So, you're thinking of doing a detox. But the idea of spending any amount of time doing a super strict diet (even temporarily) frankly, freaks you out.
If you haven't seen the post on Everything You Need to Know About a Detox, then check that out, first.
When I got back from a 6-week trip, all I could think about was doing a good ol' detox.
I hadn't had a chance to cook for myself so most of the food I had eaten out were pretty rich. Plus, I had been eating foods I'm intolerant to (dairy, eggs, and wheat) out of convenience.
So it felt like my intestines were screaming for a reset. And I thought I could do a detox with ease. But even though I had planned what I wanted to do (avoid foods I'm intolerant to, take a break from stimulants, and eat mostly vegetarian), the cravings for the foods I wanted to detox from was intense.
A lot of times, the idea of doing a plan is super simple but executing it is tough when your body is saying it wants other things.
And I know many gals who plan to do some kind of detox but fail after day 1 because they jumped in, too soon. It's pretty common to want to eat everything that is off limits the day before the detox and then try to use will power to make it through the rest.
So, what do you do when you want to reset your body but are struggling to even start with the first meal? I find it way more effective to transition into a cleansing diet than going cold turkey.
Here are 3 ways you can do just that and get the most out of your detox.
1) Don't start with food.
The whole point of doing a detox or cleanse is to give your body a rest, and you can do that in more ways than just resting your internal organs. Here are some activities to start the healing process that have nothing to do with food:
- Take a hot bath for circulation and digestion
- Get aroma oils you love that relax you
- Do self-massage and skin brushing
- Stretch after you wake up and before you go to bed
And if you think about it, things like having poor sleep actually fuel cravings for foods that you're trying to avoid. So these non-food related activities are strategic in helping you get through a food cleanse.
So do yourself a favor by starting off easy with activities that don't make you feel like you're missing out on or restricting yourself from something you want.
2) Eat foods you want, but made with alternative ingredients
Another simple thing you can do is continue to have the foods that are familiar to you, but with alternative ingredients. Maybe it means making cookies made with almond flour instead of wheat flour. Maybe it means using maple syrup as a sweetener instead of sugar.
Even if these alternative ingredients aren't serving your detox, they are super helpful in getting you to transition off of the foods that haven't been working in your favor.
Click to Tweet: The point of a detox is to give your body a rest, so you don't have to start with food.
3) Focus on making changes to meals that don't matter, and follow your cravings when they do
Most people I talk to say that their biggest struggle with diets is cravings.
But the thing is, we usually don't have cravings for every meal of every day. Maybe you have a sandwich for lunch every day and could care less if it's turkey or roast beef.
The point is that there are times throughout the day when eating healthier foods aren't a big deal to you, and others when the cravings are so bad that you wish you never thought of the word "detox".
If you think about it, weight loss works in a similar way to the stock market going down. You see downward trends with some static spots or sporadic upward movements.
So, eat healing foods when it doesn't matter to you, and honor your cravings for a donut if the craving is genuine. Your body will make adjustments to the healing foods you're eating, over time.
There's no reason to feel like a detox or cleanse has to be cold turkey. And if anything, transitioning into one is more strategic because it doesn't fuel all-or-nothing behavior.
So if you're the kind of person who decides you might as well eat the entire buffet after having one measly bite of an off-limit cookie, then you'll find that transitioning will help minimize self-sabotage.