Detox programs aim to improve your health and well-being by cleansing your body from the toxins of processed food, car exhaust, pesticides, environmental pollution and cleaning chemicals. You do not have to embark on a complicated meal plan with expensive supplements to detoxify your system. While Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. of the Mayo Clinic notes that the body does a good job of detoxifying the system without a specific plan, cleaning up your eating habits and limiting exposure to chemicals can also help you to feel better.Step 1
Clear your pantry of processed foods. Remove all snack crackers, chips, cookies, candies, condiments like ketchup and mayonnaise, canned soups and vegetables, processed cereals, frozen dinners, sweetened yogurts and other packaged foods.
Build your detox menu around fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats like skinless poultry and fresh fish. Choose organic when possible to limit exposure to pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. Eat small servings of brown rice, sweet potatoes and quinoa as your primary starch sources.Step 3
Cut out all caffeine and alcohol. Stick to water or herbal teas. Add lemon, lime, cucumber or mint to water to add flavor.LIVESTRONG.COM: Caffeine Free Coffee Substitutes
Eliminate refined grains and sugars. Avoid commercially processed breads and baked goods which usually contain white flours, sugars and preservatives. Limit your intake of added sugars, including cane sugar and honey.Step 5
Switch to natural cleaning, personal care and beauty products or make your own. Look for products that use vinegar, baking soda, citrus, tea tree oil or other plant-based ingredients rather than chemicals. Laundry detergent, counter top cleaners, floor scrubs, dish soap, bath gels, shampoos, deodorants, toothpaste and makeup should each be replaced with these guidelines in mind, recommends Gaiam Life.LIVESTRONG.COM: How to Make Natural Toothpaste
Exercise lightly during your detox period. Participate in yoga or tai chi and take brisk walks. You may find your energy diminished in the first few days of the detox as your body adjusts to your new eating style and overcomes its dependence on refined sugar and caffeine.LIVESTRONG.COM: Basic Yoga Poses
Keep your social obligations to a minimum during your detox. Start your detox at a time when you will not have to travel or attend important work functions so you can focus on your own well-being. Spend time reading or pursuing quiet hobbies like art, knitting or reading to help you de-stress..Tips and Warnings
- An easy, safe detox plan may be followed as long as you like, from a few days to a few weeks. Be sure you take in enough calories daily---a minimum of 1,200 for a woman and 1,500 for a man as per Medline Plus.
- Avoid detox plans that require fasting or extreme measures like drinking juice or lemon juice concoctions only. Zeratsky notes that dehydration, fatigue, dizziness and nausea may result from these diets. Colon cleansing plans and other "detox" supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Before embarking on any detox plan, do check with your doctor.
- Gaiam Life: 10 Ways to Detoxify Your Body
- Mayo Clinic: Detox Diets
- Medline Plus: Tips for Losing Weight