I recently was asked to participate in a 3-day detox diet with a colleague of mine. He was looking for a little support and figured it wouldn't be so bad if someone else was doing it too. Makes sense. So, I agreed to the diet.
Not happening! Beet shakes, tea with stuff I would spend all day looking for around the stores in our town. A little too much for me. The word "extreme" comes to mind. I am all about a healthy detox. It sounds good, but before I get to the extreme mapped out in this plan, I need to start small. Baby steps. This seemed more like a plan for people that already eat just fruits and vegetables. As ya'll know...that isn't me!!
So in talking with friends about "The Detox" that never happened, the question everyone asked me was, "Why detox?" Good question. Why put yourself through such torture? There needs to be a reason for it, right? Here is what I have found that seems to sum it up well...
Detoxing can help reset your digestive track and change bad habits so that you no longer crave certain unhealthy foods. A cleanse can also help to improve your energy levels and digestion, promote weight loss, enhance mental clarity, balance your mood and promote long-term dietary changes. ~ livestrong.com
What did I get from that? Basically, detox diets allow you to start with a clean slate. It's a fresh start! As you eat healthier foods and cut out the junk, you crave the junk less. A detox diet isn't going to help you lose 10 pounds AND keep it off. What it WILL do is get your body into the "eating well" mode...in most cases. However there is an opposite effect, which is to crave a Big Mac like my colleague who hasn't had McDonald's is probably 20 years! Not good.
I never called it a detox, but know that I think about it, I will sometimes do a form of my own detox diet. No beet shakes or herbal supplements, just fruits, vegetables, water and lean proteins. When I have wandered far from the "Livin' Lean Path" (typically over certain weekends and holidays), I commit to eating extremely clean for 3-5 days. After that, my energy is up, I am feeling better and I don't feel the cravings for those foods which got me into that mess in the first place.
I like the idea behind the detox. It's good to restart every now and then. Just be careful with the plan you choose and make sure it is best for you. Watch out for the extremes and try just eating clean.