There are a lot of misconceptions about and misrepresentations of detoxification (also referred to as detox or detoxing), leaving many people who could benefit from it, skeptical about its effectiveness or benefits. And I can understand why. I too used to think of it as an extreme form of dieting, not realizing that when we are exposed to a daily dose of toxins, eventually the body gets tired and manifests many of the symptoms of imbalance, one of which is stubborn weight gain.
Perhaps for you, what comes up when you hear "detox" may be the image of extreme calorie-restriction, starving yourself, juice or water fast or other extreme dietary or lifestyle measures. And all these can contribute to weight and fat loss, but they can come at a cost if we are not well-guided into them.
Water-fast (WF) for example has known health benefits, including the ability to improve various markers of health such as "a reduction in the level of perceived stress, weight loss, ... and decreased serum glucose concentration, ..." but it can leave nutritional gaps and be especially harmful for some people, according to Ewa Oglodek and Wieslaw Pillis in a NIH publication.
Ogdolek and Pillis conclude: "Therefore, for the safety of middle-aged people subjected to 8-day WF, it is recommended to discontinue such intervention, as it is a drastic form of fasting that already begins to generate unfavorable symptoms for a healthy person."
A juice fast is another approach that can boost nutrient intake in an easy to absorb form for the body, but it can be impractical or unsustainable. It requires a lot more fruits and vegetables than the average person can access or afford. Those who succeed at juice-fasting, must have adequate knowledge of what nutrients their body needs to reach and maintain balance.They must have access to a plentiful supply of fruits and vegetables, either by growing their own or working with a regular supplier of fresh, ideally organic produce. Unfortunately, access to such produce has become a commodity that only a few can afford.
Juicing also takes a lot of time, both to clean and prepare all the produce needed before juicing can begin. For a busy person whose time in the kitchen is limited, it can be quite a challenge to be consistent and adopt juicing as a way of life. Commercially pressed juices are not the same. Juicing is best when made with freshly pressed produce and prepared right before the juice is consumed.
There are many other types of diets that can support detoxification and the benefits they offer vary depending on the approach taken, current state of health of the one detoxing, consistency, duration, and age, among other factors. I have addressed these other types of diets that can support detoxification in a different post. Go here to read it
A well-planned and implemented detox program can be life-changing for people with stubborn belly fat and many other signs of imbalance.
Below are 10 health benefits of detoxification
Jump-starting the metabolism: Our metabolism slows down when the body accumulates toxins.
Increase energy: Toxins are energy zappers.
Enhance fat-burning: Toxins like to hide in fat cells pushing them to continue expanding, in places such as around the abdomen.
Improve digestion: When the body is full of toxins, it's a sign that key detoxification organs are not functioning optimally. A healthy digestion means that the bodily systems involved in detoxification are moving waste along, so that none are left hiding inside the body, in places such as fat cells.
Strengthen the immune system: This is achieved by reducing toxic load in the body and avoiding toxins found in foods and the environment so that the body feels grounded and in balance.
Balance hormones: Estrogen, insulin and thyroid hormones in particular need to be in balance for effective fat-burning. Toxins impair the functioning of the endocrine system.
Improve vitamin and mineral intake: A nutrient-dense diet is key to a successful detox.
Identify food sensitivities and limit known triggers (Cleveland Clinic, 2022): Gluten, dairy, soy, corn and foods in the nightshades family (eggplants, tomatoes, green peppers and tomatoes) can hamper the body's ability to detox and to burn fat.
Increase water intake (Popkin, 2010): One of my favorite ways to hydrate in the morning is to drink flavored water in which I soak pineapple peels, fresh turmeric and slices of lemon, overnight in a large pitcher filled with filtered water and covered with a napkin (paper or cloth) and secured with a rubber band or a saucer on top of the napkin. I leave it out on a counter if it is cool enough in the room, or put it in the fridge if the room is warm. Then I strain it and drink at least two large glasses of this drink first thing in the morning before breakfast. It's hydrating and good for the immune system. And it smells great! You'll love it especially if you like the smell of fresh pineapple.
Reduce inflammation in the body: Food sensitivities, a highly acidic diet and nutrient-deficiencies can be at the heart of increased inflammation. Detoxification can lower inflammation when it removes inflammatory triggers in sensitive people, increases intake of an alkaline and nutrient-dense diet.
While this is not an exhaustive list, these benefits point to the importance of "detoxification as a promising step in the process of restoring the body's natural balance and vitality", which comes with a healthy weight and waistline, according to Donna Gates and Linda Schatz in the book, Body Ecology Diet.
Detoxing is necessary because consistent exposure to hundreds of toxins increases risks of many health complications and it is nearly impossible to avoid toxins because they are everywhere in and around us.
Ready to go going and welcome a new YOU through a well-guided detox?
Introducing the "Detox, Nourish to Trim Belly Fat: 21 Days to Lower Toxin Load and Activate Fat-Burning" Program.
It's a program built to lay the foundation for a healthy lifestyle and serves as a guide on:
The foods that naturally support detoxification
What to eat for energy while the body detoxifies
Foods and habits to boost metabolism
Eating right to balance one of the key hormones that enhance fat-burning. I emphasize this point in particular, in my book, Belly Fat in Midlife.
What to do to optimize intake of vitamins and minerals needed for proper detoxification
How to lower food sensitivities and inflammation to boost detoxification
Gentle body movements and other easy but effective routines that are known to enhance detoxification and fat-burning and can be done in the comfort of your home.
At the end of this "Detox, Nourish & Trim Belly Fat" Program you will not only lower toxin load, but you will also improve your overall feeling of well-being.
Even half-way through the program, as you follow the detox guide, implement the detox daily protocol, and eat foods from the recommended food shopping list or stick to the meal suggestions, you will notice that you feel lighter and will like how your skin looks. And you clothes will start feeling less tight and more loose. I know you will feel happier about the results, but you must put in the work!
Ready to harness the power of foods and simple lifestyle habits, to boost nutrition, push toxins out, jumpstart metabolism and melt belly fat? I am ready to be your guide along the way. As your body becomes more effective at natural detoxification, fat-burning will follow.
A food shopping list and initial guide to help you prepare for this Detox, Nourish & Trim Belly Fat Program will be sent to you starting on April 24, 2023 at 10am Pacific Time (1 pm Eastern US Time). This will give you time to get what you need before the detox program begins on April 28, 2023, giving you the weekend to get started without the distractions of weekly activities. Enroll today and join the winning team!
See you on the other side!