The other day I ran across a young woman on a digestive health forum who felt horrible about herself.
She had been opting to order take-out most nights of the week instead of cooking, and wasn’t exercising at all.
Essentially she had stopped caring; wholly losing touch with her health.
She felt the only solution was to hit the reset button by going on a food detox diet.
It’s understandable why thinking a detox would seem like the next logical step to take anytime we’ve defiled our health and feel like a whole heap of crap.
But let’s be real. Doing a “detox diet” is stressful and quite useless for a number of reasons.
Here I'll cover for you why a “detox diet” isn't the best answer when feeling guilty about how you've been eating and not exercising, and 5 ways to get back on track health-wise without doing your typical food detox diet.
The Problem With The Detox Diet Approach
If you've ever looked into a detox diet before you’re probably familiar with its claims to cleanse your body of food toxins that live in your colon.
However, when I check in with my ol’ pal Webster (Merriam-Webster Dictionary), I’m informed that a detox is the removal of a dangerous substance from the body.
: special treatment that helps a person to stop using drugs or alcohol
FYI, food isn’t a dangerous substance...just in case you were wondering.
When someone is being detoxed it is generally for a specific substance (drugs, alcohol, lead, overdose of a vitamin or mineral, etc), but the majority of the detox diets you find on the shelf in a store aren’t targeted at the removal of a particular substance or detailed set of symptoms.
It’s marketed at people who feel guilty about how they’ve eaten.
This brings me to my first point that detox diets “cleanse” you of toxins that either don’t exist in the colon, or that your body is capable of handling by itself.
On the occasion that you actually do need a detox your body has a built in way of giving you one: your liver.
Now that you remember the liver is the body’s detox organ, we arrive at my second point; any detox diet you do would have to help improve liver function.
And there are ways to do that!...it just doesn’t come in the form of juice fasting and raw kale.
5 Ways To Help Your Natural Detoxifier + Get Back On Track Health-Wise
Adopt a moderate carbohydrate eating style, not going off the reservation in either extreme direction (100-150 grams of carbs a day is pretty good).
Overeating carbohydrates pushes the liver to develop fat (a process called de novo lipogenesis). When you develop a fatty liver it can’t function probably and thus leads to increased insulin resistance and diabetes.
Limit your fructose intake (i.e. high fructose corn syrup).
Fructose is fruit sugar and table sugar. This is not to say that eating fruit is a bad thing - because it isn’t. Just as long as you’re eating the skin and flesh of the fruit and not only drinking its juice.
Limit Omega-6 fats and increase Omega-3 fats.
Omega-6 fats are found in vegetable oil, canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and cottonseed oil (to name a few) and cause issues like cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes.
Omega-3 fats are most abundantly found in fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, and work against the issues caused by omega-6 oils listed above.
Rack up on foods with choline, a B-Vitamin.
Shrimp, eggs, liver, collard greens, scallops, chicken, turkey, tuna, and beef are all great options containing choline.
Plan out what you will eat ahead of time, and don’t get caught hungry without a gameplan for how to feed yourself.
This may be the most practical tips of all. Most often the reason we fall out of whack with our health is because we don’t prepare ourselves for what we know have to do: eat.
It’s not because we decided to treat ourselves or haven’t quite figured out what style of eating works best for us that we fall off the horse. No, it’s usually when we are ill prepared to feed ourselves over and over again that we resort to bad habits that our health and emotions pay for.
Put these 5 tips into play right now to naturally help your liver do its job of detoxing your body so that you don’t have to.
Remember, dragging yourself through one of the often advertised water, smoothie, juice, or fasting detox regimes in the end isn’t going to do much for your body.
Stick with non-processed whole foods while applying the tips above and you’ll be well on your way.
Do me a favor and share this on your social networks and to your people via email so diet companies can stop getting rich off our detox dieting mistakes.