NAUSEA: Drink peppermint or ginger tea (Zingiber officinale), two stomach soothers. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tea bag or 1 teaspoon of dried herb. Cover, steep for 10 minutes, strain, and drink up to three cups a day.
How to Lose More Weight
ONE OF THE BENEFITS OF A DETOX DIET IS that it forces you to break your usual routine to try healthier habits. Here’s how to build on those good habits, prevent future bloating, and lose more weight.
GO BACK GRADUALLY. Returning immediately to your old diet, as tempting as it may be, can cause you to regain weight. You’ll also miss out on the chance to spot foods that cause symptoms like bloating, congestion, or fuzzy thinking, Haas says. Start by adding back one new food each day, beginning with foods that are less likely to cause those reactions, like beans, fish, and grains other than wheat, before you move on to dairy, sugar, and wheat, which are often problematic. After you reintroduce a food, note how you feel 15 to 20 minutes later, three to four hours later, and when you wake up the next day. If a food causes symptoms, consider eliminating it from your diet. Even if it doesn’t cause symptoms, you may want to eat less of it because it’s likely to contain more calories than fruits and vegetables.
STAY ACQUAINTED WITH VEGGIES. Keep your refrigerator stocked with the vegetables you enjoyed while detoxing, as well as vegetable snacks (like bell pepper strips or grape tomatoes). They have plenty of fiber, few calories, and, unlike processed foods like crackers, won’t induce bloating or add pounds.
MAINTAIN PETITE PORTIONS. At every meal, put one-third less food on your plate than usual and chew each bite thoroughly. As you learned from eating your low-calorie detox meals, eating slowly helps you feel satisfied with less.
KEEP ON MOVING. If you exercised more while detoxing, keep it up. Brainstorm ways to fit exercise into your day, like doing a yoga video before breakfast, walking a few sets of stairs at lunch, or taking your dog for an after-dinner stroll.
DETOX AGAIN. Haas suggests that you repeat this process two to four times a year to support your healthy habits. Next time, consider following the detox diet for up to three weeks. This can lead to even greater improvements, he says.
Judy Bass, a writer in Stoughton, Mass., is a frequent contributor to Natural Health.
Your Detox Diet Plan
FIRST, DECIDE WHEN TO DETOX. SELECT A WEEK WITHOUT A DEMANDING SCHEDULE or a food-related function like a wedding. Start on a Friday; you may experience minor side effects like headaches during the first days of detoxing, and it’s easier to handle these at home than at work.
You’ll eat only vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, consuming 800 to 1,400 calories a day. You’ll also drink just water and noncaffeinated herb tea. Choose organic foods when possible to limit your exposure to pesticides and other chemical additives. Shop for the foods you’ll need before you begin. If you’ll be away from home during the day, prepare your lunch and snacks the night before and bring them with you.
The day you begin the plan, start a journal. Each day carefully record any changes in the way you feel, physically and emotionally. If you experience side effects like headaches, see “How to Deal with Symptoms.”
HOW I Lost the Bloat
Last fall I fell into a rut of unhealthy eating. A detox promised to be just what I needed to get back to a healthier diet. So, despite some concerns it would be difficult, I volunteered to try our plan.
I was surprised by how full I felt every day. In fact, I was never hungry, although I sure did crave crackers the first four days. I also experienced mood swings. I was particularly cranky after a trip to the grocery store where I saw so many foods I couldn’t eat. But just as with the cravings, my moods evened out toward the end of the week.
From the first night, I slept like a log, waking early and refreshed. I hardly ever hit the snooze button like I usually do. As the week progressed, I was often physically tired by the end of the day, but usually mentally alert.
By the last day, I noticed differences in the body parts where I usually carry extra weight: my face, hands, and waist. My rings went on easily, and my pants were looser. I lost 4 1/2 pounds, and I’ve kept them off. More importantly, I’m eating less (I learned I could be satisfied with less if I chewed slowly) and choosing healthier foods. To learn some of the tricks that helped me that week.