Some detox plans last a few days, other last may last a few weeks. One of the more popular detox plans is “Master Cleanse.” If you’re a fan of Beyoncé, you might recall that she did the “Master Cleanse” in order to slim down for the film Dreamgirls. “Master Cleanse” consists of drinking at least two liters each day of the following concoction: lemon juice, maple syrup (the real stuff), and cayenne pepper. Oh, and don’t forget the laxative tea and salt water flushes. The premise of this plan, as with many detox plans, is to flush out toxins, clean out your colon, and provide just enough calories (from the maple syrup) so that you don’t pass out.
While it felt like an undertaking to commit to such a change, I figured that I could do practically anything for 10 days, so why not give it a shot? As I prepared to make everything that passed my lips for the next week and a half, I filled my shopping cart with raw nuts and coconut oil, hemp and flax and chia seeds, a lot of avocados, and a farmers market’s worth of leafy greens and cruciferous veggies. I was ready to detox.
Dr. Hyman’s research made sense to me, so I thought I’d give his diet a try. With little less than a month until my follow-up doctor’s appointment, I wanted to jumpstart my progress. I read his 10-Day Detox Diet, which cuts out not only the inflammation triggers of gluten, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol, but also all grains, most fruit, legumes, and starchy vegetables, to help maintain balanced blood sugar levels. I welcomed the return of humanely-produced lean protein and an almost laughable amount of healthy fats — nearly 20 g per meal — which was absolutely shocking to someone who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, when fat was the enemy. Could this really produce results? I was about to find out.
Tara Bellucci is a lifestyle writer and marketing consultant focused on helping entrepreneurs boost their small businesses. Her work has appeared on Apartment Therapy, The Kitchn, and Boston.com. A co-founder of the Boston Food Swap, she hosts monthly events where people swap homemade and homegrown food. She writes openly about her health journey at MindMouthMantra.com.
Interested in seeing if cutting back on sugar more drastically may improve your day? A good way to get started, especially for those who have never targeted sugar in their diets before, is following a 7-day program. The experts behind Sugar Shock: The Hidden Sugar in Your Food and 100+ Smart Swaps to Cut Back have crafted a day-by-day guide that won't deprive you of all sugar at once.
If you work with your primary care doctor to control your diabetes, you may have to go to extremes to monitor your blood sugar. This type of care involves pricking your finger for blood samples or even injecting yourself with the insulin your body is not creating for itself. If you want to live a healthier life that is free from the pain of blood draws and injections, the 6-Week Diabetes Detox program may be the right step for you.
There are different detox regimens, some harsher than others. Most of them are very-low-calorie liquid diets. Some detox plans aim to clean you out with the use of fiber supplements, enemas, or herbal teas that act as laxatives. And some plans have you fast for a few days, after which you gradually add back food. There’s no shortage of detox plans, either, so you can take your pick. Just Google “detox diet.” Or, check yourself into a spa and get pampered while you purge your system of bad things (of course, be prepared to pay a hefty sum, too.).
Detoxification, or detox, diets are typically short-term diets that promise to rid the body of environmental toxins. Most detox plans begin with a period of fasting followed by a strict menu of raw vegetables, fruit, juices and/or water. Many plans involve taking specific herbs or other supplements and may require a colon cleanse, otherwise known as an enema.
The first way to remove any such toxins from your body is to change your diet. This is a type of diet, which contains various essential food items but along with that one is also advised to get supplements for betterment of their body. Under this detox diet, some particular nutrients are added, and hence, the food, which produces a higher level of blood glucose in your body, is neglected.
It’s important to get support to help manage stress during your detox. Make an appointment with a health coach or a functional health practitioner to make sure you get the support you need. Or, grab a buddy who can do the detox with you. You can also join my Sugar Free Challenge that I host every month. It’s free to join and you will find tons of support and resources there.
Stefani Sassos, MS, RD, a registered dietitian within the Good Housekeeping Institute, explains that excessive sugar can spike your blood sugar levels... and then turn into a sudden drop off afterwards. This is why you may feel super fatigued in the moment, or push through a huge mood swing, in any given afternoon. Over the long run, however, eating too much sugar can greatly influence your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, chronic dietary inflammation, and severe fatigue, among other physical risks. "There's a ripple effect on your body, as it can get accustomed to lots of sugar," she adds, citing habits like a daily office donut or sugary sweet coffee drink. "Over time, it becomes this difficult thing to decipher: Am I addicted to this, did I train my body to crave this food?"
