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10 Major Signs You Need To Detox Without Depriving Yourself

New years resolutions are around the corner and detox diets are more popular than ever.
The trendiest health gurus inspire us with their detox diets to eliminate harmful toxins, boost health and lose weight. Perfect for the new year, right?!

I’m afraid not…What most people don’t know is that nobody – not even the health gurus – know if detox diets actually do what they say and most often prove ineffective AND backfire.

But, there is no need to throw out the resolutions just yet! In fact, there are some major signs you should ‘detox’ and healthy (and more effective) ways to do so with no deprivation required!

What Is Detoxing?

There are two types of detoxes. There is the medical treatment people receive for things like life-threatening drug overdoses, and then there is the word used by the rest of us to describe a short lifestyle reset.

Popular detox plans usually consist of radically changing the way we normally eat, drink and behave to make up for overindulging in not so healthy activities. The idea is that by following the newest plan on the market, you’ll eliminate built-up toxins and feel like a brand-new you!

You’re probably not going to like me for saying this.

But if your body couldn’t get rid of toxins by itself, we’d probably all be in the hospital or worse… Through our kidneys, liver, skin and even lungs, our bodies naturally detox all day, every day. Although doing a colon cleanse, detoxifying footpad or drinking that €12 Young Coconut Water with activated charcoal may sound convincing, they do not pull out heavy metals, toxins, or fat from the body.

Detoxing pads or cleansing tablets often make you feel like it’s working because they contain substances that turn the pads brown when mixed with your sweat or turns your poop into rubbery goo… and what about all the new energy? Well, most likely that’s because you’re taking better care of yourself and not eating junk that’s weighing you down physically and mentally.

Unfortunately, detox claims keep popping up everywhere from blogs to food labels making us feel like they must have some truth to it, but – and I’m really sorry to say it – there are NO shortcuts to health.

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What Are Toxins Anyways?

The word ‘toxin’ gets thrown around a lot, but is just a broad term for something that can be harmful to you. But it isn’t as simple as the detox industry would like you to believe. Depending on what the substance is and how much you are exposed to determines if it’s harmful to you.

For example, water is necessary for our survival but toxic if you drink too much.

Most detox kits and treatments imply that you feel shitty because you have an overload of toxins in your body, but they never name which toxins because they’ve never been able to show that their method works to remove them.

Yikes!

How Do We Remove Toxins?

The reality is we are constantly being exposed to a huge variety of chemicals. Some of which are good (like air and food) while some can have some degree of toxicity. Detox advocates typically describe our liver and kidneys as filters, where toxins are captured and at times can get clogged up like a drain, hence needing a yearly spring cleaning.

But our body doesn’t work that way!

The majority of the low-level ‘toxins’ that enter our bodies, whether through the air we breathe or the food we ingest, are transformed through a series of chemical reactions by the liver so that they can be eliminated through things like bile or urine. Although you can damage your liver through unhealthy behavior, the liver is self-cleansing and toxins don’t accumulate in it. Gotta love our physiology!

Despite this amazing self-cleansing body system we have, there are a few chemicals that aren’t so easily removed from our blood and fat cells, like persistent organic pollutants, phthalates, bisphenol A and heavy metals, but there is no evidence that detox diets actually help remove these. Check out Healthy Lifestyle Habit#3 on how to deal with these instead.

 

What Sort Of Detox Plan Does Work?

I realize what I’m about to say isn’t sexy but it is the most effective way to feel your best quickly. Instead of spending money, time and willpower trying to get rid of the made-up toxic sludge in your liver, kidneys, and intestines, it’s time to start making a few simple lifestyle changes. Not the ones that only stick around until February at best, but those that turn into your normal way of life. 

The urge to detoxify our body often comes in January because over the holidays you’ve interrupted your normal eating, exercising and sleeping routine leaving you feeling bloated, fatigued and maybe with a little extra weight.

On top of that, it is also almost impossible to avoid the daily ingestion of toxins, whether
they are:
 environmental like pesticides, mold, cigarette smoke, automotive exhaust.
 household elements such as cleaners
 or unhealthy foods and water

We define detoxing as making the first steps towards a healthy lifestyle. This means creating the best possible low-taxing conditions to support your body in doing the job it’s made to do – cleanse, restore and feel great!

This way is much more effective because you can actually address the underlying problem of symptoms such as weight gain or fatigue, instead of a useless but expensive product or extreme diet that will likely backfire.

 

10 Signs You Need To Detox

So let’s get going. Here are some telling signs that your body is screaming for a detox!

10 Reasons To Detox:

  1. You have low energy and feel unmotivated
  2. You feel uncomfortable in your own skin
  3. You have brain fog (a.k.a. a lack of mental clarity)
  4. You are experiencing more head and/or body aches
  5. You’ve gained some weight
  6. You have trouble sleeping and/or getting up in the morning
  7. Your skin is irritated, sensitive, dull, dry or breaking out.
  8. You feel down, stressed out or overwhelmed
  9. Your digestion is out of whack
  10. You seem to catch every virus flown your way  

Do You Need To Detox? 

There is a reason you landed on this page and if you’re experiencing one or more of the signs above you can benefit tremendously from slowly implementing all the healthy lifestyle habits below. Check them out!

10 Ways To Detox & Create a Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy Lifestyle Habit #1

Eat The Right Foods

Most detox programs incorporate changing your diet because when you cut out all the junk food you start getting your energy back, your skin feels better, your mood lifts and even your digestion feels better. And yet we are surprised every time!

