A detox is a great way to kickstart your journey to becoming slimmer, fitter, and more healthy. However, the idea of the discipline required to do one puts many people off trying one.
The idea of a cleanse makes you think of self-denial, starvation, and deprivation. You even think you need a Spartan-level of self-discipline to stop yourself going crazy on a cleanse. This is all wrong!
In fact, a cleanse is easy for anybody to do – and you won’t go insane doing one, either.
Here are ten tips to help you stay on a weight loss cleanse (without being down in the dumps.)
10 Tips to Breeze Your Way Through a Weight Loss Cleanse
A cleanse means different things to different people. Some will tell you a cleanse involves three days of fasting while others would say it is a detox from sugar and junk food.
Whatever you define as a cleanse, there are ways to help you stick to your plans to improve your lifestyle and wellbeing for the long term.
1. Get an Accountability Buddy
Tell somebody about what you plan to do – and see if they want to join you on the journey.
It’s much easier to stick to a plan if you’re accountable to someone else. You will have someone to share your experience with, and you can keep each other strong in moments of low willpower.
2. Plan Ahead
A cleanse takes planning. Make sure that you don’t have any unhealthy temptations in the kitchen at home, so you’re not reaching for cookies in times of low willpower. If it’s not there, you can’t eat it!
Have healthy alternatives in stock to take to work or school, too. This will stop you from feeling deprived, and start to teach you lifetime healthy habits that will help you to make the most of the benefits of your cleanse.
It’s a good idea to start the first full day of your cleanse on a weekend, too. This will help you get used to a new routine, without the distraction of work or school. It’ll also give you time to battle any side effects, such as fatigue, that can occur in the first few days of a cleanse.
3. Ease Into a Cleanse
You can’t just launch into a cleanse one day after a lifetime of eating junk. The side effects could be unbearable: headaches, nausea, and unstable blood sugar are just a few symptoms you might experience.
Start cutting out bad foods a week or two before your full cleanse. Reduce the sugar in your coffee over a few days, for example, before switching to decaf for the next few days. This will make it easier to eliminate tempting foods and stop you from having cravings during your cleanse.
4. Tell Other People About It
You don’t want to be one of “those” people who always rants on about how amazing their new health regime is. Nobody likes that person.
However, it is a good idea to share your cleanse plans with your friends and family so that they can support you. They will be more understanding if you don’t attend plans that could cause you to falter, such as going on a night out with junk food and alcohol.
5. Learn to Calm the Hungry Thoughts
You will get hungry at some point during your cleanse. This is the part that scares people away from detoxing, but in fact, it’s an important part of the process.
Listen to your hungry thoughts, don’t try to suppress them. Act on them, even, but with healthy alternatives. If you’re craving candy, reach for some fruit.
This is the time to retrain your brain into recognizing when you really are hungry, or when you’re bored and want to eat ‘just because’.
6. Stay Hydrated
Hungry thoughts often occur when you’re actually thirsty. Drink plenty of water during your cleanse to stay hydrated. This way, when you feel hungry, you’ll know you actually ARE hungry – and not just thirsty.
When your stomach starts to grumble, drink a glass of water and wait twenty minutes. This will help to teach you self-control, and also tune in to your body’s signals. If you’re still hungry after the time has passed, it means you really do need a snack.
7. Be Aware of Emotional Eating Triggers
As you listen to your body’s signals, you’ll start to learn what your emotional triggers are. Do you want a high-carb meal when you’re stressed out? Do you want to eat while you’re watching the TV?
Take time to consider your ‘why’. Why are you hungry? What is it that you really want – or feel you are missing? Pay attention to these triggers and you’ll understand your unhealthy motivations in more depth. This will help you to continue more healthy and positive habits after you’ve completed your detox.
8. Take Time for Self-Care
There will be times during a detox diet that you’ll want to give up. You might feel tired, or just really want to have your favorite junk food.
Take time for some self-care and your mood will be boosted. Spend time in a bubble bath, or take a yoga class. Whatever makes you feel good, that gives you some ‘me-time’, do it. A cleanse is the perfect time to tune in to your mind as well as your body, so take the opportunity to look after yourself with some pampering.
9. Keep a Journal
Write a journal every day of your cleanse. This will help you to identify your emotional triggers, discover the self-care that makes you feel good, and show your progress.
Write about how you feel: this always helps you to bring a perspective to your emotions. When you can see your thoughts written down on paper, it’s easier to decide how to deal with them.
10. Plan Healthy Meals
Make sure you know what you’re going to do after your cleanse, too. This will keep you motivated and help you to maintain the good habits you developed during your detox.
Plan healthy meals to have in the first week or two after your cleanse. Meal planning helps you to reach your health and fitness goals, and will also take the stress out of deciding what to eat each day.
Take Some Time to Exercise
After your initial weight loss cleanse, introduce some regular exercise into your routine. This will help you to lose weight as well as provide you with a healthy alternative: when you feel like snacking, go work out instead!
Exercise boosts endorphins, which make you feel good, so you’ll get the same positive reinforcement as you used to get from sugar and junk food. It will also help you to achieve your weight loss goals more quickly as you burn more calories than if you don’t exercise.
Check out this hot guide to get started with your new workout routine.