Spring isn’t just a time for cleaning house. You can also spring-clean your diet. A body cleanse—or a detox from certain foods and drinks—can be a great way of rebooting your health and preparing for bigger and better things to come. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of confusing information (and misinformation) about detoxes out there.
This article will address some of the common myths about doing a body cleanse or detox, and provide safe ideas to try out so you can start off your spring and summer on a healthy note. And, remember, before you grab that green juice, your first step should be to consult your doctor to ensure you’re eliminating problem foods correctly while still getting all the nutrients you need.
Myth #1: A Detox Means Giving Up All Foods
Many detox strategies advertise fasting or all-liquid diets, but those strategies can often be unsafe and unhealthy. People who report losing weight by detoxing are actually losing mostly water weight—they usually gain the weight back once the diet is over, according to the University of Utah.
However, cleansing your body can be done safely by eliminating fatty or sugary foods. If you focus on clean eating by increasing your intake of leafy greens, lean protein, and unsaturated fats, you’ll be replacing toxins in your body with good nutrition, and you may find you feel more energetic. The best detox, after all, is removing toxins from your body, which can include alcohol, tobacco, and junk food.
Myth #2: A Detox Requires Certain Foods and Products
Though there are various supplements and foods that claim to detoxify your body, you don’t have to use a specific product or brand to start feeling healthier. Sometimes, again, all it takes is to eliminate foods you already know are bad for you. Think booze, sugar, or fatty dairy. Try a dry month (a.k.a. no alcohol), for example, and you may find you sleep better, eat less (and thus lose more pounds), and boast glowing skin, according to Prevention.
If you’re interested in doing a specific type of detox, such as a juice cleanse, always talk to your doctor first. These swift changes in diet can actually make you feel worse or do harm to your body if not done properly. Your doctor can help you make informed, healthy decisions about eating better.
Myth #3: Feeling Bad Is a Sign of Healing
One of the most dangerous detox myths out there is that feeling bad physically during a body cleanse is a sign you’re “healing.” This myth is really popular among the fringes of the alternative health community. While there are a few “detox” conditions that can cause discomfort as a sign of healing, these aren’t as common as people like to claim—in these cases, your doctor will manage your treatment to prevent your symptoms from becoming too severe. Overall, remember: if you’re feeling consistently terrible during a detox, it’s likely a sign that something’s going wrong, not right.
Myth #4: Eliminating Certain Foods Can Only Help With Weight Loss
In fact, a real detox has a lot to do with letting your body recover from allergenic foods you’ve been eating all along. Allergenic foods are a major cause of inflammation and disease in the body, according to the British Journal of Nutrition, and not just the foods you already know, for a fact, that you’re allergic to.
Many people don’t find out they’re allergic to foods like gluten, dairy, artificial dyes, and others until they decide to abstain from them for a few months. Removing potential allergens from your diet can give your body the opportunity it needs to recover and reset to its natural state.
Myth #5: Detoxes Always Lead to Weight Loss
The key idea of a detox is simply to free your body from toxic irritants so it can resume its proper, healthy function. This doesn’t necessarily promote weight loss.
If you’ve got some stubborn fat, a targeted exercise and diet plan is key. If all else fails, though, SculpSure® can help reduce stubborn fat without surgery and in just 25 minutes per session. It works by eliminating fat cells in common problem areas like your tummy, thighs, love handles, and, even, under your chin.
Cleaning up your diet is an extremely powerful way of giving your body a reset and allowing yourself the chance to move ahead with improved health and vitality. Be wary of anything that isn’t backed by science, and talk to your doctor before you start out on any new regimen.