When it comes to detoxes, there are a lot of options (just whack ‘detox’ into Google and you’ll get at least 1,000 results). There are detoxes to help you lose weight, detoxes to help clear your skin, detoxes to help regulate your bowels – even detoxes to help add shine to your hair.
So which one is right for you? While we can’t go into the details of all of them (it would take us a very, very long time), we can give you the lowdown on a few of the most common detoxes: a juice cleanse, a liver cleanse, and a bowel cleanse.
The green juice fast
What is it?
The green juice fast is a detox that lasts for a few days only, and during which all you consume is – yep, you guessed it – ‘green’ juice and water. As the name suggests, the juice is usually made up of green ingredients, such as kale, celery, and cucumber, as well as natural taste enhancers, such as lemon, ginger and apple. The goal is to stick to about three to four glasses of green juice a day – nothing else. If you get hungry, you’re supposed to just drink more.
The green juice is said to help build up the red blood cells in your body, which then increases your iron levels and helps your body get rid of toxins. It can also help you to lose weight, clear your skin, improve your vision, increase your energy levels in the long term, and maximise your body’s ability to fight infection.
The first few days of the fast can leave you feeling a bit sluggish, weak and a little headache-y (which can be from withdrawals), and if done for too long, the green juice fast (and any juice detox for that matter) may lead to fatigue, indigestion, muscle pain, and dehydration. So if you’re looking to use this type of detox to clear your system and lose weight, make sure it’s only for a few days!
The liver cleanse diet
What is it?
Developed by Australian doctor Dr. Sandra Cabot, the liver cleanse diet aims to help improve your liver function, which in turn helps to increase your energy levels, general health, and may also lead to weight loss. The diet isn’t a quick fix and must be followed for about eight weeks. On this diet, dairy, meat, refined and fried foods should all be eliminated from your diet and replaced with daily vegetable juices, lots of raw fruits and vegetables (particularly leafy greens), wholegrains, oily fish, nuts and seeds, as well as avocado and eggs.
Those suffering from things such as abdominal bloating, poor digestion, fatigue, headaches, bad breath, IBS (Irritated Bowel Syndrome) and obesity can all benefit from the liver cleanse diet. It can also help to curb sugar cravings, improve your ability to lose weight, and lower your cholesterol.
While the diet is pretty good in terms of getting you into the habit of eating healthy, balanced meals, you need to be super-organised with your meal-planning and it can be quite hard to sustain long-term if you like to eat out a lot. The diet also requires you to purchase the book, and recommends a lot of extra supplements, which – if you choose to take them all – can be a bit expensive.
Colonic (the bowel cleanse)
What is it?
Colonic is an in-salon therapy that manually cleans out your colon and exercises the muscles of the bowel wall. The most common form uses tubes to inject water into the colon through your rectum. The water causes the muscles of your colon to contract, and while this is happening, an abdominal massage helps release old, stagnant waste from your colon wall through the tube.
Colonics help remove waste and toxins from the colon, as well as help digestion and the absorption of water and nutrients. The treatment can also help improve constipation, regulate your bowel function and improve your overall health.
While uncommon, colonics do carry the risk of bowel perforations or infections. Some therapies also require regular weekly visits to completely flush the toxins out of the body, which can be costly.
Think a colonic sounds like what you need? Head to alkaline.com.au for more information.
It’s a lot to factor in – every detox has its pros, every one has its cons, too. So what’s the main thing to consider when deciding which detox to do? According to Blake Worrall-Thompson, owner and director of Ministry of Wellbeing and blogger, the biggest thing to consider is time management. “To do a detox and to do it properly requires a little bit of preparation and for you to be organised.” It’s also not a good idea to start a detox – any detox – if your birthday or a big event is coming up.
Blake also advises that if weight loss is your goal, “the best thing you can do is get rid of ALL sugars, yeast, dairy, gluten and wheat for two to three weeks and then slowly introduce little bits of dairy back into [your] diet…and it’s really important for those doing detoxes to LOAD up on the veggies.”
Have you ever tried a detox before? Would you try a detox?