One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is…your mindset! Whether you’re hoping to reduce brain fog, gain energy, eliminate a buildup of environmental toxins, or simply give your health a boost, once you’ve determined that detox is a good option for you, a little mental preparation can go a long way.
Rushing into a detox (or any new lifestyle program) or starting without motivation will ultimately not produce the mental drive needed to follow through. If you are new to detox programs, they can seem intimidating, but they don’t have to be. Remembering why you started in the first place and the health benefits you are looking to achieve can be a good reminder to keep you going.
As you get ready to get “clean,” follow these steps to help move the odds in your favor:
1. Detox your thoughts
Take a temperature gauge on how motivated you are to start the program. Motivation and adherence go hand in hand. And without adherence, you won’t see the health results you’re looking for. If you’re lacking motivation, do a little more research behind the program. Know the “why” behind what you’re doing before you start. Keep a thoughts journal to remind yourself throughout the program for the motivational boost you might need to follow through to the finish line.
2. Monitor your caffeine intake
Most detox programs include an intermittent period of time that prohibits caffeine. If you are a coffee lover and can’t imagine a morning without it, this might be the biggest hurdle to jump when starting the program. To avoid caffeine withdrawals, start to cut back a week prior to starting your detox. Take out that afternoon cup, swap it with decaf, or do half-caf. Continue with your morning cup and so on. This will make the transition easier. If you like to drink something warm in the morning, switch to an herbal or naturally decaffeinated tea during your detox period.
Tip: We all know caffeine can help with bowel movements. If you find yourself backed up on your detox, add some fiber to your diet or try some magnesium citrate to get things moving.
3. Do a clean out
Detox programs can last up to 28 days, which can feel like a long time when eliminating favorite foods. To help resist temptation, clean out your fridge and pantry of the foods that you know will not serve you or your body well while on the detox. An empty freezer will help those late-night cravings where you might normally reach for the ice cream when all you have handy is an apple.
4. Replace the water filter
Staying hydrated is important whether you’re detoxing or not, but you’ll likely be drinking more water as you go through the detox process. In preparation for this, be sure to replace the filter on your water filtration system before you get started. It will be easier to drink if it tastes clean!
5. Make a shopping list & follow it
You’ll want to follow your detox program to the letter, so do your shopping before you start, not after. While you will be eliminating many food options from your diet during the process, there are plenty of food options you can choose from to keep you satisfied, from carbs to fruits and veggies to animal- and plant-based proteins.
Plan out your meals before you head to the market and make a detailed list to follow as you shop. If you’ll be following recipes, double-check that you have staple ingredients so you don’t find out you’re missing a vital item right as you’re about to cook.
Tip: Don’t shop hungry! Those salty chips and tasty sweets will look extra-tempting when you’re fighting the hunger pangs.
6. Meal prep
We’re all busy with family, work, and other responsibilities. It can be tough to think about taking the time to prepare a healthy meal after a long day. By preparing several servings in advance, you eliminate this hassle and can still eat well with minimal effort. Choose recipes that make multiple servings, separate them into individual servings, and then refrigerate or freeze the extras.
7. Know that perfection is impossible
It’s important to always show yourself grace. The reality is, we aren’t perfect! We set out with the best intentions, but sometimes things don’t always go exactly to plan. Just a friendly reminder not to let that be a reason to give up. Sometimes too much change at once can be just that, too much! Know what a realistic goal is, do your best, and don’t be too hard on yourself in the process. Consistency is more important than perfection.
Ready to get started? Don’t forget to check with your healthcare practitioner prior to starting any diet. Then follow these steps before you get started, and you’ll be feeling healthier in no time!