I didn’t realize the amount of added sugar I consumed daily. I have one cup of coffee a day and I add two healthy teaspoons of sugar in it. I love can peaches in heavy syrup and because the calorie count per serving was only 100, I thought I was making a good choice. (Cottage cheese and peaches for breakfast, I thought I was doing good). But I never could lost weight and I often craved something sweet to eat. I going to take the advise of this ad and work on detoxing added sugar from my diet. Thank you for the tips.
For example, breakfast can include three eggs, any style; lunch can include up to 6 ounces of poultry, fish or tofu and a green salad, and dinner is basically a larger version of lunch, though steamed vegetables such as broccoli, kale and spinach can be eaten in place of salad. Snacks include an ounce of nuts and sliced peppers with hummus. Beverages include water, unsweetened tea and black coffee.
Restructuring your daily meals for longer than a week can help you realize that sugar might not be totally to blame for all of your sluggish behavior. Sassos says making a longer diet change can push you to also prioritize getting enough sleep each night, and also work on ensuring you're properly hydrated each and every day. "Getting enough sleep and drinking enough water are often neglected," Sassos says. "No one prioritizes this in their routine, and yet they're the simplest things that you can do for your body for overall health and to wardoff sugar cravings."
Follow nutritionist Jay Robb's (Everydiet.org) Fruit Flush for a healthy three-day detox for diabetics. Throughout day one of the plan, consume a protein shake every two hours (from 8 am until 4 pm) using whey protein. At 6 pm, consume a healthy dinner consisting of chicken breasts (around four ounces), three to six cups of vegetable salad, and a tablespoon of olive oil. On days two and three of the plan, consume fresh fruit every two hours (again, from 8 am to 4 pm) with a healthy dinner consisting of a protein shake, half of an avocado (for healthy fats), and vegetable salad at 6 pm. This plan comports with the principles of diabetic dieting by relegating your overall nutritional intake to healthy, slow-digesting carbs like fruits and vegetables while providing plenty of added nutrition in the form of protein, lean meat and healthy fats. At the end of the three days you will have likely lost a few pounds without diverging too far from your original diabetic diet.
Detox diets do have their appeal. The idea of cleansing your system and ridding your body of toxins, pollutants, and sludge is often what draws people to these plans. However, what many people don’t realize is that the body has its own built-in “detox” machine in the form of our internal organs. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be around for too long. Our lungs, liver, kidneys, intestines, and immune system are highly efficient at ridding the body of harmful things, whether they be chemicals, fatty foods, or bacteria. Granted, sometimes our detox machines are overwhelmed by harmful substances, but for the most part, we all have a system in place to stay relatively healthy.
Detoxing for a day or even a few days is probably not too harmful…if you’re in good health. However, detox diets aren’t recommended for anyone with chronic conditions, like diabetes, or heart, liver, or kidney disease, or for certain populations, like pregnant women, children or teenagers, and older adults. Short-term side effects of detox diets include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lightheadedness, and swings in blood glucose levels. Longer-term, and more serious, effects include loss of lean muscle mass, irregular heartbeat, heart or kidney damage, bowel perforation (if enemas are involved), infections, and severe dehydration. So, resist the temptation to detox and remember that any benefits you might derive from it will be very short lived. As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race!
In this case, “detox” doesn’t mean checking into a rehab facility to wean yourself off alcohol. What “detox” refers to, in the dieting world at least, is a dietary detoxification plan. This is a temporary dieting plan (as are most diets) that involves following a regimen (usually pretty extreme) in order to cleanse your body of “toxic” substances such as pesticides, chemicals, additives, pollutants…or food that just isn’t very good for you. Sometimes people “detox” in order to clear their minds, sharpen their focus, or lose weight quickly.
Stay hydrated: Keeping up with water and unsweetened beverages is important, as a lack of water or fluids can make it that much harder for your liver to handle excess sugar. While chugging a liter of water can't "flush" out the sugar in your system, Sassos says warm fluids like warm ginger tea may help to speed up the digestive process for those who are searching for some immediate relief — but that's not an effective long term solution.