Have you been considering doing a detox this summer? Of the thought of a detox or cleanse conjures up images of juice fasts and liquid diets, you have got it all wrong, my friend. A true detox will help reset your body by eliminating the worst offenders from your diet, while you nourish yourself with plenty of delicious foods.
Why should you detox, anyways?
There are lots of reasons that a summer detox could be right for you. Maybe you can’t seem to lose weight and keep it off. Maybe you have uncontrollable cravings for sugars, carbs, and processed foods. Maybe you just don’t feel fantastic all of the time: tired, achy, headachy, allergies, brain fog, acne, digestive issues, or a severe reliance on coffee to get you through your day. Maybe you should try a detox simply because you’ve never done one before!
You can start to experience the benefits of a detox in as little as five days this summer if you just follow this plan.
Dr. Mark Hyman knows a thing or two about detox and sugar cravings. “Stop all forms of sugar, all flour products and all artificial sweeteners. They all cause increased cravings and slow metabolism, and lead to fat storage,” says Dr. Hyman. Your morning latte can have even more sugar than a can of soda, causing you to eat more all day and store more belly fat. Your goal for these five days is a complete detox from sugar.
Eliminate Refined Carbs and Grains
Pasta, cereals, and other grain-based refined carbohydrates can often impact your blood sugar in the same way as sugar. Grains, like wheat, can also have inflammatory reactions for some people. This is why grains and refined carbs are not allowed on the Whole 30 program, a 30 day whole food detox plan, and avoided on most Paleo diets. For your five day summer detox plan, these carbs are off the table, as well.
Eliminate Processed Foods
If it comes in a box, a bag, or has an expiration date longer than your last relationship, you need to ditch it during your detox. Processed foods typically have a long list of additives that are meant to stimulate you into craving more of that food. MSG, artificial flavors, trans fat… the only foods you should eat during your five day detox are real foods without ingredient lists.
Protein balances blood sugar and insulin, helps keep you full, boosts your metabolism, and reduces sugar cravings. Whole eggs, protein shakes, nuts, seeds, chicken, salmon, or grass-fed meat should be a part of every one of your detox meals.
Eat Unlimited Veggies
Non-starchy vegetables are the perfect foods for your summer detox. Leafy greens like spinach and kale, crunchy cucumbers, bell peppers, and celery should fill your plate at every meal. Cucumbers are high in water which helps flush toxins from the body, and only have eight calories per serving. Brassica vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts and cauliflower, help your liver’s natural detoxification process.
Vegetables are a great source of fiber, which will help restore your digestive tract, and act as prebiotic “food” for the good bacteria in your gut. Eating more vegetables will also help fill you up. There is no reason for your detox to leave you hungry!
Eat More Fat
Your body needs fat. Indulge in healthy fats such as avocados, salmon, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, olives, nuts and seeds to keep you full and balance your blood sugar. You should have a healthy fat, protein, and variety of vegetables with every meal.
Treat Yourself with Fruit
If you are craving something sweet during your detox, treat yourself to the best fruits available this season. Raspberries and blueberries have both been found in studies to help with weight loss, and watermelon contains high amounts of citrulline that can help remove toxins from your body.
Drink More Water
Your body needs water to flush out toxins during its own natural process of detoxification. You can help this process by staying hydrated during your five day detox with plenty of water. Not only does drinking plenty of water help you remove toxins from your body, it also helps with weight loss. Add lemon slices to your lemon for an extra boost of detoxification assistance; they help your kidneys and liver through the detox process.
Taking five days, or even longer, to give your body a complete reset can leave you feeling, and looking, your best. Cutting out the foods that can have a negative impact on your weight, digestion, and natural detoxification process, such as sugar, processed foods, and refined carbs, and eating more nourishing whole foods is a treat your body will thank you for. Just remember, detoxing means getting rid of toxins, so stay away from alcohol for the week. A slimmer waistline, less pounds on the scale, and glowing summer skin is just five days away.