We often hear the word "detox" being associated with weight loss. "Detox" is short form for detoxification. It is simply the process of cleaning out the toxins in our body.
In this article, we go through three easy ways to detoxify your body and supercharge your dieting efforts.
1. Fasting Detox
Fasting has been seen as one of the more effective ways of cleansing the body of toxins by many people. Despite the beneficial results experienced by some, there are also people who have a bad experience with fasting. One reason fasting is difficult for some people is that it requires a large amount of concentration and effort from the individual. You must be mentally prepared to go without food for a long time and this requires great effort, especially for people who are attempting to fast for the first time.
It is better to start things on a slow note and gradually build up the concentration and effort to fast. For example, if you are trying out fasting for the first time or it has been a while since your last fasting attempt, you can try fasting for a few hours in a day in order to help yourself get used to the fasting process physically and mentally. When you feel you are ready, you can intensify the process by fasting for longer hours.
Remember that fasting can be dangerous if you become dehydrated or fast for too long of a period. Fasting for more than 24 hours should be avoided unless directed by a physician. Always stay hydrated by drinking at least 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day. Also, make sure that you don't overeat when you break your fast. You may be very hungry and it is easy to eat too many calories when you are hungry.
2. Cranberry Juice Detox
Cranberry juice, which is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, cleanses the toxins that build up in the liver. This in turn increases the liver's efficiency of flushing out excess fats from the body. As compared to fasting detox method, some people prefer the cranberry juice detox method because you do not have to curb your desire to eat at any time of the day.
The cranberry juice detox is very easy to carry out. You only need to start your day with a 250ml glass of cranberry juice with ground flaxseed. Flaxseed is healthy and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Throughout the day, you should maintain a low-calorie diet, preferably not more than 1,100 calories, by eating healthy and nutritious food that is low in carbohydrates (especially added sugars) and fats. You should avoid foods such as fatty meat, coffee, and char kway teow.
The cranberry juice detox phase will last for about two to three weeks. After that, you will start on your weight loss phase. At this point, your calorie intake can be increased to 1,200 to 1,500 per day, depending on your size and physical activity level. Although you do not have to be as restrictive about your diet as compared to during the detox phrase, you are still encouraged to eat healthily in order to achieve optimum weight loss results.
3. Juice Fasting Detox
The juice fasting detox requires individuals to stay away from eating solid food. However, this does not mean that you need only consume juice throughout the day. You can also take in food in liquid forms such as soup and smoothies.
The basic juice fast contains only raw vegetables, fruit juice, and water. However, research has shown that grapefruit juice should not be included in a juice fast, especially to the diet of people taking prescribed drugs. Grapefruit juice contains a component that can modify the effect prescribed drugs have in our body.
The recommended period for the juice fast detox is one to three days. If you are interested in continuing with this detox method, you should consult a dietician to ensure that you are taking in sufficient nutrients.
Detox can be helpful to your weight-loss efforts. Getting rid of toxins and waste in your body can strengthen your immune system and allow you to have a more efficient digestive system. Apart from weight loss, detox also helps to rejuvenate the body. This will make you more alert and energetic throughout the day.
Detox can be challenging when you first start out — it is difficult to change your eating and living habits overnight physically and mentally. So start slow and progress steadily. Once you've built up the momentum, you will find that detox is not so tough after all.
Note, however, that detox is not meant to be carried out on a daily or weekly basis. Detox is meant to be used only to kickstart your diet plan. After detox, you should go on to consume a nutritious and healthy diet.
Have you tried detox? How do you keep yourself motivated to achieve your detox goals during the process? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Edited by Registered Dietitian Arielle Kamps, M.S., R.D, L.D. Via HealthMatters.sg, a Singapore Health and Fitness blog that aims to help you lose weight, keep fit, and live healthy. Click here to get our free guide "Eat Your Way to Health — Secrets of a Healthy Diet".