Whether you eat on the go, ingest a lot of processed foods or party a little too hearty on the weekends, your body is going to feel it eventually. Chemicals and preservatives put a strain on our metabolic systems and make our organs work harder to perform their functions. We're also susceptible to toxic buildup if we're on long-term or strong medications.
Many people try to clear out their bodies through detox, whether that means drinking teas or going on a full fast for a days - sometimes weeks - at a time. Do body detox products and methods really work? What happens to your body when you do an extended cleansing fast?
What to Expect When You Detox
A one-day fast really doesn't affect you much. You may shed a pound or two of water weight, but that's about it. In order for a cleanse to be really effective, you have to stick to it and choose a method that can undo years of inattention. It's a chance to purge your body and reset it the right way.
Thorough detox cleanses last from one to two weeks, and you may experience the biggest adjustments after the first three or four days. You may feel tired, disoriented and mentally lethargic. It's best to begin one when you have a block of time when you don't need to be productive. Better still, book into a detox clinic where you'll have some company, support and medical oversight to get you through it.
You'll begin to notice the first effects toward the end of the first week. You may develop a strong smell and dull skin or eruptions of acne. That's because your body is pushing out all of the harmful substances that have been blocking it's efficient functioning. Don't worry. This unpleasant phase will only last for a few days. After that, you'll begin to notice significant changes in the vibrancy and brilliance of your skin and eyes. a lighter feeling throughout your body, more mental clarity and a significant weight loss. You may also find that your taste and attitude toward food are different after you end your fast.
Don't Just Go Below the Skin
Normally, detox enthusiasts talk about liver function and other biological processes when discussing detox. However, the first signs of fallout from lifestyle or dietary issues is usually on the outside. You may find your complexion dulled or your hair becoming dry and brittle. Of the two, skin is more easily rejuvenated.
The problem is both with the construction of hair follicles and the fact that the chemical makeup of our hair is often overlooked or taken for granted. In fact, it is this lack of attention to hair detox that can even lead to athletes or workers testing positive for causal marijuana use when hair samples are used as a testing mechanism.
What's in Your Hair?
The reason you need a specially formulated product for hair detox is because of the way a strand of hair is constructed. On the surface, it may seem smooth and solid, like a piece of fishing line. If you put a strand between your fingers and gentle run them backwards up the length, you'll feel a little roughness, almost like scales. That's because the shaft is really made up of three separate layers: the medulla, cortex and cuticle.
The outer covering, or cuticle, protects the cortex by wrapping it in a series of overlapping cells that can grow up to 12 layers deep. Penetrating that protective layer to remove traces of toxins without damaging the whole structure is difficult. The good news is that R & D has paid off through the development of products like Aloe Rid Detox Shampoo that can effectively remove even traces of cannabis from your follicles.
How Often Should You Detox?
Short fasts can be done once a month. It is suggested that a major fast that lasts longer than a few days can be performed once or twice a year. Before undertaking any drastic course of action, you should consult your physician.