Committing to a detoxification diet, even for a few days, can instantly make you feel lighter and more energetic. A good detox can also banish “toxic stress” from the the body—beginning with day one. Not only will you feel better after detoxing, you’ll look better too. One of the most talked about side-effects of detoxing is that coveted post-detox glow.
Unfortunately, some of the positive effects of a detox diet (or cleanse) can dissipate as quickly as they occurred. This is especially true if you dive right back into consuming chemical-laden foods (e.g. processed/packaged edibles, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages), fried fatty foods, and sugary junk food. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to prolong the effects of a detox diet or cleanse, whether you’re a seasonal cleanser or a once-a-month detox dieter.
To continue looking and feeling good long after your detox is over, consider:
1. Breaking the cleanse slowly
2. Eating smaller portions
3. Increasing your water intake
4. Choosing simple meals
5. Picking a probiotic
6. Exercising most days of the week
7. Eating organic “clean” foods
8. Getting more sleep
9. Adding “detoxifying” foods to your diet
10. Ditching the alcohol
To break the cleanse slowly, all you have to do is gradually reintroduce regular (healthy) foods back into your diet. So start with easy to digest foods such as steamed veggies, sautéed greens, fresh homemade soup, carrots, legumes, nuts, and eggs. If you eat meat, try organic poultry rather than beef or fish—especially high mercury fish like orange roughy, marlin, mackerel, Chilean sea bass, grouper, and tuna (bigeye, Ahi, yellowfin, canned white albacore).
Eating smaller portions will help you avoid overeating too soon after the cleanse, which can cause bloating, intestinal discomfort, and other digestive problems. Overeating will also quickly reverse any weight-loss benefits you may have enjoyed.
Increasing your water intake will help you continue to flush toxins from the body, while choosing simple meals will help keep digestion running smooth.
Picking a (good) probiotic will encourage good bacteria in the gut to help keep your digestive tract healthy.
Exercising will help the body continue to flush out toxins through sweat (and you will drink more water too!) and eating organic “clean” foods will help prevent the ingestion of more toxins.
As for getting more sleep, your body just heals faster when you get the recommended minimum of 8 hours of sleep each and every night. Studies also show that sleep can even reduce the risk of debilitating diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
Adding detoxifying foods to your diet is easy. Not only will they help prolong the benefits of your cleanse, they can help ward off everything from the common cold to arthritis to hypertension and more. Some common detoxifying foods include:
• Cranberry juice
• Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli
• Daikon radishes
• Dandelion root tea (readily available at traditional grocers, vitamin shops, health food stores)
• Hot water with lemon
• Yogurt (plain, unsweetened)
Finally, we understand that ditching alcohol may be a tough thing to do—especially around the holidays and other special occasions, but it’s no secret that alcohol is considered a toxin and should be avoided—especially if you want to keep your body “clean.