In her book "Need to know? Detox," published in 2007, health writer Gill Paul attributes weight loss during a seven-day detox to the elimination of most sugars, fats and other calorie-laden foods from your diet. She advises preparing your body before the detox by gradually cutting out tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods and other toxins. Ask your doctor's advice before beginning a detox plan.
Prepare to Detox
Choose a suitable week to plan your detox, making sure your are unlikely to be stressed or have a heavy workload, because you could experience irritability and some loss of concentration -- a possible side effect of detox, according to Gill Paul. Stock up with foods you will need for the week ahead, so you do not run short and become tempted to reach for a quick fix of fast food. Ensure you have no items such as alcohol, dairy foods or chocolate might lure you into breaking the detox rules.
Who should not Detox?
According to Gill Paul, you should not go on a seven-day detox if you are under 18, you take blood thinning or blood pressure medication, you take antidepressants, you are breastfeeding, you suffer from a mental condition such as schizophrenia, bipolar or any eating disorder, or immediately before or after a surgical intervention. If you have diabetes, hypoglycemia, thyroid, liver or kidney problems, cancer or stomach ulcers, you must ask your doctor if a detox of any kind is suitable for you.
Tips for Successful Detox
Elson M. Haas, M.D., author of "The Detox Diet," and director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin, San Rafael, California, offers tips for embarking on a seven-day detox plan. He recommends that you eat slowly and chew food properly; eat small amounts and leave 15 to 30 minutes between portions to improve digestion and the detox; add three teaspoons of oil or butter daily to grains to protect cells and keep tissues healthy. He also suggests you prepare vegetables the night before and drink the juice from the preparation as a snack between meals for nourishment and to stave off hunger pangs.
Exercise and Detox
Dr. Haas recommends 60 minutes of moderate exercise each day during the week-long detox. He suggests activities such as "walking, cycling or yoga," explaining that blood and lymph circulation activate the body's natural waste disposal process to clear out toxins faster. If you struggle with a whole hour of exercise, split it up into short bursts of 15 or 30 minutes, as long as it adds up to an hour a day.
Weight Loss and Detox
According to Judy Bass, writer for "Natural Health Magazine," you can feel great and lose up to 10 pounds on a seven-day detox plan. The plan she refers to was designed by Dr. Haas in April 2003 and although some programs are liquid only, this one allows for a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grain.
Certified Dietitian, Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D., of the Mayo Clinic, warns that although detox programs are fashionable, they are "not scientifically proven." She also says that although people report feelings of heightened concentration during detox, the process can also cause you to become dizzy, tired, dehydrated and even nauseous. She recommends a healthy diet of fresh fruit and vegetables that includes some lean protein and whole-grain foods as the best way forward. She points out that the liver and kidneys naturally filter out toxins without the need for detox diets.