As with any lifestyle change, the key to a successful detox lies in dedication and perseverance.
There seems to be an equal amount of warnings and recommendations for detoxing, which can make it confusing for the would-be detox dieter. As long as you use common sense, adapt the detox diet to your personal goals, and stay dedicated, there can be many benefits to detoxification.
I've outlined some of the benefits you can expect by following a good detox program:
1. Boosts your energy. By flushing the toxins out from your body, detoxification leaves you feeling more energetic and lively. While you detox, you also stop the influx of sugar, caffeine, trans fat and saturated fat and replace them with natural foods, such as fruits and vegetables. You get a natural energy boost, one that comes without a resultant crash.
It's vital to stay well-hydrated while on any detox program. This can also be a source of increased energy if you typically don't get enough water throughout the day.
2. Rids the body of any excess waste. The main purpose of detoxing is to allow your body to get rid of any excess waste it's been storing. Detox programs are aimed at stimulating the body to purge itself, including the liver, kidneys and colons. Most modern diseases are caused by the storing of waste in the body, which is why detoxifying is very important.
For example, cleansing the colon is an important part of the detoxing process because toxins need to exit the body, and a backed up colon can cause them to be reintroduced into the body, rather than exiting as planned. Even after the detox program, it is recommended to continue a diet rich in soluble fibers to keep your body healthy.
3. Helps with weight loss. A criticism of detox diets is that they only help you lose weight in the short term. It helps, instead, if you look at detox programs as a way to establish long-term eating habits, and rid yourself of unhealthy habits. It all depends on what you focus on.
If you only care about the drastic reduction in calories and rapid weight loss, you are more likely to gain all that weight back as soon as you stop. These short-term results won't last if you don't make it a point to replace bad foods with good, and use your newfound energy to exercise more and be more active overall.
4. Stronger immune system. Detoxifying your body also strengthens your immune system. Your organs are clean, and free to function as they should. Your body is able to absorb nutrients better, including Vitamin C.
Good detox programs have a recommended intake of herbs which help the lymphatic system. This system is an important player in keeping you healthy long term. Many detox programs also focus on light exercises which help to circulate lymph fluid through the body and helps it to drain, strengthening your immune system in the process.
5. Improved skin. Your skin is your largest organ. Since detox programs improve your overall health, it makes sense that your skin benefits the most.
Detox programs recommend going to a sauna to take a sauna to help the body sweat out additional toxins. Many people are pleasantly surprised by clearer, smoother skin at the end of their detox plan. It's also been reported that detoxing can help with acne, although the condition may worsen before it gets better as the toxins are released. You may find that your skin itches or gets patchy before clearing up, but this is part of the process and is a sign that you're on the right track with your program. Patience and dedication to the detox program is what makes all the difference between success and failure.
6. Better breath
Some people witness better natural breath a couple of weeks into their detox program. One reason for bad breath is a backed up colon. During a detox, you are able to clear it out and get your digestive system functioning well again. As a result, your breath will see a natural improvement over the coming weeks.
7. Promotes healthy changes. A detox may only be 6 weeks or so, but the changes it makes in your lifestyle are long term. A detox program can be your gateway to a healthier life.
If you have addictions to sugar, caffeine, or fried or crunchy foods you can use a detox program to help you kill those cravings. If you cleanse the body and replace those foods with healthier choices, you can retrain yourself and be more likely to stick to your new habits.
8. Clearer thinking. A cleanse not only benefits your body, but it also strengthens the state of your mind. Meditation is a great way to relax your mind and lower your stress levels.
While the detox is purging your body and cleansing it of toxins, don't forget to focus on your mental health at the same time.
Detox followers often say that they lose that sense of fogginess, and are able to think more clearly during a detox than when not on it. It makes sense, since many of the sugar-filled and fat-filled foods that surround us each day will cause us to feel lethargic and can factor heavily in the quality of our thinking.
9. Healthier hair. A lot of herbs, vitamins and minerals you consume during a detox have a direct impact on making your hair healthier. When your hair is healthy, it looks better and is harder to break. This is why it's important to keep your body functioning at its full potential through a regular detoxing strategy.
When your hair is able to grow uninhibited by internal toxins you'll see and feel the difference in your hair. In many instances hair gets shinier, stronger and feels softer to the touch. In addition, many people on a detox program report that it helped recover their hair lost due to male pattern baldness.
10. Lighter feeling. Unencumbered by sugar and fat that make it lethargic, your body will feel "lighter" as you progress through your detox diet.
There are several reasons why this would be the case, especially if you'll be doing a colon cleanse as part of the program. When you stop eating foods that weigh you down, and replace them with fresh organic fruits and vegetables, a lighter feeling is bound to occur. Your body naturally replenishes the energy you lose throughout the day with the help of a good, organic diet.
11. Anti-aging benefits. As already mentioned, detoxing has long-term effects, one of which is anti-aging.
One contributing factor to the aging process is the constant barrage of toxins that our bodies have to battle every day. The transfats, sugar and caffeine we feed our bodies daily stay in our systems for a long time, introducing free radicals and bad toxins in our body. Detoxing not only gives short term benefits, but those following the programs see long term benefits that combat premature aging. However, for this to work it is important to change your lifestyle even after the detox program is finished.
Sticking to a improved diet and getting daily activity are great ways to make sure that you feel good each moment of your life.
12. Improved sense of well-being. A successful detox takes hard work, dedication and a positive attitude. Detoxing can be a great way to introduce a change in your lifestyle for the better. When you detox, you feel good, and when you feel good, good things happen.
Whatever your reason for starting a detox diet, whether it is losing weight or lowering stress, it is important to keep the positive changes long after the detox program is over.
When you set the stage for well-being, you are going to improve all areas of your life. Just this one change can help you build better relationships, be more productive at work or in your hobbies, and simply enjoy life to its full potential.
Don Colbert, M.D. has been board certified in Family Practice for over 25 years and practices anti-aging and integrative medicine. He is a New York Times best-selling author of books such as The Bible Cure Series, What Would Jesus Eat, Deadly Emotions, What You Don't Know May Be Killing You, and many more with over 10 million books sold. He is the Medical Director of the Divine Health Wellness Center in Orlando, Florida, where he has treated over 50,000 patients.
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