How to Prepare for a Detox Diet

Tips to Know Before Starting

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Before you begin a detox diet, here are some tips to prepare:

1) Give Your Diet a Mini-Makeover

According to some alternative medicine practitioners, jumping into a cleanse too quickly can lead to headaches, bloating, or constipation. In order to minimize these detox symptoms, they recommend taking three to five days before a cleanse to slowly remove certain foods from the diet, such as coffee, alcohol, sugar, wheat, artificial sweeteners, trans fats, and packaged, boxed, canned, or fast food.

Some people cut back on animal protein, such as pork, veal, beef, sausage, cold cuts, and canned meat. Up your intake of raw vegetable salads and lightly steamed vegetables.

You may also want to take this time to rid your kitchen of any foods or beverages that might tempt you during your cleanse.

Plan your menu for the week and make time to grocery shop. If you don’t normally buy organic, look for local farmers’ markets, health food stores, or grocery stores with a good selection of organic foods. If you’re not able to buy all produce organic, get a fruit and vegetable wash to help rid your produce of pesticide residues, waxes, and other undesirable chemicals. If you are going on a detox diet, see a sample menu. If you are going on a juice cleanse, have all of your produce ready and storage bottles if you will be preparing larger quantities to last you through the day.

Related: 3-Day Juice Cleanse

2) Prevent Caffeine Withdrawal

If you drink caffeinated beverages on a regular basis, you may experience headaches, tiredness, and other caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Here are some tips on how to prevent it:

  • Gradually decrease your caffeine intake prior to starting the cleanse.
  • Try substituting some of your coffee intake with Swiss water decaffeinated coffee. For instance, try having a cup of coffee that is 75 percent regular coffee and 25 percent decaffeinated coffee. Gradually up the percentage of decaf until you're ready to eliminate it entirely. 
  • Switch to lower-caffeine drinks such as green tea, white tea, matcha, or oolong tea.
  • If it's the bitter taste of coffee you miss, try a caffeine-free herbal coffee substitute.

3) Drink More Water

Your body needs plenty of water during a detox diet. Drinking lots of water keeps you hydrated and may help flush out toxins, so be sure to drink at least eight glasses of filtered water daily. Also try having a cup of room temperature or lukewarm water, lemon water, or detox water in the morning.

4) Stock Up on Tools for Detox Success

Some practices may help promote cleansing throughout your detox diet, such as exfoliating your skin with a dry brush before taking a shower. 

To enhance relaxation as you detox, consider buying some essential oils to add to your bathwater or use for massage. Incredibly calming, lavender oil may be especially helpful for those suffering from caffeine-withdrawal-related headaches. Learn about using essential oils.

5) Know What Not to Cut Out

Don’t stop taking any prescription medications while on a detox diet. Discontinuing certain medications can have serious, possibly life-threatening consequences. Find out about other common questions about going on a detox diet.

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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