I was recently in Dubai on vacation with my kids. And like with the typical vacation, I didn’t have a lot of discipline with regards to what we ate. (besides money for all the gold I wanted to buy at the Gold Souk) It would have been hard to hold myself to the same standards of discipline I do when at home during the vacation, so I made my peace with it. Also, I decided I would go on a detox first, then get back on track my usual healthy eating afterwards.
So why detox? Or maybe, a better question would be…
‘What is a Detox?’
A detox, as I like to think of it, is a period of the cleansing the body system by feeding it with farm fresh fruits and vegetables, most of which require little to no cooking before consumption. This process tends to rid the body of processed foods high in chemicals, sugar, salt and fat. It also allows you to clean up from within and helps rev up your body metabolism, which is especially good news for people a weight loss journey. Another bonus is the extra pounds you get to lose during a detox depending on how long it is.
I have done a 14-day detox (with a one-day carb break in between) and lost 5.2kg in those two weeks, but these days, I tend to keep a detox to 3 days or max 5days. With this, you could lose anything from 2 to 3kg afterwards which is a great start to your weight loss journey. It also adds up for boosting your metabolism. Remember, you don’t want to begin a weight loss journey with your body metabolism dragging thanks to previous bad food choices.
It can be quite tough
Effective as detox is, it is also hard. You will be tempted to give up at every meal time, especially if your body is used to junk and excess sugar. Most likely you will feel light headed, headaches and general weakness but they should not persist past a day, usually the second or third day. If you manage to get through that day, it then gets relatively easier. I got in from my trip and went right into a full detox for 3 days and a semi-detox for 7days, which I am currently on at the time of writing this. Here are three tips to help you rock out your detox, in addition to the above reference to how hard it is so sure to be mentally ready too.
Somehow, we love the variety and having choices. I feel you my sister, but if you are going to rock out your detox, choose 3 main meals, 2 fruits as snacks between meals and consider repeating them for 3 to 5 days. It will be hard on your taste buds and your flesh will fight you but for the prize, it is well worth it. Your detox period doesn’t leave you with too much strength to be making an assortment of meals, plus since this is probably the hardest thing you will do, you might as well just do it. If you must start thinking of shopping for and prepping different meals, you may soon lose the motivation and end up with cake and ice cream (shivers)
Skip the workouts
Especially in the first 2 or 3 days as your body adjusts to this new routine. If you start your day expending energy through a workout, you just may find that your breakfast may not sustain you and you would be lethargic. So skip the workouts, or at least keep it very light. Instead of your regular 30minute cardio routine, you could go for 10 or 15mins low-intensity workout instead.
Snack and hydrate
In between your detox meals, you must snack, whether you feel hungry or not. If you were used to snacking on small chops and biscuit, the idea of having to snack on a cucumber or apple may not be appealing. In fact, you may consider skipping it because you have tricked your brain into not being hungry, but it will backfire because soon, you will feel so hungry that the salad you planned for dinner would suddenly not look like it can even satiate you 30percent. Snacking gives the body extra calories needs between meals so do not skip it.
Hydrating regularly with water also helps ensure that your tummy is kept busy and helping your brain not pass too many ‘I am hungry’ signals to your stomach when really all you needed was water. Add a dash of lemon to your water to also help suppress your appetite and aim for at least 4Litres a day.
Oh, above all, be sure your health can take a detox so always check with your doctor first, and ensure you are following a safe detox plan, not just one that restricts calories to 500 a day. That is very dangerous so seek professional help in creating a detox plan.