Losing weight should be done with plenty of care, preferably with the supervision of a professional. It also pays to be informed about known solutions that can help you overcome obesity the safe and effective way.
One of these solutions is detoxification, or simply, detox. A weight loss solution that has been practiced for years – and even for centuries through ancient Asian medicine – detox works not only in losing those unwanted pounds but also in cleansing your body of toxins or the harmful substances that we’re regularly exposed to.
Here’s a closer look at detox and what you can expect from it.
What is detox?
To understand how detox works, we must first understand what toxins are all about.
Toxins are defined as chemicals or substances that are harmful to our body. Every day, we are bombarded with toxins from our environment and regular routines. We get in contact with them in many ways, including the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink.
Most of us ingest toxins in small amounts every day. They have been found to be present in food that has undergone some processing, contains artificial ingredients, or may have been exposed to pesticides. We can also get toxins from the day-to-day chemicals we’re exposed to, such as those found in household cleaners or even in cosmetics.
Certain types of toxins can promote obesity. Known as obesogens, these toxins interfere with our hormones, causing obesity and potentially other conditions like birth defects, premature puberty, and breast cancer.
Obesogens are found to be present in plastic containers, herbicides that may contaminate groundwater, house paint, and other household items. They may also be present in lake and coastal waters, as well as many other sources.
While these chemicals have been deemed to be safe in small amounts, regular exposure can cause them to build up in our bodies over time, and eventually lead to obesity and other health conditions.
This is where detox comes in. Detox is a process that works to eliminate the toxins that have accumulated in our body, while replenishing the body with nourishing food. With this combination of benefits, detox can help us achieve optimum health and get rid of excess weight.
How does detox work?
Our body is made up of various systems that work together like a well-designed machine. And just like a machine, when a part or some parts are clogged with contaminants, it breaks down and stops functioning as well as it should.
Detox primarily works in cleansing major organs, including the kidneys, lungs, liver, skin, colon, and others. These organs are behind the body’s natural detoxification process, eliminating toxins through bodily processes like sweating, and urine and bowel movements.
Here’s a breakdown of what these organs do:
The liver filters the blood of waste products that occur in normal body functions, and removes external contaminants like chemicals, alcohol, and drugs
Our kidneys help eliminate toxins in the body through urine
- Colon or large intestine
The colon removes the waste products from the food we eat and other toxins by moving them through the excretory tract
The lungs contain cilia that trap toxins from the air we breathe and expel them through coughing and other bodily functions
The skin removes water-soluble waste products through the sweat glands
By removing the “contaminants” that clog these organs, detoxification allows our body systems to function optimally again and protect us from diseases.
During detox, your organs are given a rest through fasting. In addition, the nutrients you consume as part of the detoxification process help your organs in eliminating toxins. They can also promote blood circulation and boost your energy.
Weight loss is just one of the many benefits of detox. The process also has a host of other positive effects, including:
- Enhanced energy
- Relief from fatigue, headaches, and muscle pains
- Better bowel movement
- Smoother skin
- Better mental focus
- Reduced bloating
Who needs to detoxify?
Everyone is encouraged to detoxify at least once a year. While our body does have the built in mechanism to filter and eliminate toxins, the level of toxicity we are exposed to in today’s environment make it difficult for our organs to do their job without some help.
Some people may need to detoxify more than once a year. If you’re feeling a few or all of the following symptoms, you are most likely a good candidate for detoxification:
- Fatigue or sluggishness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Indigestion, constipation, and other temporary gastrointestinal problems
- Food cravings
- Weight gain
- Reduced mental clarity
- Low sexual drive
- Skin problems
- Aching joints
On the other hand, patients with degenerative or chronic medical conditions, such as heart conditions, diabetes, cancer, TB, or arthritis, may not be suitable candidates for detox. Children and teenagers, as well as pregnant women, should also not go through detox.
