Last year, I did a month-long liver cleanse, meaning I cut alcohol, ate very simply, and took natural, herbal supplements twice a day (milk thistle, etc) to reset my systems after the holidays.
I noticed results in that during the cleanse, I felt like things were moving and my skin - our largest organ and is a reflection of what's going on inside - broke out horribly then calmed down. All within the 30 days.
This year was different. The process was far more mild, and it just seemed to linger. In other words, there was no clear beginning/middle/end. When I aired my frustrations to my husband, he said, "I'm proud of you for sticking with this, but you can quit. I mean, if I want to do a cleanse, I just run and sweat for an hour." After a good laugh, I realized he was right. So I quit.
If you are looking to try a "cleanse," here are a few things to keep in mind:
*ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST*
Have a Goal
Most people I know cleanse to lose weight rapidly before some event, then go right back to treating their bodies like garbage disposals. That won't work. You'll not only gain all the weight back as your body tries to regulate itself, but it will be harder to get rid the weight later. If you're already a healthy individual with sound eating habits and exercise regularly, taking time to reset is a great idea.
Too many sweets? Take a break from sugar. Feeling like you can't unwind? Try switching from espresso to green tea for a while. The key is to make small, slow changes, and stay in touch with how you feel. You might even like the results and make a permanent change.
Don't Starve Yourself
Even if your goal is to reduce portions to a healthy size (this is really where a health professional comes in), you shouldn't be lightheaded, dizzy, irritable, etc. Get your calories, but get them from the right sources.
You'll Probably Stink
One of the worst parts of a cleanse is actually the desired byproduct - you're getting rid of toxins. And that can make you smellier than usual.
You Might Gain Weight
Water weight, that is - some of my research (and experience) suggests that if you're churning up all of these toxins, you'll need to drink more water than usual to flush them, and this can give you some bloating and weight gain.
Remember that your body cleanses itself regularly. If, however, you do want to do a targeted reset, consult a heath professional, do your research, and practice mindfulness. Thank you kindly for stopping by! -JY