Detoxing is one way you may help to kick start your digestive system as we move into the warmer weather. Over the cold months of winter, many of us gravitate to “heartier”, more calorie-dense and 'comfort foods'. Adding to this, many of us reduce our exercise levels over winter (because when it’s cold outside, it’s difficult to muster up that enthusiasm to go for a run or walk), which certainly doesn’t help. Some symptoms that may result following a season of increased consumption and decreased activity include feeling sluggish, weight gain, or even digestive symptoms such as wind, bloating or constipation.
As the weather warms up, detoxing may support digestive system function as well as help support your body's processes of elimination.
Here are 6 steps to a 20-day detox.
Cut Out the Processed Foods
When cleansing, it is vital to cut out sugars, fatty foods, excess salt and any form of processed food. This is a big adjustment - after all, who doesn’t have a weakness for chocolate. However, by doing this, you reduce the load on your body processing all this 'junk'.
Oh, and no booze either for the full 20 days. Sorry.
Opt for Fresh, Whole Foods
After you’ve cut out the processed foods, it’s time to replace them with while foods. Fill your diet with fresh fruit and veggies, as well as those hearty legumes such as chickpeas or lentils. Also, include a few serves of whole grains such as brown rice, oats or quinoa, as these will boost your energy levels and help to sustain you over the day. Protein is also a must, which can be found in meat, dairy products, fish, legumes, raw nuts, seeds and tofu.
Exercise is Essential for a Cleanse
While the weather is warm and the daylight hours are long, it’s time to get moving. You should aim to get out and about for at least 30 minutes a day. You could go for a run or hike, walk the dog or hit the gym.
Do whatever suits you, it doesn’t matter so long as you’re moving!
A little goes a long way, and you’ll be amazed at the energy and endorphins a good workout can give you.
Water is Key to Your Detox
You need to be drinking at least two litres of water a day. Drinking plenty of water keeps you hydrated and alert, but it also assists greatly in the removal of waste from your body. Water is the essential carrier for nutrients coming into the body and the removal of wastes out - a detox must!
Get a Good Night's Sleep
Who’d have thought, right? It’s true, getting a good eight hours of sleep a night will do wonders for your body. Not only will your brain be well rested and ready to go, but your body will be too. To get a good night’s sleep, it’s important not to over exert yourself before bed, as this will make it harder for you to fall asleep.
Keep your bedroom and your work space separate. Have your bedroom as a place of peace and relaxation - this will help you to completely switch off when you get into bed, instead of your mind racing about that task or job you have to do tomorrow.