Can you do a detox diet and still embrace?

First up let me be clear that I do not endorse, believe in, follow, or support the ideas of diets, at least not in the sense of a prescribed or restricted list of foods or food groups that you are or aren’t “allowed” to eat. The word diet used very loosely to define a general or preferred way of eating is what I am okay with, the Mediterranean “diet” being the best example.

B U T after a couple of years of steadily gaining weight, being in denial about how much it really was, and the massive shock when I finally did brave the scales {which I only did because all of my clothes were undeniably tight}, I decided that while I wasn’t going to start any ridiculous diets, I most definitely did need a kick up the butt and to start doing something.

THE DETOX PROGRAM

I stumbled across a detox program on Instagram that promised great things, and after a quick read of the website I eagerly handed over my money and purchased the sixty day program. The program is made up of an initial two day loading phase, the detox/weight loss phase which makes up the bulk of the program, and finishes up with a maintenance phase. It also came with some kind of drops to be taken before meals {fat burning, I think???}, and a nightly powder that promised to boost the metabolism. There was also a handy guide outlining the approved list of foods.

It was a very thin guide.

In a nutshell a day on the detox phase looked something like this:

  • no fat, dairy, carbs, sugar, caffeine, or alcohol AT ALL.
  • intermittent fasting meant no breakfast, unless you counted a long black, cup of tea, or piece of fruit.
  • no more than two pieces of fruit a day.
  • two small meals per day for lunch and dinner,  {a total of 500 calories PER DAY} made up of one protein and one veg, and you couldn’t have the same protein or veg for both meals on the same day.
  • there were some token snacks you could have, like a breadstick or low cal cracker, but I didn’t bother.
  • a minimum of two to three litres of water a day.

If it sounds spartan and kind of brutal it did to me too, but out of desperation and knowing that I clearly needed something to change, I did it. And I did stick to it with barely a slip up for a full month, but when I saw how quickly I was losing weight I decided to back off a bit. All up I lost bang on nine kg’s at the end of thirty days, and a couple of weeks on I’m down a tiny bit more, and would ultimately like to lose another five, to get back to my regular weight. The biggest surprise was that I genuinely wasn’t hungry, not even once.

INTERMITTENT FASTING 

What surprised me about the intermittent fasting {I.F.}, is that I thought it would be harder. I’ve never been a big breakfast person, but I did generally need something to eat in the mornings, even just a bit of toast. Drinking lots of water helped at first, and work days were a breeze because it would be mid morning before I’d even have time to think about a cup of tea. I.F. is something I’ve stuck with since easing off the detox, and will continue to do.

THE STRUGGLE TO #EMBRACE

So this is pretty much where I am now: a happy blend of I.F., portion control, and enjoying all foods in moderation. I generally try to stick to clean eating, but the instant I even think that, the deprogrammed, embracing, part of my brain sends up a red flag about the word clean, and what it implies. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve lost weight but at the same time I hate the fact that I still consider it a praiseworthy achievement. I prefer to gauge my progress back into my favourite clothes by trying on those clothes, but I can’t deny that I’m jumping on the scales much more frequently now that the numbers are getting lower.

I guess for now I’ll just keep reminding myself that embracing also means self care, and if physical health and strength boosts my mental health then getting healthier physically can only be a good thing in the long run.

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