believed to have fat-melting power. The truth is science does not back up any claim that following these specific diets, or eating only one food for a week, will remove the toxins from your body.
Fun Fact: Your body has the power to remove the toxins on its own. That is why we all have a liver, kidneys and a digestive system.
Want to know the best part? Almost all of the so-called “detox” supplements and diets on the market today are not regulated by the FDA and are potentially harmful. They are extremely low in calories and contain diuretics that flush your body of much needed potassium and other critical nutrients.
In my opinion, these risks are much, much, much worse than the minimal rewards that they offer. When you use these “detox” diets you are mostly losing water weight, which will come back as soon as you rehydrate with more liquids. Any permanent weight loss that you may see on the scale is not fat that has been lost, but more likely muscle that your body needs. You need muscle to burn the calories that burn fat.
After just a few days on one of these “detox” diets, your body will go into what is referred to as “starvation mode.” Your metabolism will slow down so it can hold onto all the muscle it can for its daily functioning. When you do go back to eating normally, you will gain the weight faster from fewer calories.
Now that you have a better understanding of how “detox” diets work, here are the secrets for cleansing your body naturally and healthily.
- Eat a Nutrient Dense (also called nutrient rich) Diet
- Your body needs fresh vegetables and fruit. Most adults only get about 10% of their recommended daily amounts. Our constant grab-and-go meals make getting your nutrients difficult. This is why we have a need to search for the quick detox diets to begin with. When we cut vegetables and fruits from our diets, we cut out many needed nutrients. Aim for 7-9 servings of vegetables and fruits daily.
- Make sure your Gut & Digestive System is functioning at its optimum level
- Keeping our digestive system running properly is key. It helps our bodies convert necessary nutrient into usable forms in our blood stream that flush out toxins and excretes excess nutrients. We need good bacteria, known as probiotics, to do this. You can get these by eating live culture yogurts; they’ll provide your body naturally with the probiotics that your body needs. When your body lacks these, your digestive system has to work overtime.
- Get plenty of Physical Rest & Stress Reduction
- You also need to give your body an adequate amount of rest; 7-9 hours of sleep per night. The sleep is for your physical rest, plus it helps reduce stress.
- You also need to take the stress off your digestive system by ingesting vegetables and fruits. These will provide you with much needed micronutrients that allow it to function properly.
- Make sure you Support the Liver
- The liver helps excrete toxins from your body through a natural method. When it has an overabundance of toxins (from alcohol and lack of vitamins and nutrients) that it needs to excrete, it will become over worked and eventually lead to liver failure.
- You can help it do its job by reducing your alcohol intake and/or by eliminating it from your diet completely. You can also support your liver by eating fresh vegetables and fruits that are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that your liver needs to fully function.
- Get your Exercise
- Exercise increases blood circulation throughout your body. You can increase the circulation with exercises of any intensity (taking a brief 10 min walk daily or a 50 minute kickboxing session will both help). As you increase your blood’s circulation it becomes nutrient rich, which helps your whole body “detox” or “cleanse” itself of toxins and excess nutrients.
- Keep your body Hydrating & Eliminating
- Drink plenty of water; 8-12 cups a day. Being hydrated helps to naturally “flush” those unwanted toxins out. Many of the fresh vegetables and fruits have a water component so while they will help hydrate you, however it is still important to drink your water. This means drinking fresh, clean water; not pop, not tea and not juice.
When you are thinking you need a cleanse think about your health. Are you eating your vegetables? Are you eating your fruits? Are you drinking your water? Even if the answer is yes to these questions, you should increase the amounts you are consuming of each. By following the steps above you can create a natural, healthy cleanse for yourself.