How can a Detox help?
For some people losing weight is the primary aim of coming on a detox retreat; for others it is an added bonus.
A comprehensive detoxification programme of fasting and colon cleansing aids the weight loss process not just due to the fact that you stop eating your normal diet for the week but for many other reasons too, including the following:
Acids cause weight gain. The body retains fat as protection against the overproduction of acids produced by a typical Western diet. Eating too much bread,
meat, fizzy drinks, coffee and sugar etc. causes the body to lay down fat to protect itself from the excess acidity. During the detox process your body becomes more alkaline and so the fat is no longer needed. If you maintain a predominantly alkaline forming diet after the detox week, any excess weight will continue to be lost and it makes it much easier to stay at your optimum weight. The ideal balance of acid forming foods to alkaline forming is about 20% : 80%.
Sluggish bowel. A sluggish or congested bowel can increase the fat load in the body. For example constipation causes fat to be absorbed from the bowel and taken into the body rather than out of the body. A detox programme that includes colon and liver cleansing can restore bowel health and the right balance of intestinal flora, plus liver function is greatly improved. If your liver is not working well, then your body’s fat metabolism is not going to be working well either.
Poor digestion. If your digestion is sluggish or inefficient then not only will your body not be able to digest food properly, but you might be carrying around several pounds (if not kilos) of impacted waste matter! This can cause a greater toxic load on the body and leave you feeling tired, sluggish and overweight. Eating foods such as sugar, refined carbohydrates and saturated fats which are not completely digested causes them to be stored in the body as fat.
Metabolic reasons. Eating processed foods and high levels of saturated fat can hugely affect your metabolic rate. The documentary film by Morgan Spurlock called ‘Supersize Me’ showed just how easily and quickly the body can gain weight and become very ill on a diet of fast food. Removing these types of foods from your diet helps to increase your metabolic rate and therefore helps you to burn fat at a faster rate.
If you want to lose weight then stay away from refined and fatty foods which are filled with calories, bad fats, sugar and salt (e.g. white flour, white sugar, white rice, white pasta, white milk, foods fried in deep fat). Replace these foods with fresh, natural whole foods.
Biochemical reasons for weight gain. ‘Fake foods’ such as caffeine, food additives, sugar and artificial sweeteners add to the body’s toxic load. They do not ‘feed’ the body in terms of nutrition, so your body still sends out signals to eat! These ‘fake foods’ act as stimulants causing a blood sugar high, then a low, even after a large meal, if it has included any of these substances. This drop in blood sugar causes people to keep eating even after the meal to try to stop that hungry feeling.
Diet foods. Low calorie, no calorie, fat free foods etc. damage the body’s ability to distinguish between high and low calorie foods and thus it becomes unable to
properly regulate intake. And beware, in many cases, a low fat or no fat product will have a high sugar content, which if not used for energy will be laid down as fat.
Low thyroid function. The thyroid gland regulates the body’s metabolism, which is the rate at which the food is processed and used by the body. If your thyroid is under functioning, one of the noticeable symptoms is progressing weight gain. To test your thyroid take your waking temperature for 6 days in a row at the same time each day. (If menstruating, start on the 2nd day of your period.) Your temperature should be between 97.8 and 98.2 for normal thyroid function. Below 97.8 = low thyroid. Foods which help to balance thyroid function include seaweed, dulse, nori and kelp or kelp tablets.
Lack of exercise can cause weight gain. Something you may not know is that muscle burns calories faster than fat, even while you are asleep! Therefore taking regular exercise raises your metabolic rate and keeps it working at a higher level, which in turn means the body burns off more fat.
Comfort eating. Eating out of boredom or loneliness or eating food that represents love is a common cause of weight gain; so too is eating unconsciously – for example whilst watching television or working at your desk. Try to eat consciously and be aware of what and how much you are eating.
Emotions and weight gain. For many people, eating is a way of suppressing unwanted emotions. Unfortunately it doesn’t work because it is a never-ending process of avoiding feelings and eating to suppress them. Sometimes we aren’t aware of what the feelings are. However, for weight loss to be permanent it is important to look at your emotional self and heal past hurts and sadness, so that you can be at peace with the past. We see emotional wellbeing as an integral part of our detox programme and this underpins successful and permanent weight loss among our clients. They leave not just lighter of body, but lighter of spirit too.
A detox retreat can help to kick start a weight loss programme by alkalising your body and improving digestion and bowel health. During our Detox Retreats people regularly lose 7-14lb (3.2-6.4kg) in one week. This weight loss is a combination of fat loss and impacted waste matter from the colon being removed. The information you will learn about healthy eating will be something to take into your life beyond the retreat. If emotional reasons are behind ‘bad’ eating habits then these can be explored and dealt with so that you can move forward into a healthier way of living and eating.