Detox Diets Suck

detox diets suckYou heard it here first. Well… maybe not first but I’m saying it again- detox diets aren’t fun.

Finishing up day 9 of a 10-day metabolic detox and I’m looking forward to it being over.

I’m no rookie when it comes to fasting, detoxing and cleansing the body- having done my share after being exposed to the practice while studying to become a Chiropractor.

Yes they can kick-off a new fitness, weight-loss or healthy lifestyle and yes it is important to give the body’s elimination organs (kidneys, liver, colon, lungs and skin) a break from time to time, but do not think for a second that detoxing will re-write all the wrongs of the past.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

20 years of shitty eating cannot be reversed by a weeks worth of juicing.

More important are the daily choices you make with regards to what you put in your mouth (nutrition) and how you choose to move (exercise).

Detoxes have been around for a long time in the alternative health field and can be useful if done right based on your goals. I am more a supporter of the eat well, move well and think well philosophy and the following 3 tips go a long way to keep you healthy and detoxified without having to fast, cleanse or go on a crazy detox:
 

3 Simple things to do for Daily Detoxification

 

1. Exercise and movement – It’s as simple as sweating everyday. Doctors use to preach moderate activity 3 to 4 days per week was all you needed to maintain your physical activity requirements but I’m sorry, this isn’t enough. Especially with all the sitting everyone does this day and age. You need to sweat everyday. That means getting in some intense workouts and elevating your heart rate.

2. Drink Water – Most are dehydrated. Caffeinated soft drinks dominate our work space. The body functions better when it is hydrated- period. You eliminate toxins better when you are hydrated. Drink more water. Minimum of 2 and up to 4 liters per day.

3. Eat whole natural unprocessed/unrefined foods – Stay away from anything that comes in a bag or a box, anything that has ingredients on the label you can’t pronounce, better yet, anything with a label on it. Avoid sugars, sugars derivatives, food colorings, artificial flavors and preservatives. Stick to good clean old fashioned foods your body can handle and it will detoxify all by itself.

 
 

Still Sold on Doing a Detox Diet

 
Here are reasons to consider trying one:

  • Tired, lack of energy and sore muscles for no apparent reason
  • Recently lost fat
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Easily irritated or moody
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Wake up feeling unrefreshed
  • Trying to lose weight
  • Hit a weight loss plateau
  • Bloated or gain weight easily
  • Digestive or intestinal discomfort
  • Occasional mild headaches
  • Feel you’re not as healthy as other people your age
  • Commonly experience “brain cloudiness”, fatigue or drowsiness
  • Jump start on a healthy program

 

My 10 Day Detox Diet

 
This time around… I did a 10 day express metabolic detoxification cleanse with nutritional support from Metagenics [Ultraclear Renew (vitamin support, meal replacement and protein powder) and Advaclear (antioxidant capsules)]. It is a modified elimination diet where you remove certain foods each day throughout the 10 days to lighten the toxic load on the body allowing for detoxification.

Day 1 – I eliminated fleshy proteins (fish, beef, pork, poultry, etc…) along with refined sugars, artificial sweeteners (Sucrose, HFCS, etc…), packaged and processed foods, alcohol and caffeine.

Day 2 – I eliminated eggs and dairy in addition to everything the day before. Nutritional support in the form of a powder and antioxidant supplement started today.

Day 3 – Same as the previous two days and also removed Gluten grains from my diet. Continued with the nutritional support.

Day 4 – Remove remaining grains, nuts and seeds. You are now only eating vegetables, fruits and legumes plus nutritional support.

Day 5 thru 7 – Eliminate legumes and consume only cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and brussel sprouts), raw greens (spinach, romaine, red, green lettuce) and apples and pears. Increase nutritional support.

Day 8 – Add back fruits, vegetables and white rice to my diet. Continue nutritional support.

Day 9 – Add back gluten free grains, legumes and nuts. Finish what’s left of the nutritional support.

Day 10 – Done. Gently add food groups back to my diet.
 

How I made out on the Detox Diet

 
This was one of the easiest detoxes I’ve done. Days 1 – 4 were not that hard. I did experience headaches towards the end of day 2 which were most likely associated with my cold turkey withdrawal from my daily Americano (coffee).

I continued my training throughout the cleanse and did 3 days of Strength Resistance Training with 2 days of High Intensity Interval Training. I noticed a drop in energy and performance on Days 5 – 7, which is pretty much due to the fact that brussel sprouts alone can’t fuel a good workout.

Days 5 – 7 were the hardest mentally but as soon as day 8 got here and I could eat all the fruits, vegetables and rice I wanted, I was fine.

One thing I did throughout the week was to make sure and drink a ton of water along with plenty of rest (I guess that’s two things). And now with day 10 here I’m excited to be done, drink a coffee and perhaps a cold brewski (or 2) towards the end of the week.

All in all – I feel great. I did not lose any weight but my belly feels less bloated. My mind is clearer and energy levels in the gym are sky high.
 

Detox Diet Wrap up

 
As much as I hate detox diets I usually try to cleanse once or twice per year. Would I do this detox again? Yes. But I stress the importance of eating well, exercising and proper hydration on an ongoing basis. If you’re considering detoxing start with those 3 simple steps first and it will do wonders to how you feel.

Yours in health,

Sean

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