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Common Questions About Detox Diets


Updated June 23, 2014

How should I prepare for the detox diet?

Start removing certain foods such as coffee prior to. Following this step minimizes and reduces unpleasant reactions such as headaches, tiredness and nausea. Find out how to prepare for the detox.

If you work from Monday to Friday, it’s a good idea to begin the detox on a Friday, so that you have the first few days, which are usually the most difficult, at home.

Who shouldn't try a detox diet?

It’s a good idea to consult your health care practitioner prior to starting a detox. People who have health conditions such as liver disease, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease or eating disorders should only try it under the supervision of a qualified health practitioner. Children and women who are pregnant or nursing should not try the diet.

Should I continue taking my prescription medications and my supplements?

Don’t discontinue any prescription medications, even temporarily. It is also not necessary to discontinue supplements – if in doubt, talk with your health care provider. Medication should never be discontinued or reduced without consulting the prescribing doctor and/or your primary care provider.

What should I do if I get a headache?

If you have followed the guidelines on how to prepare for the detox but still get a headache, be sure to drink lots of water, massage the temples, try aromatherapy, or have a cup of green or white tea, which both contain less caffeine.

Can I work out?

Exercise boosts circulation, which can help the body to eliminate waste products. Try swimming, walking, jogging, jumping rope or rebounding, but don’t push yourself if you’re tired. Also, if you don’t exercise regularly, talk with your doctor before starting an exercise regimen.

How can I expect to feel?

The first few days are the most difficult. If a person is accustomed to drinking coffee in the morning, he or she may get headaches. People often feel tired. By day 4 or 5, people may begin to feel more energetic and notice that their digestion is improving.

What should I do if I’m constipated or bloated?

There are a number of foods and supplements that can help to prevent or relieve constipation while on a detox diet. Please see the section Improve Your Digestion in the detox diet plan for tips.

If you’re not used to eating a lot of fiber, it may take a few days for the body to adjust. Try herbal tea made with ginger, peppermint, caraway, or cinnamon to ease digestion. If you’re suddenly eating beans, try Beano or try adding a piece of kombu seaweed to the soaking water (if you’re using dried beans).

How Often Do People Go On It?

Proponents of detox diets generally recommend one to two times a year to improve health and prevent disease. In some cases, however, alternative practitioners may recommend a detox diet more frequently or may recommend a longer detox diet.

What Do People Eat Afterward?

After the detox diet is over, alternative practitioners often suggest gradually easing back into a healthy, but less restrictive diet. Many people use a detox diet as a springboard for a healthier lifestyle and continue eating many of the vegetables and fruits they ate on the detox diet.

Many of the foods that were eliminated during this diet can be allergenic. A health practitioner can help to systematically reintroduce food groups (wheat, dairy, gluten, corn) and note reactions to identify the food groups that may be aggravating health conditions such as sinus congestion, fatigue, skin conditions, arthritis and bloating and constipation. Flare-ups can occur, so supervision is recommended.

A natural health practitioner can help design a long-term dietary plan to maximize health and well-being and prevent disease.

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