Obesity is an epidemic of huge proportions in the United States and the problem is only growing bigger each year (pun intended!). Over half of all Americans are either overweight or obese and oftentimes dieting and weight loss information found on the internet can be confusing and misleading. Living a healthy lifestyle has cascading effects- by making a few positive changes to your diet, you are setting yourself up for success in all other areas of your life.
Learning how to cleanse your body for weight loss can be simple and achievable with a little self-discipline and the right information on hand. Cleansing, or “detoxing,” is a dietary practice that is typically carried out over a short time period. It serves to remove unhealthy toxins from the body and provide a ‘reset’ that can help to guide you towards making healthier choices long after the cleanse is over. When executed properly, a cleanse will leave you feeling more refreshed and energized than ever!
While cleansing initially removes toxins from the body, its effects are further-reaching than that. Cleansing your body occasionally and for a short duration can improve your overall health and promote weight loss for the long haul. While dietary cleanses tend to vary in intensity and duration, they typically last from 3-7 days. In this article, I will outline what a day of cleansing may look like during a cleansing routine, and provide you with some meal suggestions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hopefully, by the time you finish reading this, you will have more useful information under your belt that can help you achieve a successful cleanse!
Can I Eat Anything I Want To?
You have probably heard the adage “you are what you eat,” and that age-old saying really hits the nail on the head when it comes to your health. Cleansing your body for weight loss is all about incorporating whole foods into your diet, while also avoiding foods that contain unhealthy additives and preservatives. While junk foods can be comforting and delicious treats, they aren’t doing your health any favors.
Overindulging in unhealthy food can quickly become a bad habit, and we all know how hard habits are to break! Overconsumption of poor-quality foods can lead to feelings of lethargy and sluggishness while also causing unhealthy weight gain. While detoxing, you want to focus your eating routine around fruits, vegetables, lean protein, seeds, and nuts while avoiding meat, dairy, and wheat as well as stimulants like coffee and alcohol.
Whole, raw foods are your friends, and they will provide your body with the nutrients and sustenance it needs to maintain high energy levels throughout the day for the duration of your cleanse! If you have a hard time giving up comfort foods or coffee cold turkey (I know I do), then I suggest gradually decreasing consumption during the week leading up to your cleanse. Doing this will diminish your cravings and make the cleanse far easier, mentally speaking!
What Should I Eat for Breakfast When Cleansing?
First off, let’s start by focusing on your morning meal routine. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it is very important to start off on the right foot. What you choose to eat in the morning can actually have a significant impact on your food decisions throughout the rest of the day. By choosing a healthy breakfast option, you are setting yourself up for a full day of success in making healthy food choices.
When cleansing your body for weight loss, I suggest drinking a tall glass of warm water with fresh lemon juice (and a little bit of honey, if desired) first thing in the morning. Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants and they also contain beneficial anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, lemon contains pectin fibers. These fibers help your body to keep cholesterol levels in check while simultaneously helping you feel satiated for a longer period of time.
Can You Drink Coffee on a Cleanse?
If you tend to overeat, incorporating warm lemon-water into your morning routine can work wonders by curbing your appetite. During a cleanse, it is also important to forego your morning coffee. For some folks, letting go of coffee is the biggest struggle in the entire cleanse! It is highly important that you skip the java because intaking caffeine decreases nutrient absorption in the body- which is essential if you want an effective detox! In lieu of your morning cup of joe, give white or green tea a try. Both varieties are rich in antioxidants.
Another surprising alternative that you can try in place of your beloved coffee, is… an apple! Apples are chock full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. An apple contains about 13 grams of natural sugar, and can provoke a response in the body that is similar to caffeine. They can make you feel more awake and energized in the morning, just like your favorite coffee drink!
Will Exercising Help Me When Cleansing?
Following breakfast, it can be a good idea to partake in some low-intensity exercise. Going for a brisk walk, jog, or bike ride can help to get your blood flowing. Breaking a sweat through exercise also helps to expel some additional toxins from the body. There is no need to go crazy exercising during a cleanse.
During the cleanse period, you are likely consuming far fewer calories than your body is used to so it is better to play it safe and exercise lightly. Burning too many calories by exercising during a detox period can leave you feeling fatigued and burnt out.
If you feel hungry between breakfast and lunchtime, try having a snack of carrots and hummus, or a piece of your favorite fruit! Make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day- adequate water consumption is essential for an effective cleanse. Generally, a good rule-of-thumb is to drink about 8 glasses per day.
Before you know it, mid-day will roll around and you and your body know that it’s time to eat some lunch! When you are cleansing your body for weight loss, there are few things more satisfying and filling than a nutrient-packed salad at lunchtime.
I love to start out with a spinach or kale base, and add in any and every vegetable I have laying around the house. Sunflower seeds are also a great addition and add a nice crunch to every bite. Tomatoes, onions, shredded carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, beets, garbanzo beans, and cucumber are some of my all-time favorite add-ins. Vinaigrette dressing is delicious drizzled on top, and it adheres to the dietary guidelines of a cleanse. You can use a store-bought variety or make it easily at home with a few simple ingredients.
What Should I Eat for Dinner When Cleansing?
When dinner time rolls around, hopefully you are feeling empowered and energized from all of the healthy choices you have made throughout the day! The first day of a cleanse is by far the most difficult, so give yourself some recognition for sticking to your health goals.
Grilled salmon and roasted or steamed vegetables make for an incredibly delicious, filling, and rich dinner to tie up a day of cleansing. While you want to avoid red meats during a cleanse, salmon is a healthy option that you don’t need to fully give up!
Salmon is a great source of healthy fat and Omega-3s. Incorporating this delicious fish into your diet on occasion will reduce inflammation in the body and boost your immune system. Alternatively, you could stir up a hearty vegetable soup to satisfy your evening appetite!
Can I Eat More Than Salads and Soups When on a Cleanse?
While it may seem as if your food choices are limited during a cleanse, there are so many delicious combinations and ways to prepare and consume whole, healthy foods. In reality, the possibilities are endless! This is especially true if you open yourself up to trying new things that you may have never considered in the past.
Hopefully when you have finished your cleanse you are feeling more refreshed and energized than you ever have. Many folks feel a greater sense of mental clarity after wrapping up a cleanse. While your detox diet may be over, what you choose to fuel your body with in the coming days is equally as important.
To extend the benefits that your body acquired from the cleansing period, it is important to take your sweet time when re-incorporating some food groups into your diet. Start off by consuming easily digestible foods like steamed vegetables and healthy lean proteins. If you plan to reincorporate meat and dairy into your diet, it is beneficial for your digestive system to do so slowly.
What to Do After You Complete a Cleanse
Now that you have transitioned from a cleanse back into your everyday diet, you may be wondering when the next time you need a detox is! Be sure to listen carefully to your body. It will let you know when it is in need of another cleansing period. Fatigue, congestion, unhealthy cravings, unwanted weight gain, and trouble sleeping are just a few of the signs that you may be ready for another detox. Cleansing your body for weight loss has far-reaching positive impacts on your mental and physical health. It is an exciting opportunity to try new things and let your creativity soar in the kitchen!
Thank you for reading and please let us know what your favorite food is when you are doing a cleanse.
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