You’ve probably heard this a billion times but eating a healthy plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains is one of the foundational pillars in a feel-good lifestyle. This is not to say you have to skip your wine & cheese nights, but it is all about finding a healthy balance.

Eating the right foods also helps your body naturally detox. The enzymes your liver uses to break down unwanted compounds are made from certain foods you eat, such as whole fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins.  Eating the right foods assist your body in cleansing, restoring and is one of the best ways to feel AMAZING. 

Healthy Lifestyle Habit #2

Support Your Gut

A large portion of how we feel can be traced back to our gastrointestinal tract. The colon is full of naturally occurring healthy bacteria which is super important in metabolism, digestion and fighting off harmful bacteria and viruses.

A diet low in fiber and high in sugar and fat impacts these healthy gut bacteria and increases inflammation. No wonder you feel off after a long period of indulging…

Eating a healthy diet (check out healthy habit#1) helps good bacteria to thrive in the colon. Eating about 25grams of fiber every day ensures healthy bowel movements and healthy gut bacteria which are crucial to removing the waste from your liver and intestines. 

You can help them even more by eating probiotic foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, and kefir. If this isn’t your thing, we also love a good quality probiotic supplement.

Tip: peppermint essential oil has been shown to help with relaxing intestines and easing tummy upset.

Healthy Lifestyle Habit #3

Minimize Exposure

There are a number of chemicals that you do NOT want in your home or on your skin that can be found in certain household cleaners and personal care products.

A good place to start is by checking out the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which can help you identify which products are better to use. After personal research I’ve found many healthier alternatives to use in my personal care routine and cleaning routine that are low-tox, just as effective and healthier for myself, my family and our planet.

Healthy Lifestyle Habit #4

Drink Water But Don’t Over-Do It

Water helps your liver by carrying waste products out of your body through your sweat, urine, and feces. WATER! Not juice or soda! These don’t count because either is usually high in sugar and just creates more work for your liver. 

On the other end of the spectrum, if you drink more than 1 liter per hour, you can cause something called “water intoxication”. A good rule of thumb is to listen to your body and drink water when you feel thirsty.

Healthy Lifestyle Habit #5

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is incredibly underestimated in our fast-paced society, but just as important as eating healthy and exercising. Not sleeping enough is linked to weight gain, lowered immune system, feeling depressed, increased inflammation in the body, decreased concentration and much more.

Enough said right? Seriously, prioritize that shut-eye!

I love using the Dodow or Headspace app to help me fall asleep in combination with essential oils like Lavender.

Healthy Lifestyle Habit #6

Move That Butt!

A great way to help your body detox is to stimulate the movement of fluid around your body by exercising! I’m not saying you have to start doing CrossFit or running triathlons, taking regular walks is great too!

Moving can also help you with:

  • feeling less bloated
  • controlling weight
  • improving mood
  • boosting energy
  • sleeping better
  • poop on the regular!

Oh and it can be fun and social too!

Healthy Lifestyle Habit #7

Reduce Stress 

I’m sure you’ve heard this before for all sorts of different reasons, but chronic stress is bad for everything including your body’s efforts to detox and stay healthy.

Most people don’t realize that feeling constantly exhausted or stressed causes your body to pump out the hormone cortisol which in excess can weaken your body system’s ability to do just about anything.

Make sure to make relaxing and self-care a priority. Do what feels right for you whether that be getting a massage, taking a yoga class or going for a walk. And for the love of everything nice, get some laughs in each day!

Healthy Lifestyle Habit #8

Wash Those Hands

Being more susceptible to the common cold or flu is not a sign of built-up toxins but that you need to start implementing a few healthy habits. For starters, strengthening your immune system in all the ways I mentioned above is a great way to protect you against snotty invaders. Even if you don’t know how to do it all, just start somewhere and go from there.

You also need to realize that you touch your face A LOT. In fact, it’s about 16 times per hour. When you touch an infected surface or person, the cold or flu virus can enter your system through your nose and mouth. So please, keep your hands clean with a healthy eco-friendly foaming hand soap or sanitizer.

Healthy Lifestyle Habit #9

Who Do You Hang Out With?

Did you know that if the people you hang around with have healthy habits it is more likely that you will too?

If none of your friends smoke, you’ll be less likely to smoke yourself. Unfortunately, the same goes for unhealthy habits! If your friends only eat cheeseburgers, it will be difficult to stay on track with your healthy lifestyle. This doesn’t mean you have to cut out the burger-eating people you love but do regularly connect with a few people that have similar health goals.  

If on the other end of the spectrum, you’re chronically lacking in social interaction you’re more likely to experience elevated levels of stress and inflammation which is bad for nearly every part of your body. 

So if you want to feel healthier, it is not enough to focus on eating your veggies and getting regular exercise, you must also connect to other humans. 

Healthy Lifestyle Habit #10

Power In Numbers

You may have been considering going on detoxing your lifestyle and supporting yourself naturally but now know that this isn’t always so easy. Starting a healthy lifestyle can be really tough, especially by yourself. A great way to start ‘detoxing’ your lifestyle is by joining a likeminded community.

When you get to ask questions and talk to positive people who want to live a similar lifestyle you’ll have fun, feel inspired, supported and it’ll make it much easier.

 

The Last Thing You Need To Know About Detoxing

People encounter toxic substances all the time. Most of the time, your body does a perfectly good job of removing them without any additional help. However, if you’re not feeling your best, you can support your body by making healthy lifestyle changes.

The easiest way to start is by joining our amazing soul members in our free Wellness Course.

Will You Try Any Of These Tips? Do You Have a Great Tip for Me?

I am always learning and would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below and if you liked this post, sharing is caring!