Monday, 14 July 2014

Five rules for detoxing

Following on from my previous post – Diary of a Detox – I’ve put together my 5 tips to surviving a detox, from pre-detox preparation to post-detox diet.

1. Prep for your detox.

Generally speaking, the biggest gripe people have when doing a detox is headaches and mood swings. These are actually more to do with caffeine/sugar/alcohol withdrawl rather than the detox itself. As I don’t drink coffee, drink much alcohol and had cut down on sugar, I didn’t really experience any negative effects of the detox. In fact, my colleagues and I kept waiting for the mood swings to kick in! To make your detox a little easier, I’d recommend cutting out or at least cutting back on coffee, alcohol, sugary and processed food for a couple of days before you begin your detox.

2. Make sure you time it right.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time deciding when to do my detox. Although it was only 3 days, it was a total change in routine and lifestyle. I knew I wanted to do it while I was at work as it would be easier if I’m sitting for most of the day and I don’t have to lug juices around with me. I timed it around my ballet and yoga classes as I didn’t think I’d have the energy to get through the 90 minute classes! I’d also recommend keeping plans fairly relaxed post-work to allow you to have some early nights.

3. Drink lots of water.

As the name suggests, your body will be getting rid of lots of toxins over the duration of your detox. Are you ready for the science bit? If your body can’t effectively eliminate toxins, it absorbs them and surrounds the toxins with fat cells to protect your body from them. As you go through the detox, your body will be breaking these toxins down which is why most people experience a little weight loss…but the key thing is to flush toxins out of your body so you don’t absorb them. Water is one way to help flush toxins out, I was drinking 3 litres a day. Here’s another science nugget for you, your skin is the last organ to reap the benefits of water, ergo the more water you drink the better your organs function. My skin was glowing on my detox so I’m pretty sure my organs were well hydrated too.

4. Plan some light exercise in the morning.

I am not a morning person, by any stretch of the imagination. However, on my detox I was sleeping like a baby and waking up before my alarm. I made the most of this by kick starting my day with yoga, which is normally in my pre-bedtime routine. I figured I should go with how my body felt and it certainly didn’t do me any harm.

5. Take it easy post-detox.

After your detox, your body will be a clean, lean machine. Juices are super easy to digest and all the fruits and veggies you’ve been eating have done you the world of good. You can’t go straight from that to having a greasy Big Mac, as much as you may have been craving one. Your system will basically go nuts if you flood it with processed food that’s hard to digest and you’ll get an awful stomach ache – I speak from experience and all I had was a bit of falafel with a big salad! Do yourself a favour and stick to a vegetarian diet and try to eat raw as much as possible while easing back into ‘normal’ eating.

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