Will I Lose Weight Doing a Cleanse or Detox?

The need to care for yourself highly outweighs the need to drown yourself in a disruptive lifestyle.

Before we look at addressing the main question here, let’s first understand what a detox involves and what happens during a detox retreat. Detox is essentially time spent on stimulating the body’s very own processes to draw out and expel hidden toxins and thereby bring back a state of wellbeing. Most of the time we’re so caught up in our busy lives that we seldom pay attention to our health and body needs until we see a symptom present itself.

The body has a very clever and precise way of working with what we present it. Because the human body is such a complex system it has a way of processing out wastes and unwanted matter through the body’s detoxification pathways; liver, kidneys, skin, digestive system, lymphatic system etc. But with all the heavy external toxins we ingest continually through what we eat, drink, breathe, and apply onto our skin, the body can’t cope, and an imbalance sets in. But the clever body we have doesn’t allow toxins to remain circulating in our core systems and packs them off to our joints, fat cells, under the skin as a coping mechanism.

This keeps the body safe for some time, but the effects will show up sooner or later. Prevention is better than cure, so if we aim to keep the body supported and in balance then we would be avoiding these problems in the future.

What does a detox involve?

There are different kinds of detox programs some are very intense and may need you to go away and detox under specialized care. There are less intense programs that involve a restricted diet. The basic principle involved when it comes to diet and detox mainly focuses on excluding foods that have any form of chemicals. The ingredients used must be free from preservatives, additives, flavouring agents, E numbers etc. It is also recommended that animal proteins be eliminated during the detox period as they can be heavy to digest. Providing light, simple and easy to digest foods gives the digestive system a rest and allows the body to heal and repair.

Intense liquid-only fasts should not be done for extended periods of time as it may be detrimental to the health of the digestive system. Most juice fasting detox retreat programs have a well-structured supplement plan to ensure all nutrients are being provided to the body. Please ensure you are under supervised care should you choose to do a detox program.

If you decide to do a meal-based detox, it would be ideal to have a good balance of complex carbohydrates, proteins, and good fats. So, lots of vegetables with beans, sprouts, lentils, avocado, nuts and seeds, virgin coconut oil, virgin olive oil are all options to choose from. Do not overeat and start paying attention to your satiety signals.

Doing any form of detox is ideally done under professional care and guidance for best outcomes, as programs can be tailored to your needs and health concerns.

What happens during a detox at The Beach House Goa?

Typically, a detox retreat will involve all or some of the below elements:

  1. Diet: Usually juices or light meals are served throughout the day in limited portions and at regular intervals.
  2. Supplements: Natural nutritional supplements are provided to ensure all nutrients are being provided with a focus on essential amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, liver support and essential vitamins & minerals.
  3. Colon cleansing: to facilitate the removal of toxins via the anal route.
  4. Spa Treatments: to relax tension in the body and for therapeutic benefits
  5. Yoga session: gives the best start to the day, with invigorating pranayama and asanas to boost and stimulate the body’s functioning.
  6. Wellness consultations: to discuss health concerns and get advice on holistic natural solutions to continue implementing in day-to-day living.

Finally… will a detox help in weight loss?

Having understood what happens in a detox, you would have started to see and understand why weight loss is associated with it. Well, firstly there is an elimination of fat-promoting foods, like sugar, salt, processed and refined foods. Secondly, there is restriction on quantity and method of cooking. Supported by yoga, massages, and colon cleansing, these are all factors that would naturally cause weight loss. With a quest to cleanse and detox all the body systems, yoga, with its focus on systematically stretching and compressing every part of the body is particularly well-suited.

A well-balanced practice of yoga gets things moving, and due to their work on our internal organs, has a profound detoxing effect for the body. It keeps the waste-removal departments of the body functioning well. By practicing yoga daily, you will begin to notice an improvement in your flexibility, balance and strength, making your body more durable to withstand the pressures of the outside world. The practice of yoga will also connect your mind with your body. Doing yoga helps purge toxic thoughts by teaching you to move your awareness away from the chaos of the mind and back to the present moment- an important component not present in other fitness pursuits.

Primarily, weight loss occurs due to loss of water in the body. When the body spends time detoxifying, the toxins that have been stored away in the adipose (fat) cell start to metabolise, making it easier for the body to breakdown that fat, thus attributing to weight loss.

Hydration is so important in the body that even when levels drop only slightly, you will begin to feel the consequences. When it comes to weight loss, water has a crucial role. The process of burning calories requires an adequate supply of water in order to function efficiently, so being dehydrated can slow the fat-burning process.

When you are dehydrated, the volume of blood decreases which results in less oxygen being supplied to muscles. Not only will this make you feel tired faster, it will also affect your muscles’ fat-burning potential and ability to tone up.  You need enough water to lubricate muscles, flush out the metabolite waste products produced by exercise, and thus reduce muscle and joint soreness too.

Next, it’s common to confuse hunger signals with thirst, leading to snacking. Next time you have hunger pangs, try drinking a large glass of water and wait 10 or so minutes to see if they subside. Chances are you were in need of hydration not more food so can save yourself excess unwanted calories. If the body is dehydrated it will also retain any stores of water, again preventing weight loss.

However, every individual is different and therefore the body’s needs in terms of weight loss vs other health needs vary. So, while some people may have good weight loss on a detox it may not necessarily be the case with another.

Not many studies have been carried out on the effects of weight loss through juicing, however latest research on the effects of juicing has reported a juice based diet altered the intestinal microbiota associated with weight loss, increase in the vasodilator nitric oxide and decrease in lipid oxidation.

The detox will definitely make it easier to lose weight post-retreat, but you would need to follow the diet and lifestyle advice recommended.

5 Easy Daily Activities to Kick-start Weight Loss

  1. Do cardio exercises on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.
  2. Drink plenty of water slowly throughout the day.
  3. Include lots of vegetables in your diet.
  4. Cut down/ eliminate white foods from your meals.
  5. Believe and trust that your body is supporting your weight loss goals.

A huge part of losing weight is believing you can do it and realising it’s not going to happen overnight.

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