5 Ways to Detox Smartly
So now that you know why you need a detox, how do you do it without pain and suffering? How do you take a shortcut to feeling great?
Here’s a little secret that the diet and food industry, the medical establishment, and Big Pharma don’t want you to know: Most of us are only a few days away from health and happiness. Even if you have a really bad case of FLC Syndrome or even a chronic disease, food is the most powerful medicine on the planet to fix it. Here are 5 ways to do this:
- Be a turkey (a cold one) and take a drug holiday. There is no way to handle a true physiological addiction except to stop it completely. Addicts can’t have just one line of cocaine or just one drink. Go cold turkey. But you won’t have to white-knuckle it because when you detox correctly, you will automatically reset your body’s neurotransmitters and hormones. Stop all forms of sugar, all flour products, and all artificial sweeteners. They all cause increased cravings and slow metabolism, and lead to fat storage. This especially includes liquid sugar calories, which make you eat more all day and drive storage of belly fat. Also get rid of anything with trans or hydrogenated fats and MSG (watch for hidden names). Ideally, for 10 days you avoid any foods that come in a box, package or can or have a label, and stick to real, whole, fresh food. And the best way to really detox is to give up all grains for 10 days. Give up all drugs, too. Caffeine and alcohol are the two biggest after sugar.
- Power up the day with protein. Protein, protein, protein at every meal, especially breakfast, is the key to balancing blood sugar and insulin, cutting cravings, and providing your liver the raw materials to optimally detoxify. Start the day with farm fresh eggs or a protein shake. I recommend my Whole Food Protein Shake. Include nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, chicken or grass-fed meat for protein at every meal. A serving size is 4 to 6 ounces or about the size of your palm.
- Eat unlimited carbs (the right ones). Yes, that’s right. Unlimited carbs. Did you know that vegetables are carbs? And you get to eat as much as you want. Unlimited refills! There is one catch. I only mean the non-starchy veggies such as greens, the broccoli family (including cauliflower, kale, and collards), asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, tomatoes, fennel, eggplant, artichokes, and peppers. Sulfur-rich cruciferous veggies, as well as onions and garlic, provide additional detox power.
- Fight sugar with fat. Fat is not a four-letter word. Fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does. Fat makes you full, balances your blood sugar, and is necessary for fueling your cells. Along with protein, have good fats at every meal and snack including nuts and seeds, extra virgin olive oil, coconut butter, avocados, and omega-3 fats from fish.
- Use friend power, not willpower. Extraordinary new research shows that obesity is contagious. You are more likely to be overweight if your friends are overweight than if your parents or siblings are overweight. But health is contagious too. In a large social experiment I did with my friend Rick Warren at Saddleback Church we got 15,000 people to lose 250,000 pounds in a year by doing the program together. They met in small groups, helped, loved, and supported each other. And those who did it together lost twice as much weight and got twice as healthy. I call it the Love Diet! Every “body” needs a “buddy.” Find a friend or form a small group and do the detox together.
If you’ve ever believed detox means drudgery, starvation, or otherwise suffering, you should buy my new cookbook, available at both Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com, The 10-Day Detox Diet Cookbook. This will shift your perspective and provide the pathway to weight loss and optimal health. Download my 10-Day Detox Diet Starter Kit and get cooking today!
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD