Thursday, May 19, 2011

Detox and Cleansing Diets

Detox Diets (Sometimes called a Cleansing Diet) are popular for the idea that they will remove toxins and poisons from your body. These are not fasts! A good detox diet will tell you to eat pure and natural foods that help to clean and restore liver, kidneys, and lymph nodes. These diets are very controversial because of the restrictions that go along with them which is why they are short term and should used with caution and care.

With these diets weight loss will occur but not to be equated with fat loss, much of the weight lost is fluid and water weight, most state that about ½ the weight will come back Many people use this for fast weight loss, which is not what this, or most detox diets are intended for.  Although there are a number of heath benefits - relief of arthritis symptoms, infections, pain, gout, and more.

A typical herbal detox will dissolve and eliminate toxins that have formed in the body, cleanse the digestive tract and the kidneys, purify glands and cells, eliminate hardened material in joints and muscles, relive pressure in blood vessels, irritation in nerves, and arteries and eliminate waste.

Most detox diets will tell you to focus on water intake (around 2 liters a day, a good scale is ½ your body weight in ounces, which you should drink on a daily basis anyway) organic foods and liquids, Whole unprocessed foods, lots of vegetables and fruit, and herbs such as licorice root, yucca root, gentian root, psyllium seed and milk thistle. They will also tell you to avoid drugs, tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, refines foods, and supplements due to the amount of additives they add.

While on a detox diet it is also important to exercise. You need to improve circulation and increase oxygen in the blood to help flush out the toxins. Around 30 minutes a day is encouraged (on or off a diet) and try things such as walking, swimming, dancing, yoga, or riding a bike. It is not recommended to start a new vigorous routine during a cleanse because you are not eating what your body is used to.

When coming off of any detox diet or fast remember to come off of it gently. Ease yourself back into solid foods by starting with soups, the best is a vegetable soup. Vegetables and fruits should not be started until the second day after a fast or detox diet, and eating too much to soon can result in the food not staying down!

Lemonade Diet - This is the most popular detox diet, and the most successful for most. This is a detox program written by Stanley Burroughs, called “The Master Cleanse”. The lemonade diet is normally taken for 4-5 days but I have heard of people using it for up to 2 weeks.

Daily Intake for the Lemonade Diet -
60 oz spring water (spread over  6 - 10oz glasses)
12 tablespoons organic grade B maple syrup (2 tablespoons a glass)
12 table spoons FRESH QUEEZED organic lemon juice (2tablespoons a glass)
A little over a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper (1/12 teaspoon per glass)

Raw food Diet - A generic diet of only eating raw uncooked foods, works as a detox, then continues to just keep your body free of toxins since you are not ingesting any.

The Clean Diet -  a 21 day diet for those with a healthy lifestyle -

Clean Green and Lean - a 4 week program to help eliminate toxins that may be keeping you from losing weight, fight allergies and fatigue, and create a greener living style -

Diuretic Diet - A detox using natural diuretics to get rid of water retention. No fat loss, but helps with liver disorders, heart disease, and hypertension. Aim to eat no starchy carbohydrates, avoid salt drink lots of water, and no sugar. Focus on eating Celery seed, Asparagus, Artichokes, Watercress, Melons, and herbal teas.

Stop eat Stop -  uses short 24 hour water fasts a couple times a week to promote detox. You will lose water and fat doing this but needs to be done in moderation. It is an easy way to reduce calories  without changing your eating habits and can result in health improvements, but you have to remember not to over eat during your eating days, and can cause headaches while fasting.

There are products out there that claim to be detox diets etc but most of them are no better than what you can do it home, cost a lot, and some of them do not even work at all.

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