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Detox and Cleanses

Detox and Cleanses

Detox and Cleanses
Lately there has been a lot of buzz about Detox Programs and Cleanses.  People are seeking ways to cleanse their bodies of toxins for many reasons:  weight loss, digestive problems, acne and other skin problems, body aches and pains, fatigue or just to become healthier.  With the marketplace filled with more and more processed foods, additives, sweeteners and convenience / fast foods to help with hectic schedules, our bodies need to work harder than ever to get rid of these toxins we consume.

Detox programs need to have two components: (1) to help your body eliminate the toxins and (2) to help break the addiction of the ‘toxic’ food you are eating.  The body has its own natural daily cleansing process to eliminate or filter out the toxins through the use of the liver, kidneys, colon, intestines and skin.  Doing a juice cleanse will help reduce the amount of toxins the body has to eliminate, but you’ll also need to change your eating habits and food choices after the juice cleanse is over to maintain good health by limiting your intake of toxins.  During the ‘detox’ time, bread, sweets, desserts, coffee or processed foods are off limits.  These are loaded with things our bodies have become addicted to such as sugar, wheat, caffeine and saturated fats.  With any addiction, the body craves what it is addicted to, whether its sugar, bread, alcohol or cigarettes, and wants more and more to feel satisfied.  Just as an alcoholic’s detox program is to (stop drinking) eliminate the toxic and addictive alcohol, the job of a nutritional detox is to (stop eating junk) eliminate the food choices we make that are toxic and addictive to us.  Just as an alcoholic cannot begin drinking alcohol again after they’ve completed a detox, healthier eating habits and food choices need to be continually made after a nutritional detox.

During the course of a detox or cleansing program the body may not always feel its best, particularly through the first few days. Being monitored by a healthcare provider who specializes in nutrition is essential to help you through any obstacles you encounter and to ensure your detox process is healthy and safe. Suffering from headaches or fatigue during the detox may simply be caused from the lack of caffeine that you normally get from your coffee, but other more serious issues may be happening to your body during a detox or cleanse that can also make you feel weak, fatigued or dizzy.  Your detox may not provide the minimum calories or protein your body needs.  This is not advisable. Consuming only a ‘juice cleanse’ can make your insulin levels spike and then crash. The lack of calories and/or protein can force your body to burn muscle mass for energy, which can give you that weak, fatigued feeling that’s not from a lack of coffee!

Exercise is important during any detoxification program, but it should not be overly strenuous during this time. Ultimately, exercise will also help ensure a healthy body composition, the relationship between your lean muscle tissue and your body fat.  Maintaining and/or building muscle mass will help increase your metabolism to burn calories faster. By adding muscle building exercise, the scale may not be ‘moving down’ but you will be ‘slimming down’!  That’s because you are building muscles which weigh more than the fat you are burning while exercising, making you leaner.  Here is where the dividends to a consistent resistance exercise program pay off big.

Stress can also be toxic to your body.  Your body produces stress hormones to protect itself.  Your body needs that stress hormone (cortisol/adrenaline) when you’re being chased by an attack dog, but if you are always under stress and your body is continually releasing large amounts of these stress hormones, your liver needs to work overtime for them to be detoxified.  Learning stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing or yoga exercise can be very helpful.

The detox or cleanse is just the beginning part of the NMR weight management program which will guide you through the steps to help clean out and eliminate foods that are toxic or “addictions” to your body.  Break your habit of eating foods that are not helping with your weight loss and start learning how to replenish your body with quality low fat proteins, healthy carbohydrates and fats, as well as supplements when needed.  Visit the blog on NMRNJ.com to follow 2 individuals as they journal their First 100 Days on this program.  You’ll see before & after pictures, their recipes & exercise tips, and learn about the challenges and successes on their NMR weight management journey to Better Health, Better Life.




Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation

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