A Simple Cleanse for Weight Loss
It’s the new year and weight loss is trending again.
For those of you who’ve tried losing weight before, you know: not every diet plan or detox will work for every body.
Even when they work, some of the detox plans out there promote unhealthy habits that only get you short-term results. Some alleged detox products on the market can even be harmful to your health.
The path to weight loss, truly, is paved with balance. You need to eat healthy, hydrate, exercise and get enough sleep. More than any diet, a commitment to overall health is fundamental.
To help get you on the right path, a weight loss cleanse can be a motivating and powerful jump-start. Especially if it includes black cumin seed oil.
Cleansing for weight loss: Best practices
First, it’s important to stress that you shouldn’t stress.
Harsh or extreme detox plans that involve synthetic chemicals, laxatives, extreme food restrictions or excessive fasting put stress on your body.
Pamela Bond of YogaJournal.com recommends a softer approach: “This contrasts with other, harsher detox plans, which, although often effective for deep cleansing via laxatives or enemas, can actually shock, exhaust, and deplete your digestive and nervous systems. “When the body-mind is experiencing daily stress from work, relationships, financial struggle, or aggressive dieting, there is often digestive distress and constriction, which prevents toxins from flowing out of the body,” Carlson says. “In order to detoxify safely and effectively, the body and mind must be relaxed, and the channels of digestion and elimination flowing with ease.”
A more basic approach will prevent the shock and stress of a harsh regimen. What follows is a list of simple, natural steps towards a cleaner lifestyle.
A basic routine is also easier to follow, which makes it more likely that you will stick with it.
Adopting these best practices for a week or so will help you to feel cleansed and refreshed. Then, once you go back to your regular routine, you may find that some of these things stick at least some, if not all, of the time.
You hear it all the time: you need to drink more water.
It’s true. Your body must be hydrated in order to function properly.
When it comes to weight loss, staying properly hydrated can help you burn more calories.
It is also key to reaching your goals because dehydration can lead to problems sleeping and various aches and pains. Dehydration symptoms can throw off your hormone balance and halt your weight loss.
While drinking plenty of pure water is advisable at all times, during a cleanse you should follow this simple guideline: drink at least half your weight in ounces every day. So, if you weigh 180 lbs, you should aim to drink 90 ounces of water, at least, throughout your cleanse (8 ounces is one cup of water, so that’s just over 11 cups).
Get yourself a reusable water bottle and keep it with you. It’s much easier to drink plenty of water when it’s always at hand, rather than trying to chug an entire glassful every hour or two when you think of it.
Break your addictions
Caffeine and sugar are probably the two most common addictions. Alcohol and cigarettes are more serious, but less of a problem for most people.
This week, cut out sugar, caffeine and alcohol completely. If you smoke, try as best you can not to.
Foster emotional health as well. Many people are addicted to news, which can be stressful. While being informed may be noble in general, give yourself a break for the week in the interest of cleansing yourself emotionally while you cleanse yourself physically.
If you have a dedicated time of day when you normally read the paper or news online, take that time to listen to a guided meditation recording (there are many free apps) or do some gentle stretching and deep breathing.
Cut out anything processed
Processed foods are loaded with synthetic additives, sugars and sodium that over-tax your organs and can cause weight gain.
Sugar is the worst and it comes in many forms. It can cause you to crave more calories than you really need. It also causes a crash, sending you back for more sugar to boost you up again.
Plus, sugar causes insulin spikes that confuse your body and cause you to store fats that you don’t need.
While sugar can be found in whole foods, it’s different when it comes in processed foods. For one thing, packaged food products often contain way more sugar (and salt) than you could ever add to whole food recipes.
Take cola drinks, for example. Imagine loading up a tea or coffee with tons of sugar, as much as you could tolerate. You might add 2, 3 even 4 teaspoons of sugar but beyond that you probably couldn’t even stand to drink it. By contrast, a single-serving bottle of Coca-Cola contains about 16 teaspoons of sugar! Processed products like these are super-saturated with sugar and salt so they contain more of these things than you could possibly ever add at home.
It’s not just soda: flavored yogurts, canned soups, bottled salad dressings, store-bought crackers and breakfast cereals… all of these products and many more contain surprising quantities of sugar, sodium, trans fats and harmful additives.
