Thinking of going on a juice fast to “purge” your body of toxins? Before you do that, here’s something you should know. Your body is perfectly capable of cleansing itself without you taking gallons of juice. It has an extensive detoxification system that works round the clock to ensure you’re free of all the bad stuff. It’s also possible that your detoxification system is not working as it should. This is especially true if you’ve been living off processed foods and not really being careful about what you consume. So, to ensure your body is toxin-free and all organs are working as they should, you can embark on a 7-day body cleansing.
What Is A Cleanse?
Clean eating is all about whole or minimally processed foods, ones that are as close to their natural form as possible. On the other hand, ultra-processed foods have been linked to several health problems like cardiovascular disease. A diet based primarily on ultra-processed foods also deprives the body of nutrients needed for overall health (7).
By switching over your regular diet to one heavy in fruits and vegetables, you can help prevent conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. This way of eating can also enable weight loss and make your skin and hair look healthier (3).
How To Detox Your Body?
Start your journey with some simple changes. Swap out white (highly refined) carbohydrates like rice for brown (whole grain) varieties; replace potato fries with sweet potato fries; buy whole grain bread instead of white; use whole-grain flours to prepare cakes, cookies, muffins, and brownies.
Reduce your intake of refined sugar. This means cutting down on sweets but also substituting other foods that may contain hidden sugars like salad dressings, sauces, and gravies.
Remove processed foods from the diet. Trans fats increase liver toxicity, while heavily processed meats are linked to colon cancer, so you might want to stay away from those too (8). If you need a rule of thumb, anything with more than five ingredients you can’t pronounce is most likely highly processed, so best stay away from it altogether. These foods are loaded with preservatives, chemicals, and artificial flavors, which might affect the way your body processes foods to give you energy.
Limit dairy products if you can. Well, these are high in saturated fat, which can increase your LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels (and remember, LDL is the one that clogs up your arteries). In addition, dairy products contain hormones like estrogen that may also be linked to certain types of cancer (5).
This diet doesn’t mean cutting out all sources of protein. Rather than going for red meat all the time, try beans, or lentils instead of chicken or yogurt. It has just as much protein but won’t leave you feeling heavy afterward.
Eat more nuts. They’re loaded with health-boosting nutrients such as vitamin E and folic acid, while walnuts boast omega-3 fats and may reduce the risk of breast cancer (4).
The 7-Day Body Cleansing Detox Diet Plan
Before you begin your detox diet plan, progressively eliminate all unhealthy foods and beverages from your diet.
While on this diet, start each day with half a lemon squeezed into warm water or a cup of hot green tea to support digestion. You can also include a brief exercise session like a 30-minute walk or yoga. Follow the sample 7-day detox diet plan below to support your body’s detox processes:
- Breakfast: Gingerbread oatmeal
- Lunch: Tuna salad
- Dinner: Grilled Skinless chicken/turkey breast and green salad
- Snack: Low-fat Greek yogurt topped with chia seeds and raspberries
- Breakfast: Green smoothie made from spinach, celery, coconut milk, and bananas
- Lunch: Quinoa salad bowl
- Dinner: Red lentil curry soup with whole wheat bread
- Snack: Spicy roasted peanuts
- Breakfast: Scrambled egg, and avocado on whole-wheat toast with a glass of milk
- Lunch: Leftover red lentil curry soup
- Dinner: Grilled steak with steamed greens, or a baked potato and grilled fish
- Snack: Roasted chickpeas (with tahini if you like) and carrot sticks
- Breakfast: Sweet potato pancakes topped off with low-fat yogurt and blueberries; a glass of orange juice on the side
- Lunch: Grilled chicken salad with cucumber, tomato, bell peppers, avocado dressed in lime juice
- Dinner: Chili with kidney beans, beef mince, and brown rice with vegetables
- Snack: Celery sticks filled with almond butter
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- Breakfast: Overnight oats made by adding oatmeal to Greek yogurt and berries
- Lunch: Beans, sautéed green veggies/steamed kale tossed in olive oil and herbs of choice
- Dinner: Grilled paneer (Indian cottage cheese) served over brown rice and cucumber-tomato salad (with lime juice dressing)
- Snack: Trail mix made almonds, walnuts, or pecans along with some dried cranberries or raisins for sweetness
- Breakfast: Frittata made from mushrooms, onion, tomato, and bell peppers topped off with avocado slices; a glass of milk on the side
- Lunch: Black beans and brown rice with steamed green veggies
- Dinner: Grass-fed beef burger topped off with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, and avocado slices
- Snack: Frozen blueberries tossed in a little cinnamon/agave syrup
- Breakfast: Blueberry and almond butter smoothie, made with coconut milk
- Lunch: Spicy lentil curry with a slice of whole-wheat bread
- Dinner: Oven-baked salmon with steamed broccoli
- Snack: Hummus with sliced carrots and celery
After The 7-Day Cleanse
When you complete the body cleansing 7-day program, you might start seeing improvements in your energy and overall health.
