Cleansing or detox diets are intended to clear your system and improve your health, says CBS News. If you want to make a real change in your health and not just a temporary fix, adopting a new diet for the long haul is a sounder option. A 30-day cleansing diet, however, can help you change your eating habits permanently for the better. Even so, consult a doctor before attempting any form of dietary cleanse.
A 30-day cleansing diet should not be a fasting diet. That is, it shouldn't have a component where you deprive yourself of food in favor of drinks or juices. Rather, it should simply include a balanced diet, says Keri Glassman, a registered dietitian. This can include vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean sources of protein, such as poultry or fish. Some items that are typically eliminated across the board include caffeine, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners and alcohol. What's important is increasing your intake of raw vegetables and water to encourage your body to flush out waste and bring you to better health, according to Michelle Schoffro Cook, creator of the 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan.
By embarking on a 30-day cleansing diet, you are not just purging toxins from your system, says Cook. Rather, you're adopting a healthier diet and learning that you don't need those unhealthy foods as you experience the benefits of such a cleanse, including healthier skin, increased energy, improved mood and better digestion.
For some cleansing diets that last a month, you are advised to take supplements to help further cleanse your body and encourage the expulsion of toxins. According to Cook, some supplements can help you get rid of fat in the body and release toxins by introducing enzymes, amino acids, electrolytes and oxygen into your system.
Although 30-day cleansing diets don't involve fasting or severe calorie cutting, they can be restrictive and put a damper on your social life. Likewise, adjusting to a modified diet can cause unpleasant side effects, such as nausea, dizziness and fatigue, notes the Mayo Clinic. Always consult a doctor before starting a 30-day cleansing diet to make sure it won't harm you.
Even though cleansing diets are popular, there is no medical evidence to back up the claim that they expel toxins from the body, says the Mayo Clinic. In fact, according to current medical thinking, the body detoxes all the time just fine and doesn't need a special diet to accomplish this.