It’s always good to focus on whole foods and avoid packaged stuff when you can, but during a cleanse especially, cut these foods out of your diet completely and stick with fresh options.
Eat organic foods
Your body is constantly working to detoxify. This is the primary function of your liver, your kidneys and other organs. By avoiding toxins, like pesticides, in the first place, you take some of the burden off of these organs.
It can be hard to eat organic all the time, but committing to it for one week can make it easier to make it a more regular thing.
While you are trying to cleanse, especially for weight loss, giving your organs a chance to rest is a great idea.
Also, try eating a new fruit or vegetable at least three times this week. You may find something that you really love that will also have benefits for your health.
Get plenty of rest
One of the biggest problems people face when they are trying to lose weight is that lack of sleep causes their hormones to work against them.
You require a minimum number of hours of sleep each night. Getting less than that will cause a sleep deficit that will impair your ability to function properly on multiple levels.
Getting too little sleep often leads to hormonal changes that encourage overeating. On top of that, your metabolism slows down making your body less efficient at fat burning.
Try to catch up on some of the rest you’ve been missing out on. Getting into a good sleep routine during your cleanse may help you to stay on top of your sleep requirements once it’s over too.
Exercise is as important as ever
If you are eating a healthy, balanced diet, not restricting your food intake too heavily and getting plenty of sleep, you should be up for starting or maintaining an exercise plan.
The minimum amount of recommended daily activity is 30 minutes. Even a walk is good for you. Try to get your heart rate up a little bit (during moderate exercise you should be able to speak, but not sing).
You may find that the break from your desk becomes addictive and that you stick with it once your cleanse is over.
This is not the time to start something overly demanding. If you are not active at all to start with, take this opportunity to start slowly and then build up to a more intense exercise routine in the weeks following your cleanse.
If you are already active, stick with your routine, maybe adding one additional work-out or amping up the intensity a little bit.
Too much too soon will only discourage you and make it more likely that you will quit before you see real results.
“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”
-Vincent Van Gogh
The idea behind all of this is to get you into healthy habits and a frame of mind that will help you achieve long-term success. Hopefully, by the end of the week, you’ll be feeling energized and excited to make some of these habits regular parts of your routine.
Sometimes the way you start your day can affect the way the rest of it pans out. I like to start each morning with a glass of lemon water with a teaspoon of black cumin oil mixed into it.
This one small habit adds to my water count for the day, the lemon stimulates digestion, priming my system for the healthy foods that I will be putting into it and the black cumin has many benefits, including some that are specific to weight-loss goals or weight maintenance (see below).
That one small step seems to make every other healthy choice a little easier to make.
Why black cumin seed oil?
Black cumin is a healthy fat source that promotes weight loss naturally. As little as 1 teaspoon a day can encourage your body to burn fat.
Sierra Bright of NaturalLivingIdeas.com has more on this:
“In a study published in June of 2013 in the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders, researchers noted that after reviewing the literature for plants with anti-obesity properties, they found that black cumin oil was among the most effective natural remedies in the world. It’s believed to be effective in much the same way that it can help diabetics. It’s an excellent anti-inflammatory agent and has been found to lessen the appetite, improve glucose levels and glucose absorption, which can help one to lose excess weight.”
On top of all of that, black cumin oil is a natural source of CLA.
Never heard of it? CLA stands for conjugated linoleic acid. It’s found in many of the foods we eat, especially grass-fed meat and dairy.
Matthew Solan or experiencelife.com explains how it works: “CLA reduces body fat by increasing basal metabolic rates. In other words, it helps the body convert food more efficiently into energy. CLA doesn’t decrease overall body weight; rather, as Pariza told the American Chemical Society, “it keeps a little fat cell from getting bigger.” This can alter the body’s fat-to-muscle ratio.“
CLA is great for your heart because it helps lower blood pressure levels and balance cholesterols. It also helps to prevent disease, reduce inflammation and stop insulin resistance (making it helpful for diabetics).
You could say that this is a healthy fat that promotes fat loss. It might sound strange, but the evidence is there, it works.
For more about using black cumin to promote weight loss, click here.
There are many other foods that contain CLA that you can include in your meal plans for your cleanse and continue to eat regularly once your cleanse is over.
For a list of food sources of CLA to boost your weight loss, share this post below.
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