There are some complete body cleansing 7-day program side effects you can look forward to, including (1):
- Clearer skin
- Greater energy levels
- Better digestion, regular bowel movements, fewer gas/bloating episodes
- Weight loss
- More natural and restful sleep
- Overall better health
The challenge now is to maintain your healthy eating patterns to enjoy long-term benefits.
Here are some tips that may help:
Remove All Temptations
Out of sight, out of mind. It’s much easier to resist eating unhealthy foods when they aren’t easily accessible. Clear out your kitchen cabinets of all junk food and sweets to reduce temptations.
Stop and think about what you’re eating. You’ll enjoy your meals more if you slow down to savor every bite. Think about the ingredients and the effort you put into preparing the meals. Pay attention to how full you feel as you eat. You also tend to eat less when you have to put effort into chewing your food as opposed to just swallowing it whole.
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The toxins in your body sometimes come from pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and fertilizers used to grow the foods you eat. The more fresh and locally grown foods you eat, the safer and healthier it is, for you and the environment. Choose organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible (6).
Watch Out For Additives
If a food label contains ingredients that you can’t pronounce or don’t recognize, chances are they’re preservatives or stabilizers, which usually means the food is more processed. The best way to determine if a food is highly- or minimally-processed is to read the nutrition facts panel and avoid anything with sugar byproducts as main ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup or crystalline fructose. Avoid artificial sweeteners as well as trans fats (hydrogenated oils). Look out for preservatives like BHA, BHT, TBHQ, sodium nitrites, propyl gallate, or others ending in –ate (BHA) and -cide (BHT).
Ditch The Juice
Juicing fruits and vegetables removes all the beneficial fiber. Fiber is what helps your body break down food and absorb nutrients more efficiently (2). You’re better off eating whole fruits than drinking their juices.
On The Go
If you don’t have time to cook, pack raw veggies and fruits in your lunch box so you’ll always have a healthy option available. Start with the staples, carrots, bell peppers, celery, apples, oranges, and add more as you go along. Cut up whatever’s in season for variety. You could also try fruit leathers or dried fruits like figs or dates to satisfy your sweet tooth without sabotaging your efforts.
Did you know that your body is made up of 70% water? Water helps flush toxins out of your body, so drink lots daily, especially to support weight loss. You can also replace soft drinks with lemon-infused water for another way to help keep harmful toxins at bay. Try adding some cucumber slices or mint leaves for flavor variation.
Enjoy Treats In Moderation
Remember that weight loss doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up a bit from time to time. A balance between being strict with dieting and eating everything in sight does exist. After all, everyone loves tasty treats occasionally! Just do your best and stay focused during the times when your willpower is really tested.
The Bottom Line
The 7-day clean eating plan is a great way to kick start a healthy eating habit. Avoid ultra-processed foods, and load up on fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Reduce your portions, and you have a 7-day weight loss meal plan that you can easily stick to even after the cleanse is over.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Harvard Health Ad Watch: What’s being cleansed in a detox cleanse? (2020, harvard.edu)
- Health benefits of dietary fiber (2009, pubmed.gov)
- Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables (2012, nih.gov)
- Health Benefits of Nut Consumption (2010, nih.gov)
- Health Concerns About Dairy (n.d., pcrm.org)
- Health Risks of Pesticides in Food (2013, washington.edu)
- New evidence links ultra-processed foods with a range of health risks (n.d., bmj.com)
- The toxicity of dietary trans fats (2015, pubmed.gov)