The Right Way to Cleanse

Many people have thought about doing a cleanse, or maybe they've even tried one. In recent years, diet cleanses have been gaining more traction, and with celebrities touting the benefits of cleansing, it can seem like an enticing option. While cleansing may help you lose weight or get your diet back on track, it isn't something that you should be invested in for the long run.

Did you know that your body detoxifies itself each and every day? It is the body's job to get rid of toxins in the liver and colon, which it does all on its own. Yet if you're feeling sluggish, backed up, or you're having tummy issues, your body might be having trouble detoxifying itself. A cleanse may be able to help.

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There are actually many different kinds of cleanses, as well as a variety of ways to approach a cleanse. Some people may prefer a juice cleanse, in which they consume mostly (or only) juices made of fruit and vegetables. This kind of cleanse is good for a couple of days, but it isn't something that is going to sustain you forever. Other people opt for a water-only cleanse, also known as fasting. While linked to spirituality, fasting is not an ideal cleansing solution, and it actually has no known physiological benefits!

The majority of cleanses involve eating whole, natural foods that are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. While you might start the first day drinking primarily fruit juices (the sugars in fruit help to flush the body's system out,) the second day will include more food options. These may include lots of leafy green vegetables, which will energize you. Depending on your body goals, you may choose to refrain from carbs during your cleanse, or you may incorporate fiber and protein-rich carbs like brown rice.

Some things that can help to move things along in your digestive tract could be probiotics, antioxidants, and some light cardio (like walking at a brisk pace.) This gets things up and running in your body, so you will feel lighter as you empty out your system and detoxify it. Cleanses like these should help you lose a few extra pounds and get your body back in proper working order. Remember, most cleanses are just that: a cleanse, not a diet to follow regularly.

I prefer to focus on healthy eating year-round to keep my body in tip-top shape. When I concentrate on feeding my body enough good foods from a variety of healthy sources, I feel better, I look better, and I'm able to tackle each day as it comes! If you want to give your body an extra push towards detoxifying, I'd recommend choosing whole, natural foods. Eat a diet rich in produce, lean protein, and healthy fats. Good carbs and fruit can fit into a cleansing diet as well.

You'd be surprised at how well your body will respond to the right nutrition!

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