After all the indulgences of the Easter break, are you thinking of starting a detox diet? Health & Wellbeing gives you the facts.
What's it all about?
A detox diet attempts to "detoxify" the body by limiting toxins through a controlled diet. Such diets claim benefits that include weight loss, improved energy, disease prevention and improved health.
Many detox diets are extreme and attract criticism from dieticians, scientists and doctors. These fast fix methods are rarely long lasting and can create frustration that sends dieters into a yoyo mentality that is hard to recover from.
Methods of detoxifying
Detoxing involves returning to more natural foods and eliminating processed foods and drinks. Caffeine and alcohol are usually limited or cut.
Types of detoxing methods include:
- Raw food diets
- Fasting, including water and juice fasting
- Food combining diets
- Calorie restriction
- Herbal detox
- Master cleanse or lemonade diet
- Eliminating particular food types, eg. processed food, dairy products or red meat.
If your current diet is unbalanced, is it a good idea to go from one extreme to the other?
Beyoncé denounced using the Master Cleanse diet for Dreamgirls, stating, "I wouldn't recommend it if someone wasn't doing a movie ... there are other ways to lose weight."
Before entering into any form of detox diet, ask yourself:
What benefit would I like from the diet?
What do I want to detox, my body or mind?
Do I need to be so radical?
Do I really want to be walking around with headaches, dizziness and bad breath?
Am I going to be able to maintain this?
Could I achieve a healthy balanced diet another way?
If you are up for the challenge and believe in what you are doing, do your research and go for it.
However, if you have doubts and think it could leave you deflated and a failure, why start? Boost yourself instead, by adjusting in more manageable ways.
Detox tips you can apply daily or weekly to suit your needs:
- Have two or three alcohol and caffeine-free days a week
- Drink two litres of water a day
- Have a piece of fruit between meals
- Have a bowl of fruit salad for breakfast
- Take a walk outside in the middle of the day to get some fresh air
- Lie under a tree and make shapes in the clouds for 15 minutes
- Sleep in on the weekend or take a siesta after lunch
- Spend an evening a week just hanging out with no particular plan
- Exercise one more day than last week
- Go for a meander rather than walking for exercise
- Have some unplanned time and see what happens
- Open your mind and body to new things.
A sustainable healthy lifestyle is going to get you into the groove far faster than the quick fix detox. Don't beat yourself up about a couple of weeks of unhealthy living it happens. Just start to make changes that will reinvent your lifestyle.