Do you know that the detoxifying programs /diets that are so popular today, are not fruit of our modern times? We have improved them in order to meet our needs, but the foundations were laid in the end of XIX century by the Austrian dietician Felix Meyer. He developed a comprehensive system for body cleansing that includes proper nutrition, massages, bathing in hot springs and exercises.
The system of Dr. Meyer became very popular for a short time among the elite, and at that time people didn’t even have to deal with the filled with preservatives foods, as well they didn’t have to live in the big polluted cities in a daily stress, as we have to live today.
What is a detox diet?
The term “detox” doesn‘t hide any strictly specialized diet, but a whole group of dietary regimens with low calories intake, all intended to help the body to detofify (to get rid of the accumulated harmful substances in it). Such diets should be observed for a very short time (from one to 7 days), because they can’t provide the body with all necessary beneficial substances for the organism.
What are the beneficial effects of the cleansing diet?
The main purpose of this dietary regimen is not to lead at all costs to weight loss, but to cleanse the body and to improve the general health condition of the organism, that is daily bombed with harmful agents.
The detox diet is especially beneficial for:
- Liver cleansing and prevention of conditions such as fatty degenerations of the liver.
- Prevention of the irritatable bowel syndrome.
- The detox diet improves the balance of the intestinal microflora and thus helps to cope with the symptoms related to inflammation of the intestines.
- Removal of excess fluid in the organism and dealing with cellulite.
- Cleansing the skin and removal of skin problems and acne. Thanks to the foods with antioxidant effect that are consumed during detox, the inflammatory processes are reduced, as they are one of the main causes of acne.
- Reducing the symptoms of gastritis, as that condition aggravates when consuming refined foods, fats, sugar and alcohol. Since during the detoxifying regimen these foods are excluded from the menu, this helps not only to be reduced the symptoms of gastritis, but also for the elimination of other inflammatory processes of the digestive system.
- Weight loss. Although the detox diet is not considered to be a diet for weight loss, it has such effect for sure.
Main types of detoxifying diets
We have already mentioned that these dietary regimens are not recommended to be followed for a long period of time, because this will lead to a nutritional deficiency of the organism. The calorie content of the detox diet usually is between 1000 and 1200 calories, therefore the specialists also recommend the diet to be followed for a maximum period of 7 days, and then people have to continue with the feeding process and adopt a permanent helathy nutritional regimen.
Given the short time of this type of dietary regimen, we can specify three main types of detox diets:
- One-day detox diet
- Three-day detox diet
- Seven-day detox diet
One-day detox diet
This diet can’t be exactly specified as a diet, but it helps the organism to get rid of the accumulated slags. The diet has to be followed for a 24-hours period, and during this time shall be consumed only fresh fruit and vegetable juices, green tea and fresh citruces.
The one-day healing fasting can be observed once in the month or every week.
Three-day detox diet
This nutritional cleansing regimen helps the body to cleanse from toxins accumulated after excessive food intake during the holidays for example. During the three days of cleansing shall be consumed mainly fruits, vegetables, legumes, water and tea.
On the first day of the seven-day regimen you should drink only water (not less than 1.5 – 2L), in order the intestines to be stimulated, as well herbal and green tea.
On the second day to the water and tea you should add also fruits (excluding bananas) and vegetables, which can be consumed as a salad, soups or grilled.
In the following days you should include legumes, whole grain products, plant products, and during the last two days you can add to the regimen animal proteins such as white meat and fish.
How do you know that your body needs a detox diet?
According to one of the leading nutrition experts Valeria Agnelutto at any point in which you feel that you need cleansing, you can start a detox diet.
Your body gives you signals that it needs cleansing, as the most common symptoms that show it’s time for detox are:
- Frequent headache
- Difficult weight loss
- Sweathing during the night
- Chronic fatigue, lack of energy
- Irritability and nervousness
- Skin problems
- Bloating and constipation
- Smells intolerance and other
Such cleansing regimens are recommended also if you have eaten a lot during the holidays, as well if you wish to get rid of some kilograms before the summer arrives, or you just want to give your body a „rest” from the junk foods that you feed it with on a daily basis.