Individuals with physically demanding jobs or who are active in sports and other rigorous physical activities are also not advised to go on a detoxification program, but they can watch their diets and habits to achieve better natural detoxification.
Dr. Ann Doggett has prepared this Toxicity Questionnaire to help you determine if a detoxification program is right for you.
Ways to detox your body for weight loss
As previously mentioned, your body has a built in detox system that prevents the buildup of toxins and gets rid of these harmful pollutants naturally. An effective detox is one that supports the organs that are hard at work in the natural detoxification process. The process typically involves decreasing your caloric intake while making sure your body is receiving the nutrients it needs.
These are some of the ways you can achieve effective detoxification:
- Natural detox strategies
By adopting healthier lifestyles and eating habits, you can enhance the health and functionality of your vital organs.
- Reduce your alcohol consumption
Your liver metabolizes around 90% of the alcohol in your body. When your alcohol consumption is in excess of what’s considered healthy, your liver can get damaged and inflamed, reducing its ability to filter toxins.
- Drink adequate amounts of water
Water transports waste materials in the body, such as carbon dioxide and urea, through the excretory system, allowing them to be dispelled through urination and sweating. Drink at least 3.7 liters of water if you’re male and 2.7 liters if you’re female.
- Get enough sleep
When you sleep, your brain’s glymphatic system eliminates toxins that have accumulated in your body throughout the day. Without adequate sleep, the system does not get enough time to perform this function effectively.
- Get plenty of exercise
Exercise helps reduce inflammation in the body, allowing your bodily systems, including the detoxification system, to function optimally
Watching your diet and eating the right foods can help your body get rid of toxins by allowing your organs to perform their jobs with less difficulty. Unhealthy foods, such as those with high sugar content and artificial ingredients, can harm the organs responsible for detoxification. Typically, they also have excessive calorie content, which can lead to obesity.
A detox diet is primarily one that helps you “reboot” your system and trains your body to crave less for processed and high sugar foods. In addition, it cleanses the organs responsible for your body’s natural detoxification process, allowing them to work optimally again.
A detox diet typically includes organic whole foods that are rich in fiber and antioxidants, as well as significantly reduced sugar and processed foods.
Here are tips to consider in planning a detox diet:
- Have plenty of antioxidant-rich foods, or foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals
Most fruits and vegetables fall into this category, but the following top the list:
- Nuts and seeds, including pecans, almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flax, and others
- Berries, including strawberries, Goji berries, raspberries, and others
- Dark chocolate
- Green tea and other types of tea
- Herbs and spices like parsley and cilantro
- Eat food that’s rich in fiber
Fiber helps make you feel full longer, thus reducing your craving to eat sweets and unhealthy food. Fiber also works to move food waste down the digestive tract. Fiber rich food includes beans, tomatoes, bananas, artichokes, green peas, apples, and pears.
- Reduce your salt intake and increase your water intake
When there’s too much salt in your body and not enough water, you may have a hard time urinating, which prevents toxins from getting expelled from your body.
- Include protein in your diet
Proteins and amino acids are essential to producing the enzymes needed to carry toxins out of the body. Without protein, these toxins can build up and cause damage in the body.
There’s a misconception that detox diets consist of bland, tasteless foods that are unappealing to eat. But with the right preparation, they can just be as delicious and flavorful as the unhealthy foods you may have been accustomed to.
Whole organic foods are key ingredients in detox recipes. In addition, artificial food flavorings or excessive natural ingredients that may contain toxins are avoided.
Dr. Ann Doggett has created these Detox Recipes to guide you in creating delicious meals that are rich in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants while keeping your calorie intake in check and avoiding ingredients that may be toxic to your body.
Detox drinks typically refer to “smoothies” or “shakes”, as well as “juices”. The difference is that juices make use of extracted liquids from fruits or vegetables, whereas smoothies and shakes contain the whole fruit or vegetable that has been liquefied through a food processor.
