We’re all familiar with the detox method and the idea that you can eat anything you like as long as you detox your system afterward. If your diet has got unhealthy or you’ve been drinking more than you meant to, perhaps you feel your system needs a “clean out” to get you healthy again – but it doesn’t!
The idea that your body is full of “toxins” is a worrying one; if it was, you’d need medical attention. Your body is constantly flushing out the things it doesn’t need or want, though these aren’t necessarily “toxins.” That’s the purpose of your kidneys, your liver, and your digestive system. Instead of detoxing, think about establishing healthy habits instead.
Let’s look at what you can do to keep your body functioning well and yourself feeling great.
One: Clean Eating
You don’t need some magic green juice or special secret ingredient to eat well, and a good diet is probably the best thing you can do to boost your health and “detoxify” your body (i.e. help those organs that actually do this job). You simply need to eat healthy foods.
Avoid processed foods and go for home-cooked meals. Cut back on junk food and soda, and increase your intake of fruit and vegetables.
You may want to reduce the amount of sugar and salt in your diet. These aren’t toxins, but we often consume them in larger amounts than we need, so it’s a good idea to reduce them a bit. This will make you feel much better!
Two: Drink Water
Many of the detox diets do recommend this, and it’s one instance in which they’re right – because being hydrated helps your organs to function well. Good hydration will also make you feel great. Try carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go, and make water your drink of choice.
Add lemon, mint, or other fruit if you find the taste boring or unpleasant.
If you want to feel better, exercise is the way to go. You don’t have to hit the gym every day, but try and move about regularly. Get your heart rate up with a brisk walk or job, go for a cycle after work, or take an early morning dip.
All of these things will make you feel a lot better than drinking green juices for a week!
Four: Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Rather than trying to “flush out” things you don’t want in your body, try to reduce your intake instead. This takes more willpower, but it’s much more effective. If you feel you’ve been drinking too much lately, cut back.
You might find it helps to do this with a friend or your partner. If you drink together often, agree to reduce, or find a non-alcoholic drink that you enjoy to replace it with. Drinking less can make you feel good in the long-term.
Five: Stop Smoking
Obviously, this only applies to some people, but if you’re a smoker, you’re not going to undo the damage it does by following a restrictive diet. You need to try and reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke, or go cold turkey and quit.
You can talk to your doctor if you need help with this, but it’s probably one of the best things you can do for your health, even if it feels harder than following a “detox” for a week!
There is no scientific evidence to say that detox diets work. They may result in some weight loss, usually just water weight, but they are rarely helpful. If you really want to follow one, make sure it includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, and doesn’t involve starving your body.
Instead, focus on the real health benefits of good eating, exercise, hydration, and reducing alcohol/cigarettes. You’ll feel better fast