Lots of people see “detoxing” or “cleansing” as a way to drop pounds quickly. By swapping out their entire diet with special juices, cleansing pills or other “lose-weight-fast” supplements, they expect to see major results immediately.
If you are a regular reader of the VeraVia blog, you know that our approach to weight loss is much more balanced and realistic. We believe that healthy weight loss is part of a bigger picture that is influenced by your overall health. For us, detoxification is not about speed. It’s about resetting yourself and getting on the right path to promote weight loss in a way that produces lasting results.
From the VeraVia perspective, detoxification is about reducing or eliminating the toxins in your body that keep you overweight or stuck in a generally unhealthy lifestyle. In this article, you won’t find any promises to lose weight overnight. But if you understand our philosophy and follow our suggestions for a holistic approach to detoxification, you will find that losing weight is simply a byproduct of an overall healthier you.
Prepare to reset
See your detox as a reset, not an aggressive overhaul. We are staunch opponents to any dieting approached that suggests you starve yourself or deprive yourself. These approaches might produce an instant mental boost as you feel the kick of proactivity, but the fact is, these methods simply do not produce real results. It’s important that you don’t drop your blood sugar (which can be dangerous) and that you eat things that make you feel full. Otherwise, your path to healthy weight loss will be rocky at best.
The best detox is to simply eliminate toxins
Toxins in your food take many forms, some more obvious than others. Start your detox by eliminating these sneaky toxins that have unfortunately become a part of the modern diet.
- Eliminate sugar. Sugar is metabolized by your liver, taking what it doesn’t need (which is very little) and converting it into fat. Start by cutting sugar from the obvious places (soda, candy, sweets) but also be aware of the hidden places processed sugar hides like ketchup, salad dressing and jams.
- Say no to caffeine. Eliminating caffeine will likely feel uncomfortable in the first few weeks and might take the form of headaches or increased fatigue. But it’s worth it to power through. Excessive caffeine can cause muscle tremors, upset stomach, and an increased heartbeat. This agitation is not only uncomfortable but it can cause you to load up on foods like bread and cereals to calm your stomach.
- Reduce your sodium intake. The modern diet is virtually overflowing with salt and we have become accustomed to adding it to everything. In addition to the blood pressure increase that can result from elevated sodium levels, the sodium in salt helps regulate the amount of water held in your cells. Too much sodium will cause water retention that results in weight gain. Reduce your salt intake, improve your health, and lose weight in a healthy way.
- Cut out packaged/processed foods. Packaged and processed foods are full of chemicals, preservatives, and dyes that can wreak havoc on your system, causing everything from weight gain to skin reactions. Eat natural, whole foods—preferably organic–so your body can extract real fuel, not quick bursts of fleeting energy.
The goal is for your detox to become part of your daily life, not a just a one-off. During our weight loss retreats, we teach guests how to change their diets and still enjoy eating. We don’t believe in fasts or all-juice “cleanses.” Instead, we work with professional chefs to craft satisfying meals free from the harmful additives found in many grocery store foods. The education we provide is clear and easy to remember so guests can take their new clean-eating knowledge back home.
Our philosophy is simple: seriously increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins like beans, and whole grains while drastically cutting back on red meat and all packaged and processed foods, especially processed flour and sugar. This sensible approach to fresh food is a sustainable way to detoxify your system while still getting the nutrients you need. Cheers to a cleaner you!