By E.C. LaMeaux
During a detox diet, you abstain from eating certain foods or all foods for a few days, allowing your body to flush out toxins and additives from the body. Detoxification diets usually include drinking large amounts of liquids to aid your body with the toxin removal. During a cleanse, your body can crave the foods you are denying it, especially if you regularly ingest caffeine, sugar, and refined white flour. You can curb the cravings for these foods while detoxing by retraining your body to want other, healthier foods.
Step 1: Drink fluids
Most detox diets involve taking in large amounts of fluids, and this is key for fighting cravings.
According to Theresa Cheung, author of The Lemon Juice Diet, the best way to respond to cravings while detoxing is to drink more water or herbal teas. A craving for a certain food, cookies, for example, means your body is running low on its supply of refined sugar and processed chemicals because they are being flushed out. Drinking fluids speeds up that process and helps the body break its addiction. No more addiction means no more craving. Fluids also fill you up quickly, curbing hunger pangs and suppressing cravings. Once you drink your serving of fluids, the craving should dissipate within ten minutes.
Step 2: Eat something else
Not every detox diet revolves around fluid fasts. Some have you eat only certain fruits, like lemons, and others allow you vegetable soup. (Whatever you’re eating, make sure it’s organic because traditional produce may be covered in chemical pesticides. Ingesting those chemicals would defeat the purpose of the detox process.)
When you get a craving for something unhealthy, respond by eating something healthy. When you crave a piece of chocolate cake, eat a mango. When you crave some potato chips, eat your homemade vegetable soup. The alternatives still contain some sugar and sodium, but in much healthier levels and much more natural ways. There are tons of detox recipes out there, so scour the Internet!
The body does need sugar and some levels of sodium to survive, but it does not need them in a processed and unnatural fashion. Eating a healthier alternative will train your body to want something good for it, as opposed to wanting something it’s addicted to.
Step 3: Try yoga
According to Prevention magazine, we are more likely to crave certain foods when we are tense or stressed out, and yoga can help relieve that tension. Simple poses like a forward bend can release tension in the lower back and neck, leading to relaxation during your natural body cleanse.
In yoga, you focus on regular, deep breathing and meditation. These practices allow you to still your mind and locate the emotion that is causing you to crave, or pinpoint the circumstance that sets off your cravings. In yoga, we can practice self-control and let go of self-condemnation, which is a common emotion experienced during any weight loss endeavor. Also, detox can leave us feeling physically weaker, and simple yoga is a low-impact, slow exercise program that is very appropriate for that physical state.