7 Simple Reasons to DetoxArticle posted in: Diet & Nutrition
If you thought South Beach Diet told you detoxing is a no-no, you’re right. We don’t advocate using detoxing methods as a quick fix to weight loss. However, you can increase your chances of weight loss success by eliminating junk food in your diet, loading up on nutritious, high-fiber ingredients, and sticking to South-Beach-approved foods. There are many reasons to detox the healthy way, and we’ve got them mapped out for you.
Check out 7 reasons to detox the right way and double-down on your weight loss:
1. Foods Can Cause Inflammation
To kick off our reasons to detox, we’ve got one word: Inflammation. Caffeine. Alcohol. Wheat. Sugar. All of these ingredients are known to cause inflammation in the body (an immune-system response that can lead to chronic conditions like arthritis, Crohn’s disease, hay fever and even some cancers, accoridng to the Arthritis Foundation). To reduce the risk of chronic pain or disease, avoid the aforementioned ingredients and load up on foods like olive oil, tomatoes, nuts, fatty fish and fruit, which are known to help reduce the risk of inflammation.
2. You’ve Gotten off Track
Maybe you were doing really well on the South Beach Diet—adhering to the diet and exercise regimen and losing weight. But then you went on vacation. Or maybe you had a setback in your health and everything kind of went by the wayside. If that’s the case, the best thing you can do is load up on lean proteins, veggies and water, water, water. Detox your body of the addictive carbs, sugars and saturated fats that got you into trouble in the first place. Restart your exercise program as soon as you can.
3. Exercise is a Detox
You already know that exercise burns calories, which helps you lose weight. And you probably know that exercise increases energy levels, promotes more effective sleep, and can keep you feeling happy and satisfied. But exercise is also an important detox because you sweat out toxins while you work out and increase circulation in the body, according to Health. Refueling with pure water clarifies the system.
4. Your Body Likes Vegetables…Even if You Don’t
Some detox diets advocate drinking your diet for days. And while that’s NOT what we suggest, we do agree with drinking your diet if you load up your blender with good-for-you goodness like kale, carrots, celery, blueberries and some full fat Greek yogurt. It can be difficult to eat six servings of veggies every day if you just don’t like the taste. When mixed with fruits and other ingredients, however, you’ll get all the fiber, vitamins, and minerals that make these foods so essential to our diets.
5. You’re Stressed
Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. It can weaken the immune system and contribute to asthma, digestive disorders and cancer. And, it might even speed up the aging process, according to Harvard Health. Ridding the body of stress can be done in a number of ways and is one of the most important reasons to detox. Exercise, meditation and mindfulness are among the most effective remedies.
6. You’re Tired
You can increase your energy levels by eating a balanced diet of unrefined carbs, proteins, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fat (oils), says Harvard Health (and South Beach Diet!) If you have foods at home that fall outside these categories, purge your kitchen or ensure they stay out of reach. Be especially careful to avoid soda, sugary coffee or energy drinks because they only deliver “energy” for about an hour. After that, you’ll crash. And, be sure to eat smaller amounts more frequently throughout the day to keep your brain and body fueled. South Beach recommends eating six meals a day—breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus three snacks.
7. Fiber is Your Friend
One of the main selling points of a “detox diet” is that you’ll cleanse your body of harmful toxins that come from the atmosphere, cleaning products and more, according to Berkeley Wellness. While toxins certainly exist, your body is designed to rid itself of these toxins on its own…the liver and kidneys act as the body’s filters, the skin offers a barrier against harmful substances,and the intestines screen out parasites and harmful organisms. Instead of drinking water, cayenne pepper and vinegar to help you expel toxins, eat a healthy diet to keep your “engine” running smoothly and load up on fiber to ensure natural, regular cleansing.