As such, smoothies and shakes preserve the natural fiber found in their raw ingredients. They also make it easier for some people to get the nutrients they need from fruits and vegetables if these ingredients are not part of their daily diet.
This does not mean, however, that juices are not effective in detoxifying the body. Juices with the right ingredients and the proper amount of nutrients, particularly fiber and antioxidants, also make great supplements to a detox diet and can aid your organs in flushing out toxins from the body.
Organic herbal teas also make excellent detox drinks. They feature herbs and other ingredients that are rich in antioxidants and promote the body’s natural detoxification process. Many have anti-inflammatory benefits, as well.
Diets, healthy habits, and detox drinks are solutions that can help you promote your body’s natural detoxification process every day. However, a regular detox program is also recommended on a regular basis to give your body a much needed reboot. Think of it as something akin to regular machine maintenance. At certain intervals, machines are given some downtime so it can be cleaned, inspected, and tuned up. Your body is no different.
It’s best to have a professional supervise a detox regimen for weight loss. Your health care practitioner will evaluate your levels of nutrition and determine if they can support metabolic detoxification. The practitioner will also help you identify and address any triggers that may affect your detox experience.
Dr. Ann Doggett has created a convenient way for you to go on a safe and effective detox program. See this guide to help you get started, and answer her Toxicity Questionnaire. Based on the information you provide, she can recommend a 10-day or 28-day detox program, or if necessary, a custom program.
Dr. Ann’s SP Detox Balance programs have been carefully designed with the following elements:
- Support your body’s natural metabolic detoxification process
- Provide your body with the nutrients needed to promote detoxification, including proteins, amino acids, fiber, and magnesium
The detox programs have three phases:
- Phase I: Unlock
At this stage, the body transforms fat-soluble toxins into a more water-soluble state, which in many cases, is more toxic than its original state
- Phase II: Neutralize
The toxic substances produced during Phase I are neutralized into non-toxic molecules, and are made even more water soluble
- Phase III: Eliminate
The water soluble toxins are eliminated by the body
The SP Detox Balance programs come with a kit that includes a guide and proprietary preparations, such as whole food fiber, detox drinks, and needed dietary supplements, including protein.
Possible side effects of detox and how to address them
In a detox program, it’s important to follow the recommendations of a health professional. This will help ensure you’re doing it the right way and getting the nutrients needed to complete the various phases of detoxification. If your body is stuck in Phase 1, for example, this could lead to toxin build up, which can damage your organs.
You can also expect to experience temporary and short term side effects. Because you are giving up or cutting down on the food and drinks that you’ve been accustomed to, you may experience various withdrawal symptoms.
Some of the known side effects of detox include:
- Headaches, fatigue, and restlessness
These are the most common detox withdrawal symptoms. To minimize these, drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day and take non-caffeinated herbal teas.
Also a common detox side effect, particularly if the program does not include the right amount of fiber, constipation can be addressed by drinking plenty of water and herbal teas, and eating non-starchy vegetables and high fiber seeds. Exercise can also help regularize bowel movement.
On the other end of the spectrum, diarrhea is likely the result of increasing your fruit and vegetable consumption. Drinking plenty of water can also help address this.
- Food cravings
Everyone experiences this during detox. The best thing to do is to stay focused on the program and to “keep your eye on the prize”. More water, yoga, meditation, and group support can help.
Do detoxification the safe and fun way with Dr. Ann Doggett
With Dr. Ann Doggett’s expertise, you can achieve your best weight and enjoy better health the safe and holistic way. Dr. Ann has over thirty years of professional experience, and has a Doctorate of Chiropractic from the New York Chiropractic College and a Master’s in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport.
She has also received advanced clinical training in Nutrition Response, a Certification in Practical Herbal Therapy, and a Certification in BioEnergetic Medicine.
Over the years, Dr. Ann has helped numerous patients through nutrition counselling and chiropractic care. Her weight loss and well-being solutions have been developed from her extensive experience in these areas, as well as her dedication to providing only the highest quality service to her patients.