We are officially in that season folks!!
Here in Canada we had Thanksgiving....then Halloween, and now we wait for Christmas. If you're a neighbour to the south, you've had Halloween, it's almost Thanksgiving and then you're right into the Holidays. What that means for most of us is basically eating habits that get progressively worse from October to January. It means we spend the season feeling fat, bloated and tired AND that puts up into the January position of feeling even FURTHER off track than we did back in September. All in all, it's a tough time of year when it comes to food and fat loss.
So, how do we interrupt this behaviour, feel better in between those food-centric Holidays, but still enjoy them? One solution out there is detoxing. I think yesterday alone I got 3 email invitations to buy detoxes/cleanses and have them shipped to my door free.
A few years back I probably would have ordered two of them. See, I LOOOOOVED me the quick fixes back then. I would throw money at a juice cleanse thinking THAT was going to solve my problems (and not changing the habits that I had on the daily). Fast forward, and I can now tell you a thing or two about detoxes.
Here are 5 things I think you need to know,
1. Your body does a fairly great job of detoxing on it's own and you have an entire system in your body that is based around detoxifying substances that you take in. Your liver actually uses a two step process to break down things that need to be excreted. In phase 1 it makes compounds water soluble and in phase 2 it attaches those water soluble compounds to molecules that carry them out of your body. They can leave via your kidneys (pee), lungs (exhale), colon (poo) or skin.
So first important takeaway is that these two phases of detoxification need to be in balance. Step one of the process (making things water soluble) is important, but water soluble compounds are actually MORE dangerous to our body because they are taken up easily into body tissues and can wreak much more havoc this way than in their original fat soluble state. What do you think happens if you accidentally speed up Phase 1 of detoxification but don't do anything to support Phase 2? You would get a build up of MORE dangerous water soluble toxins that can't be excreted quickly enough. The point is, detoxing is more complicated than just flushing out 'toxins', and you should probably let your body deal with detoxification in the way that it evolved to.
The trouble then arises when there is too much coming in that needs to be detoxified by your liver. This is when the process can't keep up, things get backed up and you have accumulation leading to inflammation, fat storage, low energy etc.
So takeaways: your body has a fantastic detox system all on it's own; attempting to use 'detox' products can be dangerous if they are out of balance in terms of Phase 1/Phase 2 support; the problem happens when your system gets overwhelmed.
2. Juice cleanses are the WORST for energy, fat loss, etc. Juice cleanses were my go to. They seemed like such a great idea. Drink nutrient rich juice that is easily absorbed into your system. Reset everything, lose 10lbs and feel amazing.
Except not quite.
If you're feeling tired, hangry, have fat to lose and crave alllllll the carbs like I did, odds are your blood sugar is a MESS. What do you think drinking basically quick digesting pure sugar exclusively for a few days is going to do for that? If you said make it worse, ding ding ding, you're right.
I'm not saying juice cleanses don't have benefits for your body. They 100% do. What they do NOT do is support fat loss, In fact, after a juice cleanse, most people find their cravings worse and their energy tanked. They also tend to hold more fat.
Takeaway: stay away from the Juice Cleanse if you're looking for a detox experience to help lose fat, gain energy and feel better long term.
3. Herbs can be dangerous. This goes hand in hand with point #1. Herbs are very powerful, and we really don't appreciate just what an impact they can have on our physiology. I'm not saying that herbs are a bad idea when it comes to detoxification. The right ones can help support BOTH Phase 1 & Phase 2, but can also interact with prescription drugs and cause other system wide physiological effects that you may not anticipate.
Takeaway? Unless you're working with a Naturopath or a trained Herbologist, I would not be attempting an herbal detox, and I don't suggest you should either. And when I say that, I don't mean your local health food store employee either. Don't buy an herbal based 'detox in a box' on your own or with minimal guidance.
4. It's about what you leave out, not what you add in. This is my favourite point when it comes to detoxes. Let's go back up to point 1. The problem arises when we overwhelm our built in detox system, right? So instead of trying to speed that up, what if we just stopped overwhelming it in the first place? What if we cut down on the key things that slow down the system and instead focus on taking in nutrient rich food that helps to support those natural detoxification processes? In my experience, both with myself AND with clients, that has worked better for fat loss, energy, bloating and getting back on track than ANYTHING else.
So what foods tend to overwhelm the liver, create inflammation and just slow down the process? The big 3 are gluten, dairy and sugar. After that things like alcohol, caffeine, processed & fried foods and red meat can also have an impact. Now I'm not saying to never have these foods again. What I AM saying, is that taking a break can be all of the 'detox' you need.
5. My 10 Day Lavish Detox is my favourite way to hit the reset button. Okay, so now that you actually UNDERSTAND detox a little bit and how it works (or doesn't), I want to introduce you to something I am VERY proud of. The first thing I do with ALL new clients is run through my 10 Day Lavish Detox.
It's 10 days of whole foods that support your body's very own detoxification process. We focus on foods that are rich in the nutrients your system needs to do the job itself, that also taste delicious and leave you feeling full and satisfied. There is no calorie counting or portion control needed and it's NOT all or nothing. What it IS is a great way to lose the bloat, lose some inches, start to balance your blood sugar, gain more energy, and do it in a way that's actually sustainable.
It's also a great way to get back on track during one big long season of allllllll the food, cocktails and celebrations.
If that sounds like something that may be helpful for you, my detox is on SALE for 50% off until tomorrow, Friday Nov 10th at 11:59 EST. The cool thing is, when you decide to jump in and buy it, you get lifetime access to the materials, which means you can run through this detox whenever you want. Personally, I run through it every season PLUS after any vacations or long weekends, It keeps me sane (and keeps my jeans fitting).
So that's it! All of my thoughts on detoxing (or at least the ones I could fit in this blog). Got detox questions? Hit me up over on Facebook and let me know! I'd love to answer them for you!