The holiday season is the time of the year when many people have a hard time focusing on their diets. The temptation of sweet-smelling desserts or savory baked mac and cheese can lead many into indulging in their guilty pleasures.
Detoxing is one of the solutions that people turn to when they want to get back to a healthy diet. It helps some people feel more energized and focused throughout their day. Although detoxing can help you get back to your goal weight, you should be cautious of the side effects that your body can experience after detoxing.
Here are a few things you should know about detoxing before you start.
What is a Detoxification (Detox) Diet?
A detox diet focuses on getting rid of toxins in your body. Toxins in your body include bacteria from the environment like pollutants. Some products that you use daily can contain synthetic chemicals and heavy metals. Processed food has a lot of chemicals as well.
Signs that someone needs to remove toxins from their body include hair loss, fatigue, insomnia, or skin issues. If you notice that you tend to crave more sugary foods, it can indicate that you need to get rid of toxins in your liver.
How does it work?
To detox, you will need to give up consuming several types of food and beverages that have processed sugar in them. Alcohol, dairy, and red meat are some types of food you will want to stay away from when detoxing. If you see corn starch listed as one of the ingredients in your food, remove it from your pantry, refrigerator, or any other area in your kitchen. A lot of food like chips and soda have corn starch in it. Corn starch is high in calories and carbs, so if you are consuming it while detoxing, you won’t get the full benefits, particularly if attempting to lose weight.
Along with letting go of processed foods, fasting is another part of detoxing that people use to get rid of toxins in their bodies. The number of times you eat a day is essential because if you are constantly eating many servings of unhealthy foods, it may be one of the reasons why you feel like you need to detox. One cheat meal a week may not have the same impact as one once a day. Some people avoid solid foods during a detox and replace solid food with water and smoothies that contain fruit or vegetables.
Types of Fasting
Intermittent fasting is when you take part of your day to eat normally and the latter of your day to reduce your calorie intake. An example of intermittent fasting is eating raw fruits and vegetables during the day and consuming one big meal at night.
Another type of intermittent fasting is alternate-day fasting. You fast every other day and consume up to 500 calories a day.
If you decide to fast, be aware of how it will affect your body negatively and positively. Underlying health conditions like diabetes and obesity can heighten serious issues. Consult with your primary doctor first before you expose your body through rigorous types of fasting.
What are the Pros and Cons?
There are other advantages to detoxing besides losing weight. It can help improve energy and relieve constipation. Healthier sleeping habits are another benefit of detoxing. When you have trouble sleeping, it can signify that your body is not detoxing properly. The first four hours of your sleep cycle are when your body does the most detoxing and restoring. Waking up at 2 a.m. or having trouble falling asleep could be an issue you can overcome by detoxing. Lack of sleep impacts our mental health, so detoxing can indirectly encourage a transparent and focused mind.
One of the disadvantages to a detox diet is that it is a short-term solution to losing weight, improving your energy, or improving your sleep quality. Medical experts would tell you that it is unhealthy to fast for an extended period, and over time you could be causing severe damage to your body. Our body naturally detoxifies itself through urine and stool.
You don’t have to avoid solid food to detox your body. There are plenty of healthy foods that will help your body get rid of toxins. Fiber is a critical ingredient that you should look for in your foods. Lemon, brown rice, green tea, and garlic are superfoods that support removing toxins from your body.
What should you avoid when doing a detox diet?
Avoid doing detox diets for longer than two weeks. Symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headache, and muscle cramps can occur after detoxing for too long. Adding the right foods to your diet and persistent exercise is how you can sustain a more healthy lifestyle long-term.
Give Up Smoking
Smoking cigarettes, vapes, and e-cigarettes are other habits you can give up before detoxing. Those who routinely inhale these products expose their bodies to nicotine, lead, tar, and other chemicals. Once you stop, you reduce the amount of mucus in your lungs.
Detoxing is not all about what you consume in your body. You can detox for mental health reasons as well. If you notice that an item or an environment is affecting you negatively, then take steps to remove it or reduce your time or involvement around it. Mentally detoxing can help you to build more healthy habits long term.
The extra time spent on your smartphone before bedtime reduces the amount of sleep you get at night. To ensure good sleep quality, you can set up a cut-off time for using your electronics.
Be sure to book an appointment with us to see your primary doctor so that you can maintain your health even during the holiday season.