Every day, our bodies are exposed to large volumes of toxins, found in the water we drink (fluoride and other chemicals), the air we breathe (chemical trails, pollution and other toxins), food we eat (chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, genetically modified ingredients, etc.), pharmaceuticals and other drugs. In order to sustain a healthy system, there’s need for frequent cleansing.
Cleansing the system has been closely related to weight loss, in reality, it is necessary for everyone to clean up their diet.
Cleansing or detoxing doesn’t necessarily require you to make extreme diet changes, because your body naturally flushes out toxins on its own. However, the most sustainable form of cleansing can be made through the foods you eat and fluids you drink. That is, letting go of unprocessed foods, alcohol and sugar. This process naturally boosts weight loss.
To put directly, the aim of cleansing or detoxification is to expel accumulated toxins by making lifestyle changes to help the body clear these toxins, thereby, optimizing body processes. Without which, your body might be prone to health issues from toxins that have built up in your body over the years.
How does your body cleanse itself?
Generally, the excretory system plays the largest role in the detoxification process, through defecation and urination. The skin, liver, lungs, large intestine and kidneys are the main organs that make up the excretory system.
The skin, in particular, expels toxins through the sweat glands. The liver filters and excretes waste hormones, drugs and other substances; this explains why alcohol and other substances can strain the liver. The lungs take in oxygen and send out carbon dioxide (the waste gas resulting from breathing).
The large intestine performs many roles but, its prime job is to absorb water and leftover nutrients from food, before converting it into stool, which is expelled from the body through defecation. The kidneys’ main job is to filter the blood and help remove waste from the body through urination. Even the brain flushes out toxins during sleep. The entire body detoxifies itself to maintain a healthy life. The importance of cleansing is to enhance and optimize the functions of these organs.
How do you cleanse properly?
It is important to note that extreme cleansing and detox programs that make you go days on just fluids like lemon juice or water can leave you weak and unwell. You may even lose weight in the short term but will likely regain all the weight largely because such programs are unsustainable in the long run. It’s never a good idea to deprive your body of protein, fibre or any nutrient for that matter.
When it comes to the right kind of cleansing the first factor to consider is sustainability and focus on a whole-food cleanse. Steer clear of processed foods, added sugar, refined grains and saturated fats and focus on nutrient-filled foods such as vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains and lean protein.
A whole-food diet fuels your body with energy, provide clearer skin and help eliminate excess calories and sodium.
Develop the habit of drinking a lot of water, healthy smoothies and herbal teas like green tea. Water helps flush out toxins from your kidney. You can add lemon to your water to give it a fresh twist; citrus signals the liver to produce more enzymes, which keep digestion moving smoothly. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
Taking vitamins or supplements is essential to help boost the immune system and keep your body regulated.
Also, exercise and meditation are as crucial as eating healthy. Not only do they help regulate stress and increase energy levels, they also enable proper circulation of blood in your body.
What is a whole-food diet?
Put plainly, a whole-food diet consists of fresh vegetables, fruits, high-quality protein, fibre-rich carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and probiotics.
Focus on green, watery vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, pumpkin leaves, asparagus, green beans and bell peppers.
Raw nuts and seeds provide healthy fats your body needs. Dried beans and legumes, such as lentils and chickpeas, provide protein and phytonutrients. Brown rice, quinoa and millet are whole grains are great examples of whole grains that will help keep you full and regulate your digestive tract.
Once you cut out sugary treats, fried foods and processed snacks, your calorie intake should be lower and this prompts weight loss. Even when consuming low-calorie foods, you may need to monitor portion sizes. Eating large meals can cause bloating, which forces the digestive system to work overtime. Opt for smaller, more frequent meals.
Get your body moving
A cleanse to lose weight should include exercise. Aim to get at least the 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio per day. Exercise helps relieve stress, it stimulates your colon, opens your pores and enables you to breathe deeply all of which assists the lymphatic system in processing and expelling waste.
However, try not to go overboard with your working out as that could lead to fatigue and physical burnout, make an effort to allow your body a break. If you fail to allow your body to recover between sessions or days off, you may notice excessive fatigue, diminished performance and sleep disturbances.
Get Enough Rest
Get enough sleep. Aim to sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours every night and engage in activities that you find relaxing. Get rid of all devices that could interfere with your sleep. Sufficient rest will help reduce stress and inflammations so your body can function at its best.