Five Things to do Instead of a Detox

These five tips will help you feel better and become healthier without doing a detox or cleanse!

Five healthy tips to try instead of doing a detox!

Cleanses and detoxes are all the rage these days, especially this time of year when everyone is recovering from all of the holiday indulgences  and making resolutions to be healthier.


I'm sure you've seen the ads on TV, social media, and online...In fact, you might have friends who sell these products that claim to "cleanse your body, remove the toxins, or boost your metabolism."  But as promising as these products sound, don't be fooled.


Our bodies are amazing in that they naturally detox/cleanse themselves every day, thanks to our liver, kidneys, and other parts of our body, like our skin (yes, sweat is actually a good thing!) .  In fact, we're constantly "cleansing"  all on our own.  


The big issue with buying into supplements, special juice cleanses, extreme diets, or other products is that they're generally very restrictive.


So yes, you'll probably lose a few pounds shortly after going on an all juice cleanse  or special detox meal plan, but that's because those plans are all based around the strategy of underfeeding your body.  And when you underfeed your body, some of the the first things to go include water weight and muscle mass. 


Our bodies don't require much energy to store fat, so they are more than happy to hang onto the stuff that takes the least amount of energy to maintain.  Rapid weight loss from underfeeding also means that our bodies are quick to re-gain the weight after returning to our regular eating patterns, even if they're healthy patterns. 


Rapid weight losses and gains contribute to slowing our metabolism over time, so every time you try to lose weight again, it becomes more difficult. 


If you're feeling like you've been over-indulging and want to get back on track, here are five things you can do instead of a detox or cleanse that will actually contribute to your long-term health and success!  

Note:  You can read the tips below, or you can watch me talk about them on my segment on Great Day SA!

1.  Eat breakfast every day:  People who eat breakfast each day have better focus, metabolism, and actually eat fewer calories later in the day.  Aim for a high-protein breakfast that includes at least 2-3 food groups.  It can be something simple like cottage cheese with fresh fruit and nuts, or if you've got a few minutes to cook, try my easy avocado, egg, and cheese breakfast tostadas!

Easy and healthy vegetarian recipe for avocado, egg, and cheese breakfast tostadas!

2.  Drink plenty of water: Most of us don't drink enough water - it's essential for healthy organ function and also for metabolism.  We also tend to mistake thirst for hunger, so if you're feeling hungry when it's not meal time, try grabbing a glass of water, waiting about 15 minutes, and seeing if the hunger goes away.  


A quick way to estimate your daily water need is to take your weight (in pounds) and divide that by two, which will give you the ounces of water you should aim for (not including exercise/sweat - you'll need more water).  Some clients I work with have trouble with the plain taste of water, so if you need a little extra flavor, try dropping fresh fruit like oranges into your water for flavor.  You could also try my healthy peach-blueberry iced tea recipe for more variety in your beverages!

healthy sweet iced tea with peaches and blueberries!

3.  Eat your fruit and veggies:  We all know that fruit and vegetables are absolutely packed with vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting antioxidants.  But the fiber in fruit and veggies helps us feel fuller for longer, and produce (especially veggies) tends to be very low in calories.  That means they're a great way to eat more, feel great, and lose weight!  My grilled peach and arugula salad with cherries, pecans, and bacon is a pretty tasty way to get started if you're looking to eat more salads!

Easy grilled peach and arugula salad with cherries, pecans, and bacon.  So good!

4.  Swap your snacks: Say good bye to the candy, chips, soda, and cookies.  Our bodies are naturally wired to crave sweet, salty, and fatty foods so those may seem like what we need for an afternoon pick-me-up, but the reality is those foods are full of "empty calories" which basically means they don't provide any nutrition but our body will happily store them as fat.  :/  Those foods also don't keep us satisfied very long, so we end up eating more later. 


Instead, swap those highly processed snacks for simple whole foods, like fresh fruit with nuts, a hard boiled egg, or some hummus and carrots.  You'll be eating more nutrient-dense foods packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  You'll also likely be eating fewer calories and will feel fuller for a longer time.  So it's a win-win-win... ;)


One of my most popular snack recipes on the blog is my peanut butter and apple snack bites - they only take a few minutes to make and can be enjoyed all week long!

Healthy apple and peanut butter snack bite recipe!

5.  Move more:  Aim for at least 30 minutes of movement each day.  Finding simple ways to move more such as going for a walk, taking the stairs, dancing to your favorite song, or even standing up to stretch and walk around the office for a few minutes each hour all add up. 


Sitting is one of the most dangerous habits we have - moving our bodies contributes to better heart health, healthy digestion, disease prevention, better sleep, and better moods.  So find something that you enjoy doing for exercise - walking is one of the easiest ways to get started!

Remember that becoming healthier, feeling better, and losing weight takes time and a little effort on our part.  Don't fall for an expensive, short-term solution that won't work;   put the effort into your health now and start feeling absolutely amazing!

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Comments: 2
  • #1

    Erin (Tuesday, 12 January 2016 19:58)

    Great tips! That avocado & egg tostada looks amazing!

  • #2

    Amber @ Homemade Nutrition (Wednesday, 13 January 2016 07:43)

    Thank you Erin! That breakfast tostada is definitely one of my favorites!! :)