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|Guide to Cleansing & Detoxing|
Detoxing is not all about deprivation and starvation - in fact it is quite the opposite. Detoxing involves a total indulgence of your body's needs, looking after yourself, and giving yourself the gift of better body and a clearer mind.
The Energise for Life Detox Guide aims to help you make the most of your detox by giving you step-by-step guides and detailed information to make the whole process as simple and straightforward as possible.
Put most simply, detoxing involves giving your body a break from anything toxic, so that the body can work these toxins out of your system. The outcome of a successful and well-planned detox is that you will be likely to experience
- more energy
A detox basically cleanses your body, and makes you feel like you are bursting with energy and on top of the world!
So Why is Detoxing Necessary?
The body is constantly in a flux of detoxing, however due to the modern diet, our heightened daily stresses, the toxic chemicals we ingest daily, and the increase in chronic degenerative diseases the body often needs a helping hand and to be cleansed so that it can work more effectively to eradicate these toxins from the body.
Why Do So Many People Detox to Lose Weight?
Although it may seem strange - fat is actually saving your life! The body retains fats as a way to protect the vital organs in the body from the toxins that we ingest (and create through stress). It is literally a last resort, life saving action to hang on to fat. However, this should give you some indication as to how harmful these toxins must be as to retain fat as a defence mechanism the body must be fairly desperate - as we all know - excess fat leads to a whole host of other degenerative conditions and diseases!
So when we detox and cleanse the body of toxins, we give the body a chance to repair and strengthen itself - and when the toxins disappear, guess what happens to the protective layer of fat...yes, that disappears too!
What Does a Detox Do?
A cleanse or detox helps to strengthen the organs that the body uses to flush toxins from the body on a daily basis. These include the skin, the lymphatic system, the intestines, liver, lungs, and kidneys.
Detoxing works because it gives your body a break from the toxic excesses that modern life creates. By removing the body's necessity to burn energy digesting heavy, sugar and fat-laden meals and snacks that are difficult to digest and metabolise, and which play havoc with blood sugar, your energy is released to cleanse and regenerate your bodies tissues and vital organs.
Will I Need to Starve Myself?
A common misconception is that detoxing or cleansing the body involves restricting your food and basically starving yourself for days on end. Not a very appealing thought, and you can understand why the people who attempt this ill-fated approach often fail and then renounce their new-found drive for a healthy lifestyle!
A perfect example of a slightly crazy, and most definitely idiotic detox is the 'Lemonade Diet' popularised in the 1990's and somehow still being attempted across America today! This diet involves consuming nothing but homemade lemonade (containing maple syrup!) for anything up to 14 days and beyond, with the mantra - if you feel hungry, just have another glass of lemonade! I'm sure I do not have to explain the dozen flaws in this plan - but let me assure you, a proper detox is about abundance, not starvation.
To give your body the tools it needs to detoxify, cleanse and regenerate a detox must give the body even more vitamins, minerals and nutrients than normal. This is often achieved through consuming fresh juices, soups and occasional supplements. A bottle of lemonade simply doesn't cut it I am afraid!
As put perfectly on ivillage 'A detox regime increases your intake of foods and drinks that serve our bodies well as building blocks...(and) provides protective antioxidants and simultaneously cuts out those habits that rob you of nutrients and optimal health.'
What If I Have a Bad Day?
The most important thing to remember is that if you have a bad day it is not the end of the world and it should certainly not spell the end of your detox. You should use this opportunity to think about what went wrong, why you made the decision to move away from your goal and use this as an opportunity to understand how you will respond next time. Worrying about it will do no good - so don't beat yourself up, see it as a positive step towards improving your health.
What About Temptations?
There will always be temptation! The best way to combat this is to address it before it becomes a problem and two excellent techniques for doing this is to set measurable and achievable goals and to create a list of all of the benefits you will gain from following through with your detox and all of the things you stand to lose if you do not follow through. This list can then be copied and placed strategically around the home, office and even your car! It is also a good idea to run through the list and carefully consider each point when you wake up (to set yourself up for the day) and before you go to bed (to reward yourself and give yourself a pat on the back!).
The list can include anything you like, and can be spread over time - for instance, what will life be like in 1, 5, 10, 20 years if you follow through with the detox and start a new healthy lifestyle? If you achieved your health goals, how would this affect you? And if you did not achieve them, what would your life be like then?
The list could look something like this:
If I Achieve My Health Goals:
- I will have loads more energy to achieve the things I want in life
- I will be so fat/thin for the rest of my life
These are only very basic examples to give you an idea - you should really try to be as detailed as possible and as emotionally charged as possible for yourself - throw yourself into it and you will be surprised on how much of a motivating effect it can have. Be graphic, aim high with your expectations!
Of course - another great way to avoid temptation is to remove it! Clear your cupboards of ANY unhealthy foods...and enjoy it! This is a great way to embrace your new lifestyle!
'Ouch, My Head Hurts!' Is This Normal?
When detoxing people often experience what is known as 'detox flu' or 'detox crisis'. As your body is systematically cleansing itself of toxins and pollution, this is the period during the detox that these toxins are being eliminated from the body. Different people experience different symptoms, but commonly they can include headaches, nausea, cold-like symptoms (blocked nose, shivers etc), spots and pimples etc. Different people also experience these symptoms in varying degrees of severity, with some people not experiencing them at all! Fear not though, as these feelings are never more than uncomfortable and they rarely impact too much upon your normal daily routine. The symptoms also usually occur between days 2-4, so it can be planned that these days fall over a weekend, or even better a long weekend/holiday.
The best medicine is to drink lots of fluids to help speed up the toxin flushing process, especially vegetable juices or 'green drinks'. Have lots of rest and try to relax - but remember, try to steer clear of pharmaceutical medicines as these may end up putting more toxins back into your body.
As ever, always consult with a medical practitioner before undertaking any new dietary changes and seek their professional advice. If symptoms persist - go to see your doctor!
Can I Continue My Exercise Routine?
Some forms of exercise are beneficial to cleansing and detoxing, such as gentle jogging, walking or rebounding - however you should try not to place undue stress on the body during this time. Click here to find out more about the ideal forms of exercise during a detox.