“Every time I start a detox I feel awful and then give up. All of these foods that supposedly make me feel better actually make me feel worse. What gives?”
You might not want to hear this, but initially feeling bad is a good thing. When you eliminate inflammatory, processed foods and stop feeding your body garbage and chemicals, your body goes through withdrawal just like with drugs or alcohol. It is good because it means you are on your way to getting clean!
I call this a healing crisis or a detox crisis. Trust me: This process is well worth it because it ultimately leads to healing and feeling better than ever. The good news is that it only lasts a few days and it can be minimized with a few simple strategies.
Unfortunately, companies chemically engineer Frankenfood to keep you biologically hooked on their sugary, salty, processed food-like substances. (This isn’t real food.) From these fake foods, people become trapped in real biological food addictions.
When you eliminate these addictive, toxic foods and drinks, you may initially have uncomfortable reactions like feeling achy, flu-like feelings, irritability, nausea, headaches, brain fog, constipation, hunger, itchy skin, fatigue and sleep difficulties.
While it might not feel like it at the time, these symptoms are short-lived and will pass. Many people become frustrated, but please don’t think from that initial discomfort a healthy lifestyle isn’t for you.
This momentary discomfort becomes a necessary, perfectly normal process when you switch from toxic, inflammatory food-like substances to anti-inflammatory, life-giving foods.
These symptoms occur for several reasons. Unreleased toxins in your digestive system can make you feel ill.
So can food allergies. Your immune system goes through a reaction that actually intensifies inflammation for a few days which then passes. When you “un-junk” your diet, you might experience withdrawal similar to other addictive substances like caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, cocaine or heroin. Oftentimes foods we are allergic to become addictive. Coming off these allergens can cause a brief, flu-like achy situation that may last one to three days.
Try not to get frustrated during the first few days of a detox, stay the course and things will get better!
After these symptoms pass around day five or so, you might feel ecstatic. You may suddenly have tons of energy, weight loss may occur, your brain fog could clear up and you will probably feel amazing overall.
Before that renewal, though, comes discomfort. The average time to get over a detox crisis is about 48 hours. Be patient and allow your body the time it needs to adjust to new, healthy lifestyle choices.
Make this as easy as possible. If you can, start your detox protocol on a weekend or when you have some time off.