There is a lot of buzz going around about detoxing. On almost any social media site you can find information about detoxing and why you should. There are detoxes for everything and some are super strange and promise all kinds of results. It is hard to know what you should do and if you should do one.
When I did my first bikini competition, I had to detox off of sugar, alcohol and most starches. It was about 10 weeks and I did it. It was challenging but my diet had enough variety and lots of real food so I felt good. I noticed a change in my energy level, my skin and my body plus my outlook on life. I felt more positive. Since then I really haven’t completely gone back to the way I eat. It is rare that I drink and even rarer when I have more than 2-3 drinks. Sweets don’t have the same hold over me and in fact most of them time I never crave them unless my stress is out of control. I had strayed a little from where I was eating during competition prep but that is not a sustainable diet for any long period of time. I have been trying to figure out a sustainable lifestyle plan and that has had its own challenges.
So recently I was provided the opportunity to test a friends new all “Real” food detox to give her feedback. I was excited because I was thinking, this is just what I need to help me get back on track. It was only 12 days and I knew I could do it however, I have to admit, I was worried about giving up protein. However since this was for a friend, I wanted to help and I wanted to see how my body responded. I was pretty interesting what I found.
It was pretty simple, eat real veggies with some limited fruit and some nuts. Try some new things like seaweed and wheat grass and get rid of all starches, protein, sugars, dairy and caffeine. (Coffee was the hardest thing for me to give up because I just like a good cup of black coffee in the morning to start my day.)
Initially I felt horrible, I had headaches, how energy and super high cravings. However because I typically eat well my body adapted quickly and within 3 days I was feeling great. I credit this to eating nuts (probably more than I was supposed to but hey they were raw ones). I started having more energy. I felt more focused and my cravings went away. I was actually pretty amazed about how my body handled not having protein outside of the nuts. I loved the addition of seaweed to my diet and have now kept that as something I enjoy regularly. I also continue to have wheat grass and spirulina every morning. They both have so many healthy properties. After the 12 days I had lost 9.4 pounds, 7 inches of bloating/body fat and I noticed that my face was looking thinner. I took before an after photos of my face.
Now these results are not typical, so you can’t expect to get them and if you do, don’t expect to keep them. Once I added back in protein and some starches, my weight moved by up. Now if you read my earlier blog about the scale & weight – weight doesn’t tell you anything about the quality of your health so try to ignore it. Instead us body measurements and photos. Photos are objective ways to measure our progress and my favorite method.
So you might be wondering should I detox, well here are a couple questions for you to think about in deciding
- 1) Why are you planning on detoxing, what is your motivation?
- 2) Is this a quick fix or are you using it to spring into something else?
- 3) Do you plan on going back to the current way you are eating when you are done?
- 4) Is this something you can do forever?
Answering the above 4 questions are important in understanding why you might be considering a detox. A detox is great for actually getting certain things out of your body like sugars and starches but know that you will experience withdrawal symptoms and the intensity of those symptoms will be related to how much of those foods you eat on a regular basis and how long you have been eating them. Withdrawal symptoms can last a couple of days to a couple of weeks.
Another thing to consider, if you are just doing this to for a quick fix because you have to drop 10 pounds, DON’T do it. Yo-yo dieting is horrible for your metabolism. So if you choose to do it, have a plan for after the detox. I have been working with my friend, a health coach, about implementing a plan that is best for me, given what I have learned about my body and what I can sustain for a lifetime. Working with a coach to figure things out is very helpful. I have worked with a coach for several years and continue to work with a couple coaches. I find that they help me be reflective and figure out realistic plans (sometimes I think I can do more then I really can…. maybe you can relate).
Whether you choose to do a detox or not, the most important thing is that you only make changes in your life that you can maintain. A detox is a great jump start but you MUST have a PLAN for after the detox so you don’t go back to any unhealthy habits and undo what you did or worse end up in worse shape. So find a coach to help you with a detox and your plan after the detox, because in my opinion, what you do after the detox is more important than what you do before.
Be start about what you choose to do for yourself and only do things that you can live with – Amanda
P.S. If you are considering a coach, I would love to work with you. I am accepting 2 new clients starting November 1, 2013 for my 12 Week Beautiful Knockout Lifestyle Coaching Program. Email me for details and your application firstname.lastname@example.org