Key rules for a successful detoxifying diet
Prepration of the organism for detox
Before you start a diet regimen like this, you have to prepare your body in advance. A few weeks before starting the regimen it is good to reduce the fried and paste foods, as well to quit the sweet, spicy, salty foods, reduce caffeine and cigarettes.
A week before the diet it is recommended to replace the meat with vegetables and start drinking a glass of hot water with a slice of lemon each morning.
Planning the diet
It is not a good idea to start the detox diet if you are under stress in your work, as well just before you go on a holiday or if you have a few days left before your wedding or before any other other important event in your life.
Take enough time to prepare yourself and for planning, and don’t forget that the detox includes not only food limitations but also a good rest and enough sleep.
If you are going to make a detox diet for the first time you can try the one-day fasting or the 3 – day cleansing program in order to be aware of what to expect. The next diet regimen can be the 7 – day detox diet.
Before you start the cleansing program, talk to your therapist. Some internal diseases, as well the acute inflammatory processes and infections can be contraindicated for such a diet. Do not start the diet if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well if your blood levels are low.
Foods that you have to avoid during a detox diet
- Dairy products, including butter and yoghurt
- Eggs, all foods containing gluten
- Artificial sweeteners
- Coffee and beverages containing caffeine
- Animal products
- Industrial additives such as ketchup, mayonnaise, margarine and other
- Any type of foods containing fats
- Non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks
Foods to be consumed during the detoxifying diet
In the detox diet all kinds of fresh fruits can be consumed;
- Fruit juices, freshly squeezed without added sugar;
- Dried fruits such as blueberries or raisins (At most 5 – 6 fruits per day because the dried fruits contain high levels of fructose and many calories).
All vegetables that are rich in fiber and are low in sugar content, such as asparagus, cauliflower, beet, dill, green leafy vegetables, broccoli.
Carbohydrates with low glycemic index
This category includes starchy foods and in particular cereals and their derivatives. It is better to consume these foods as a whole grains, and the consumption of foods such as quinoa, millet and oats to be limited.
These foods have to be eaten in small quantities and only in the hours until noon.
As with any other diet, the detox program also includes as requirement the drinking of 1.5 – 2L water per day. Moreover, during the regimen you can drink herbal or green tea, hot water with lemon (in the morning), ginger tea, dandelion tea or white tea.
Feeding process after a detox diet
„The exit from the detoxifying diet” or the feeding after that is of great importance for the effectiveness of the dietary regimen, therefore you have to be very careful with regard to this process.
Why the way of feeding after a detoxifying diet is so important?
In fact, the answer to this questions is very easy to be found. If after a few days in which you have reduced the food intake to minimum, after you have removed all harmful, fatty and highly nutritious foods and you have succeeded not only to cleanse your body from the toxins, but also to lose few pounds, if after the finishing of the diet you decide to go back to your previous way of life and nutrition, you will not only gain your kilograms back, but this will eliminate the fruits of all the efforts you made during the cleansing diet.
Moreover, the sudden return to the old dietary regimen can lead to stomach problems, vomiting and other adverse consequences.
What is the proper way to feed yourself after a detox?
After completing the detoxifying program you should start the feeding process gradually, making sure you do not overdo, but follow the advices of the specialists-dieticians strictly.
In the first days try to consume more vegetable and fruit smoothies, water and tea, and when you feel that your organism needs stronger foods you can add to one of the meals of the day a piece of baked fish or boiled or grilled white chicken meat.
In the following days you can have for breakfast a bowl of low-fat milk or cereals, little portion of vegetable soup for lunch and for dinner – large bowl of fresh salad and a small portion of baked potatoes or chicken meat.
Try not to eat junk foods, follow a healthy nutrition regimen, move more and take better care of your body.