Common Questions About Detox Diets

green smoothie detox diet
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The following are some answers that alternative medicine practitioners typically give in response to common questions about detox diets. Be sure to speak with your health care provider if you have questions about detox diets or about making a change to your own regimen.

How should I prepare for the detox diet?

Start removing certain foods such as coffee. Following this step minimizes and reduces unpleasant reactions such as headaches, tiredness and nausea.

Find out how to prepare for a detox diet.

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

Who shouldn't try a detox diet?

Consult your health care provider prior to starting a detox. People who have health conditions such as liver disease, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease or eating disorders should avoid detox diets and should only modify their diet after consulting their doctor. Children and women who are pregnant or nursing should not try the diet.

Should I continue taking my prescription medications and my supplements?

Speak with your doctor, but discontinuing prescription medication is not recommended. 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 light exercise such as walking, gentle yoga, or stretching or exercises but don’t push yourself, especially 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 usually 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 that can help to prevent or relieve constipation while on a detox diet. 

Related: Ways to Get Constipation Relief Naturally

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 such as ginger tea, peppermint tea, caraway tea, or cinnamon tea 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.

Related: How to End a Cleanse

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 may occur, so supervision is recommended.

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

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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