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Feeling good
Get your body back with a detox

01/12/17
By Kelly Sennott ksennott@hippopress.com



 For people looking to quickly revamp their diet, one way to start fresh is with what experts call a detox.

“[Clients] see immediate results,” Jaclyn Lee, a registered dietician with Nutrition in Motion in Bedford, said via phone. “They have less bloating. They’re thinking clearer, sleeping better at night and have more energy.”
She said clients typically come to her about detoxing because they want to get their cravings under control.
“Their food choices haven’t been great for some length of time, and it’s snowballed,” Lee said via phone. “Lots of people going through our weight watcher program start with a detox. … It’s because if you detox with carbs, protein and fat, it will normalize your blood sugar, and you won’t have the spikes and falls.”
 
What to eat
What you eat on a detox can be flexible, Lee said, but generally, it involves eating simple, natural foods with a balance of healthy protein, carbohydrates and fats. 
Eliminate processed foods or foods that may cause inflammation for some people, such as gluten, dairy and sugar, Lee said.
Detoxes should also be high in fiber (through fruits and vegetables, particularly ones rich in vitamins and sulfur) and water — about half your body weight in ounces per day. 
They can last anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks, though both dietitians advised getting professional advice before detoxing, as it could have a negative effect depending on health history and the medication or supplements you’re taking. Some people can jump right in, while others need to make slow adjustments.
“It’s a much safer way to detox than juicing or fasting. In those, you’re not giving your body a balance of the three macronutrients — carbs, fat, protein,” Lee said. “What I see out there is that there are more detoxes out there that are a bit heavy on the carbs. … For example, juicing is all carbohydrates.”
Heather Taylor, registered dietitian and owner of Eat Well and Beyond in Manchester, said some of her clients like including protein shakes in their detoxes, which is fine; the best ones include no dairy and are full of vitamins and minerals. 
 
The effect
The first couple days can be rough, particularly if you’re abstaining from caffeine (which is what Taylor advises; Lee said she typically limits clients to one black coffee a day). By Day 3 or 4, you should see a result.
“A lot of people talk about how they had great sleep with vivid dreams,” Taylor said. “The biggest thing is their energy level that comes back. They might not be having cravings for sugar and carbs. Pain in their joints — that’s gone. I’ve also heard of women who had less cramping and lighter periods.”
Both women advised limiting detoxes to a couple times a year. Afterward, it’s important to phase foods back in slowly.
“The only thing you don’t want to do is follow a detox for two days and then on the third day go totally off it and have sweets or do something dramatically different,” Lee said. 





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