There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to detoxing. Following the wrong advice can really hurt your body and do more harm than good. In addition to bringing you some of the best detox diets around, we’ve also put together a list of things NOT to do while you detox to avoid adverse affects.
1. Go to Extremes
While you will be shifting course from what you normally eat, drink, and do while on a detox, there’s nothing saying that you have to go to wild extremes to get the job done. A common thought is that you have to starve yourself for extended periods, and that it will be a painful process as your body purges toxins from itself. But some of the most successful detox programs out there focus on a state of calm and well-being while at the same time giving your body what it craves on a nutritional level.
2. Fail to Prepare
If you take a cavalier attitude toward detoxifying your body, you will likely get a mixed bag of results. You need to know not only how you’re going to go about it, but how you’re going to start, how long you’re going to do it for, and how you’re going to re-enter normalcy once it’s done. You’ll also have to establish what the new “normal” will be for you once you’ve completed the detox. Are you going to go back to your old ways of eating or are you using this as a catalyst for change? Questions like these must be asked during the preparation phase or you’re setting yourself up for failure.
3. Pick the Wrong Time
Planning to do a detox during a stressful or otherwise busy time in your life is not a good idea. Don’t plan to detox when you’ve got a birthday coming up, or during the holidays, or when things are super stressful at work because of deadlines. You need to make sure that you pick a strategic time where there are few distractions and temptations so that you can have a better chance of sticking with the program and reaping the benefits. A good time to detox is typically after things like holidays and birthdays, where perhaps you overate or otherwise gave yourself a free pass on unhealthy food and alcohol.
4. Skip the Water
No matter which detoxing plan you go with you’ll notice a common theme: you’ve got to keep your water intake up. For many this will involve drinking more water than they’re used to, and it will take a conscious effort to drink more of it. The reason it’s so important is that your internal organs will be in detox mode and will want to purge themselves of toxins. They can’t really do that if they’re not properly hydrated. It’s a way to keep things running smoothly throughout the body, and a way to make sure that you are getting this vital element while perhaps your intake of food has been reduced.
5. Ignore Signals from Your Body
Detoxing is a time to listen to your body more, not to ignore it. If you feel pain or discomfort that feels like it’s more than just hunger pangs, you shouldn’t just push on and push past the pain. It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before you detox to see if there are any contraindications to doing so. That way you’ll have a good idea as to whether the pain you’re experiencing is due to the detoxing, or due to an unrelated condition. It may sound counter intuitive, but you actually have to be healthy enough to detox, even though you’re attempting to get healthier.
6. Rush Into and Out of a Detox Program
You want to get both your body and your mind ready for the idea of detoxing, so it’s best not to just rush into it by stopping eating, or starting to only eat fruits and vegetables for days on end. Ease your body into it, let it know that things are changing. It also helps your mind to see that you are doing different things and that it’s OK and there is no need to panic. Also, it’s just as important to bring yourself back to a normal diet gradually, and don’t shock the body by starting to eat certain types of food it hasn’t gotten for several days.
7. Believe You Only Have a Body
If you think that detoxing is just something that you’re doing to your body, you’re missing out on the bigger picture. It’s possible to detox your mind just as you are detoxing your body. By stopping the flow of harmful or upsetting information, and increasing the flow of nurturing and positive information. If you are trying to do a detox program but are still watching several hours of debilitating news, or being bombarded by ads for pizza and fast food, you are not getting a complete cleanse. Detach from these negative influences, and try to relax your mind as much as possible while you are on a detox program.
8. Give In to Cravings
Detoxing only works if you stop the influx of toxic substances. If you barely get into it and are hit by cravings, and then succumb to those cravings you’re only giving your body half a chance to do what it needs to do. A good detox program will acknowledge the fact that you will have cravings, and will have a system in place to deal with those cravings. They will have either a soup or a smoothie or a tea that you can sip on when cravings hit so that you don’t sabotage your efforts. Think of it this way: cravings are a sign that your detox plan is working. Your body wants what it isn’t getting. Battle back these cravings long enough and they’ll eventually subside.
9. Hop from One Program to Another
It’s easy to think that the grass is greener on the other side. You may find yourself in the middle of one detox program and see one that sounds even better. This is fine as long as you finish one and then want to do another later. But stopping and starting again and again is not going to get you where you want to be in terms of health and well-being. As long as you follow a program as directed it should provide you with the results you want, as long as you don’t jump ship for seemingly greener pastures. This might be an escape mechanism that you are using as a way to not finish a cleanse when it gets hard.
10. Give Up Too Soon
While you don’t want to ignore your body’s signals and push past pain, you also don’t want to give up when the going gets rough. It’s often just after these moments that a cleanse really starts to have a positive effect, so it’s important to be able to discriminate between what is normal and what is not in regards to side effects and symptoms of detoxing. Being present through the entire process is key, and if you want the results being promised it entails seeing it through to the end. Get help and support from others that have gone through the same process and lived to tell about it.
Avoiding what not to do is sometimes just as beneficial as knowing what you should do. Now that you’ve seen the ten biggest mistakes people make when venturing out on a detox program, you’ll be better equipped to have a successful experience, and not become a statistic of those that didn’t make it through. Your body is a wonderful piece of equipment, resilient in its ability to rebound and recover from whatever you throw at it, and it knows when you have its best interest at heart. Keep that in mind during your detox program and you should be all set.