What Is A Detox Diet?
A detox diet is a diet that aims to rid the body of built up toxins.
Detox diets generally last for a specific amount of time, usually between 3 – 21 days, however the concept of ‘clean eating’ can be adopted as a long-term approach to managing weight, increasing energy levels and improving health.
Clean eating simply means eating a diet consisting of foods that are pure and natural.
A 7 day detox puts your body into an optimum state for the effective removal of toxins and gives your body a welcome break from any unhealthy eating habits that may affect your skin and even your long-term health.
The benefits of following a short-term detox diet include:
- Weight loss
- Improvements to the skin – feeling and looking younger
- Improved mental clarity/alertness
- Improved energy levels
- Improved digestive health
- Improved immune system function
After a detox diet you may also find that some minor health complaints are much better, such as:
- Dull-looking complexion
- Dry skin
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Pre-menstrual tension
Detox diets will not cure illnesses or diseases, so it is important to be realistic about any outcomes. This article focuses on a 7 days diet plan to help improve the skin
Detox diets are not suitable for everyone, for example people with certain health conditions such as anemia or diabetes or those who are underweight should avoid any restrictive diet.
Always discuss any diet change plans with your doctor if you have any ongoing health condition, and consider talking to your doctor before starting a detox diet.
Getting Started On The 7 Day Diet Plans
The skin-friendly detox diet is a gentle detox plan. This means that it is very easy to continue with your normal working and family routines whilst following it. It is certainly not a restrictive plan where you only drink lemon juice for 3 out of the 7 days.
This plan eliminates foods that are known to build toxins or act as allergens. Processed foods are off the list and lots of natural, healthy foods included. Following this diet for a week will give your body a much needed rest and boost your energy levels in a way that will make you feel and look younger.
Detox Side Effects
Detox diets can cause a number of minor side effects that may be unpleasant or uncomfortable during the first 2-3 days. Usually these symptoms subside as your body adjusts to a healthier way of eating.
Common early side effects include:
- Digestive problems – bloating, nausea, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation
- Skin problems – spot breakouts or rashes
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Feeling cold
- Feeling emotional/tearful
- Weight gain after the diet has finished as your body readjusts
Allowed Foods For Your Detox 7 Day Diet Plan
Choose organic meat wherever possible.
- Wild game such as venison and buffalo
- Cold-water fish – salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, trout, fresh tuna
2. Fruits And Vegetables
Any fruits and vegetables – organic is best if possible
- Brown rice or wild rice
- Rice crackers
4. Nuts And Seeds
Choose nuts and seeds that are raw and unsalted.
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Hemps seeds/nuts
- Pure nut butters (check labels for unwanted added ingredients)
- Tahini and other seed pastes
5. Beans And Legumes
Choose pre-cooked beans stored in water – avoid canned beans that are soaked in sugar or salt.
- Adzuki beans
- Kidney beans
- Black-eyed beans
- Broad beans
- Chick peas
- Split peas
Choose pure cold-pressed oils wherever possible
- Olive oil
- Hemp oil
- Flax oil
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Almond oil
Use sesame, sunflower and safflower oils in moderation
- Lemons and limes
- Fresh herbs and spices
- Apple cider vinegar
- Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
- Sea salt, miso and wheat free tamari in moderation
- Pure maple syrup
- Brown rice syrup
- Raw honey
- Carob powder
- Pure water – drink 6 – 8 250 ml glasses of water per day
- Green tea
- Herbal tea
- Pure coconut milk
- Rice, hemp or almond milk
- Fresh juices made from fresh fruits and vegetables using a juice extractor, unsweetened
Banned Foods On The Detox 7 Day Diet Plan
1. Dairy Products
- Cheese – including cottage cheese
- Sour cream
- Yoghurt – including frozen yoghurt
- Ice cream
- Bacon, sausages, ham, and salami – any processed meats.
3. Wheat And Gluten Products
- Cous cous
4. Soy Products
- Soya milk and yoghurt
- Soy sauce
- Soy powders
5. Sugars And Sweeteners
- Any sugar
- Corn syrup
- Artificial sweeteners
Any caffeinated drinks
- Soft drinks of any kind
- Prepared bottled condiments and sauces such as ketchup, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce etc.
- Yeast products
- All artificial additives and preservatives
- Pastry/shortening products
- Any food that is high in fat or sugar
Your 7 Day Detox Diet Plan
Begin each day with a cup of warm water with a squeeze of lemon juice added to it. This kick-starts the digestive process and is the perfect way to begin your day.
Herb or green tea can be drunk throughout the day and will help if the detox makes you feel cold.
Remember to drink 6- 8 small glasses of water throughout the day and try to avoid drinking with your meals as this can inhibit the digestive process.
Helpful Hints And Tips
1. You can create your own 7 day menu plan using any combinations of the foods on the allowed foods list. Avoid those on the banned list.
Try to bake or steam fish, meat and vegetables and avoid frying foods. Light sautéing is allowed; you can add sautéed onions and garlic to steamed vegetables to add taste.
2. Plan your 7 day detox carefully to ensure success, there is no point starting the diet on a day when you won’t have the time to prepare meals or you will need to grab food on the go.
3. You may experience some of the uncomfortable side effects mentioned in the first few days of the diet, so some people choose to begin at the weekend when they are not working.
4. Buy the foods you need for your detox in advance so you have everything near to hand, and try to get rid of all unhealthy, high-fat or sugary snack foods from your home in advance to avoid temptation.
5. A detox diet needn’t be bland or boring, below are some recipes for dressings you can use to enhance the taste of your meals. Get creative and make your own from the list of allowed foods.
● 2 tablespoons raw honey
● ½ cup apple cider vinegar
● Pinch freshly ground black pepper
● ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
● 1 cup cold pressed oil of your choice
Combine all the ingredients except the oil. Then slowly add the oil, little by little and blend well.
● ¾ cup cold pressed olive oil
● ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
● 2 teaspoons raw honey
● 1 clove of crushed garlic
To make, place all the ingredients into a sealed jar and shake well.
● 250g/9oz fresh, chopped tomatoes
● 3 mild chilies finely chopped
● 1 small onion finely chopped – try red onion for extra taste
● Cilantro/coriander finely chopped
● Lime juice
● 1 teaspoon water
● Tiny pinch of sea salt – optional
To make, combine all the ingredients together in a bowl. Serve immediately.
Detox And Your Skin
Improvements to the skin are one of the main benefits of detox diets. After following a detox diet you are likely to be rewarded with beautiful, glowing skin and increased energy levels.
In fact many people find that the 7 day plan readjusts their palate and they feel increasingly drawn to making healthier diet choices in the long-term.
If you want to improve your complexion in the long-term, a 7 day detox can be a good starting point. As we all know, we are what we eat and by making healthy diet choices we can improve the quality of our skin in ways that beauty products and cosmetic procedures cannot rival.