Why You Shouldn't Detox in the New Year & Should Wait Until Spring
Modern lifestyles often cause our bodies to build up toxins within our cells, even in those who seem to live and eat relatively healthily. We are constantly inhaling polluted air in busy towns, swallowing chemicals added to our food during farming and when being turned into ready meals and will even absorb contaminants through our skin. This can sometimes be in large amounts too, if a person is using body care products that contain synthetic chemicals.
It has become very popular to ‘detox’ in recent years, so much so that many people confuse detoxing for a new type of weight loss fad. Weight loss can definitely be a side-effect of detoxing, especially if a person has hormonal problems but the two are very different.
True detoxing is really a healthy way to revamp yourself, which involves eating a restricted, clean diet, supporting the liver and kidneys, in order to help the body to clear these toxins out of it’s systems. Whilst placing emphasis on building up nutrient reserve whilst giving the digestive system a rest. By doing the latter, usually through drinking lots of green vegetable juices (just one option), the theory goes that you are freeing up energy that would usually be spent on digesting the food and fibre, and this energy can then be used to cleanse out more toxicity.
Many doctors think that detoxing is a waste of time because the body naturally clears itself of these toxins each day, but whilst this may have been the case at one point (perhaps when we were cavemen) - in the last 100 years alone we ingest many different and often deadly synthetic chemicals that make it even harder for the body to do its job well, hence why taking part in a detox even just once a year can help your body to perform more efficiently afterwards.
The decision to start a detox is a huge one. Most people experience withdrawal symptoms, which can be very unpleasant. Headaches, irritability, fatigue and a foggy mind are common. Digestive upset is also a familiar symptom.
If the detox starts too suddenly, especially following a period of binging, then this ca
n be an even tougher transition. It is often easier to allow your body to enter a detox gradually by slowing introducing freshly pressed organic juices made up of mostly vegetables and a little fruit, to then work on reducing your meat and grain consumption.
Some people find it beneficial to do a green juice only type of detox for 3 days, some for 7 - it is really up to you what type of detox approach you do, how long you do it and how you feel once doing it. Always be guided by your body’s feedback and never push yourself too hard.
But during the winter it is natural to want to rest and recharge. Our bodies are cold and tired and we may crave nourishment in the form of carbohydrates. On top of that, the festive period is often a time when individuals eat a diet full of sugar, alcohol and fat. People tend to overeat and over indulge, and generally feel sluggish by the new year. It is therefore popular for many to suddenly decide to make a change as the New Year dawns.
New Year’s Resolutions
Many resolutions are to become healthy, to lose weight, or to detox. But as we all know, these promises often fail before February has arrived and a common reason is the approach isn’t right.
The sharp transition from party mode to detox is a very difficult one for the body to cope with. This is why withdrawal symptoms hit painfully, and it becomes a challenge to keep the momentum of a detox going, no matter how good our intentions and will.
The winter season is when the body wants to hibernate, store any extra weight and keep warm, and it is therefore against the natural rhythms to force a spring clean!
You may have noticed that in warmer weather you crave foods that are light, fresh and healthy. There is an abundance of organic produce in season during the spring and summer months. During the spring equinox particularly, our bodies have high energy, perfect for pushing the accumulated toxicity out of the cells.
Spring is the best time for new growth and regeneration, so it makes sense that our bodies would be ready to detox best at this time of year.
All of the extra weight that has been accumulated over the winter is no longer required to keep us warm, and we can shift it more naturally in time with the body’s rhythms.
In addition to the seasonal cycles, it is often easier to
feel motivated by the summer clothes that we will be wearing. When we are not wrapped up and hidden under layers of clothes there is more incentive to look our best. Warmer weather also causes your body to sweat more, which is a powerful tool for eliminating toxins all on its own.
Tips for Detoxing/Revamping Your Health
You can support your body’s efforts to detox your health all year round though by applying a few simple suggestions:
Take time to gradually eliminate sugars and other addictive elements from your diet.
Slowly incorporate more alkalising whole foods. This will help the body to achieve an ideal pH level, and reduce acidity. Suggestions include raw vegetable juices, green smoothies, raw soups and salads.
Consider supplementing your detox diet with super green powders for a phenomenal boost of vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
Keep your body properly hydrated to support all of the essential cellular activity. Water benefits the body in so many ways, aiding with digestion, mental clarity, weight loss, increased energy, improved mood and eliminating toxins. Keeping hydrated could be the key to making your detoxification a success.
As important as it is to keep our bodies hydrated, we should also be aware of the quality of water that we ingest. Tap and bottled water could be potentially detrimental to health because they are loaded with chemicals. Drinking pure alkalised, ionised water could provide the optimum hydration for our bodies. The benefits are far reaching and point towards improved health and disease prevention thanks to the antioxidants present in the water and preferred pH by our blood.
Get plenty of rest. Try to sleep by 10pm, as it has been suggested that the 2 hours before midnight are particularly beneficial to support your body’s natural healing process. 8 hours per night is the general rule of thumb - but you may find you need a little more or less to be at your optimum level.
Take Care Now to Detox Easily Later
Considering the points discussed here, it would seem that the best time to start a detox is in the spring. This is in synchronicity with the natural rhythms of your body and the seasons. Give yourself the best possible chance of success, without so much struggle against the symptoms of withdrawal by choosing an alternative New Year’s Resolution, and saving your detox for Spring!
And by putting into process a few of the suggestions above all year round, and especially starting this Christmas - you will make the detox once spring comes around much easier on yourself.