You did your research. You bought the right foods. You stuck to your cleanse. You feel great. Now what?
Before you dive into a hearty meal of chicken and veggies, you should ease yourself back into whole, healthy foods. You may experience an upset stomach if you go straight from a cleanse to a high-protein and whole foods diet.
"Don't go back to consuming processed foods, heavy proteins, fats, sugar and soda," says Barb Hamilton, Kansas City, Missouri Master Nutritional Therapist. "You don't want to undo all the benefits of your detox."
Keep It Simple
If you have done a juice cleanse, Hamilton recommends starting with high-water content fruits. The next step is to add raw seeds and vegetables, and finally steamed vegetables.
2 General Rules
First Rule: Take half as long as you fast to being eating normal food, suggests Hamilton. If you were on a three-day juice cleanse, then it should take you a day and a half to start eating regular food.
Second Rule: In addition to taking it slow, it's important to keep it small. Most people consume very calories during a detox. When you return to your post-cleanse diet, eat slowly and choose smaller portions. You may discover that you don't need as much food to feel full.
Whether you're using detoxification to transition to a new lifestyle, or to get back on track with healthy eating, keep in mind that the steps to end it are just as important as steps to start it.
Hamilton does warn that detoxification is not for everyone, including individuals with chronic disease or illness, an impaired immune system, nursing mothers or children. She says there are other ways of maintaining health by regular exercise, eating a clean diet, and drinking plenty of filtered water.
Stay healthy with our nutrition guide.