How to Detox (Without Starving Yourself)


The word might make you shudder. You might think about starvation diets, liquid cleanses, nasty fiber pills, or worse.

What if you could gain all the benefits of detoxification, such as losing weight, feeling less bloated, ridding your body of impurities, and lifting brain fog, without starving yourself and being miserable? Yes, it’s possible.

What is a detox?

A detox is an active effort to cleanse the body of toxins. The body, in part, already does this on its own. The actual process of detoxification involves reducing the unhealthy foods we put into our bodies and instead consume the nutrients and vitamins our bodies need to eliminate waste more efficiently.

In short, it gives the liver, kidneys, lymphatic system, lungs, and other organs a break so they can do their job of filtering blood, burning fat, regulating hormones, dispersing nutrients, and more.

Why should I detox?

It’s a common misconception that a detox should follow an overload of unhealthy food such as after a big Thanksgiving dinner or after a week-long vacation. However, a detox can be beneficial for anyone looking to hit the restart button on living healthier and functioning better.

Detoxification will help you function in your optimal state.

If you often feel tired or experience brain fog, headaches, or digestive issues, it’s likely you could use a detox. Many people think they feel healthy, but do not realize they are not operating in their best state where they will truly feel energized and vibrant.

A detox will help you make better food choices.

The ultimate goal is to get you back on track with making better food choices that are sustainable. When you cleanse your body of waste and toxins, you are helping to control your cravings for sugar-loaded or carb-filled treats. You’ll find that you want to eat healthier foods!

Detoxing can help you lose weight.

Losing weight is probably the most known, and sought after, benefit of a detox. Once your body eliminates the toxins, it can begin to operate more efficiently. Also, because you are cutting out foods that are high in sugar, fats, and carbs, you are likely consuming fewer calories, resulting in weight loss.

Here’s how to detox *without* starving yourself:

It starts with shifting your diet and making consistently good food choices:

Drink lots of liquids. Water is the best option, but tea is a great option as well. Drink it with lemon first thing in the morning. Lemon has compounds such as Vitamin C, antioxidants, d-limonene, and acids similar to those in your digestive tract, all of which help your body cleanse itself and boost the detox and fat-burning capabilities of the liver.

Consume whole foods. Vegetables, fruits, lean meats/protein, good fats (like olive oil, avocado, and nuts) and complex carbs (such as rice or quinoa) are all whole foods. When consumed as close to their whole food state as possible, they contain the nutrients, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and fiber your body needs.  

Cut out the junk. Stay away from processed foods, which are stripped of the majority of their nutrients. Avoid items made from white flour and refined sugars, which are hidden in many foods, especially those that are packaged and found in the center aisles of grocery stores. Consuming these can disrupt your digestive system and can lead to other health issues.

Add more spices and herbs to your meals. Try ginger, garlic, basil, turmeric, cinnamon, or peppers to give your food flavor and your body a nutrient boost. These herbs and spices have various healing properties and can even increase circulation to speed up the cleansing process.

Snack reasonably. When you need an afternoon pick-me-up, reach for some fruit, unsalted/raw nuts, homemade popcorn, or a piece of dark chocolate.

Add a cup of bone broth to your day. Bone broth is jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients essential for gut health. When your gut is working properly, you’ll find that you eat better and feel better.

Try incorporating apple cider vinegar. A little apple cider vinegar can go a long way! When used as a marinade or dressing, or as a drink diluted with water, it can help with blood glucose, digestion, and weight loss efforts.

When detoxing, it is important that you are not starving yourself or depriving your body of the foods it craves. Instead, by eliminating toxins from your system, your body will start to crave whole, nutritious foods that help you feel energized, active, and operating at its best.