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Have you ever thought that you might need to take a radically different approach to your health and fitness? Maybe you’ve realised that some of your weekend party habits have been getting more and more out of hand (and less and less enjoyable), or maybe you’ve been eating processed food, daily, for years, and have come to suspect that it’s not doing you any favours?
Whatever your personal experience, and background story may be, undergoing a sensible, natural detox can be a good way of kick-starting a health and wellness transformation. While more heavy-duty permanent cleansing approaches may be useful, it’s worth doing your research and being very cautious before signing anything on the dotted line.
Here are some basic natural detox tips that can help you get started freeing your body from toxins.
Quit all addictive substances
You may think that you know what “all addictive substances” means in this context, but don’t be too quick to jump to assumptions. This point isn’t just about quitting hard drugs; it’s also about quitting any socially acceptable drug you use on a regular basis.
Nicotine is, of course, one example — and alcohol is another (yes, even if you’re a moderate drinker) — but caffeine is also on the list.
The thing about addictive, psychoactive substances — drugs, in other words — is that they change your body’s physiology and chemistry in some critical ways, which can have an ultimately devastating effect on you.
Alcohol, even in relatively low doses, slows the central nervous system and interferes with the proper function of your brain; killing neurons and causing other mischief. It also over-taxes your liver, among other things.
Caffeine leads to chronically elevated levels of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, and also disrupts your body’s receptors for other essential chemicals such as dopamine.
When all is said and done, routinely using addictive substances can significantly interfere with your body’s ability to properly detoxify itself.
Consider a careful 3-day fast
Intermittent fasting has become a pretty popular dietary trend in the last few years, but it’s actually longer-term fasts that enjoy most of the demonstrated scientific-benefits.
When fasting, your body enters a stressed state. Your stress hormone levels temporarily shoot up, and various systems in your body struggle. This isn’t typically harmful if done in a reasonable and controlled manner (and with the advice of your doctor if you suffer a chronic disease), but actually has some interesting benefits.
If you fast for long enough — around 3 days without food, but with plenty of hydration — your body begins a process known as autophagy, where it clears up and “recycles” old, damaged cells.
Get as much extra sleep as possible
This may not sound much like a detox tip, but sleep is the time when your body does most of its repair and recovery, and when essential hormones such as growth hormone are released in abundance.
Many people have an abysmal relationship with sleep, getting barely any of it on a regular basis, and almost never enough to feel rested.
If you care about your health, buck this trend. Make sleep a priority.