What to Expect When You Detox

Prepare for your detox diet by knowing what impact it will have on your body

If you're thinking of trying a home detox, it's important to know what kinds of symptoms to expect as you go through the program. Detoxifying the body can be tough, especially at the beginning, but many people swear by the results of home detox diets. Here are a few important facts about detoxification.

Why detox?

You can do home body detox diets to rid your body of toxins, lose weight and gain more energy. Health experts disagree about the effectiveness of detox diets, although many people who try them claim to feel energized afterward, and there's no question that drastically limiting your food intake with a weight loss detox can make you drop pounds. Proponents of detox diets claim that the diets can cleanse your body of environmental toxins and pollutants, and often clean out your intestinal tract as well.

How to detox your body: different options

Home detox diets can include a number of different regimens. Popular examples include the Master Cleanse, which calls for replacing food for several days with a drink made of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water, as well as drinking salt water and laxative tea. Other types of detox diets might have you drinking only fruit juice or eating raw food according to specific schedules.

Initial side effects of detoxifying the body

Depending on the strictness of your natural body cleanse, you might experience a range of symptoms. According to WebMD, these can include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, a bad taste in the mouth, acne and rapid weight loss. If your home detox diet is designed to cleanse your colon, you may also be making frequent trips to the bathroom. Mayo Clinic cautions that prolonged fasting can lead to low blood sugar, anemia and an irregular heartbeat. It's important to speak to your doctor before undergoing a home detox regimen.

Take it easy while you detox

When undergoing a home detox diet, take it easy with exercise. Your body may already be fatigued from the calorie restrictions, and it won't be able to sustain vigorous physical activity. Resist the urge to hit the gym if you're feeling weak or lightheaded.

What to expect after your home detox

Most people experience short-term weight loss following a home detox diet. However, as nutritionist Joanna McMillan-Price cautions, it can be difficult to sustain this kind of weight loss long-term, since much of the lost weight may be water or muscle as opposed to fat. Many advocates of home detox say they feel a sense of renewal following the diet, with increased energy and a sense of lightness.

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