The Best Post-Thanksgiving Detox Plans
November 17, 2014
Safe, smart, and satisfying ways to reset your eating plan after the big feast
If you’re ready to reset the taste buds, slim down, and recalibrate your metabolism after overindulging, there are various “detox” plan to get your body back on track. Jacqueline Gomes, registered dietician, nutritionist, and owner of CKO Kickboxing Lyndhurst, N.J., says, “Call it whatever you like — detox, cleanse, eating clean — they all more or less mean the same thing: a way to rid the body of ‘toxins,’ lose weight, and return the body to a harmonious state.”
Juliette’s Detox Plan
Juliette’s Detox Plan is a seven-day cleanse that involves specific meals and snacks, as well as lists of good foods and those to avoid. “This diet is more sensible in that it does not limit several food categories; you can build a very healthy diet with beans, lentils, fish, fruits and vegetables,” says Gomes. “A diet rich in fiber, which you get from many of these foods, is essential for a healthy gastrointestinal tract, can help you maintain a healthy weight, as well as help reduce the risk for diabetes and heart disease.” Sounds like an ideal recipe to get you back on track after Thanksgiving
3-Day Clean-Food Detox Plan
In a hurry to get back to normal after eating too much over Thanksgiving weekend? The 3- Day Clean-Food Detox Plan could be for you. This super clean eating plan helps you eliminate toxins by consuming natural foods. Lucky for you, the plan includes easy recipes for meals, along with recommendations for tackling cravings. This detox definitely cuts calories, but is also filled with nutrients and whole foods.
Go Vegetarian or Vegan
If you’re not ready to go all-out with a strict detox plan, try going vegetarian or vegan temporarily. “It can be a wonderful opportunity to increase your consumption of heart-healthy plant-based foods,” Gomes says. “Going vegan can be a great detox strategy if done well,” agrees Jennifer Cassetta, nutritionist and author of Hear Me Roar. “The trouble is, a poorly planned vegetarian diet can result in nutrient deficiencies and even weight gain,” Gomes points out. So skip the breads and pastas. Cassetta says that “a vegan diet that is high in vegetables and fruit gives a good amount of fiber, tons of vitamins and minerals, and can help rid the body of built-up waste in the intestines.”
Created by Reverend Malkmus, The Hallelujah Diet focuses on the consumption of raw or “living” foods. Its premise is that God designed our bodies to eat only these kinds of foods, which means no meat (“dead” foods). The hope is that with this cleansing, plant-based diet, the immune system will be boosted, health improved, and disease prevention increased. This can be a long-term solution, even after the Thanksgiving leftovers are long gone.
Raw Food Detox Diet
The famous Raw Food Detox Diet urges dieters to eat raw foods because, according to its founders, the cooking process removes enzymes that our bodies need to detoxify. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re eating raw or cooked veggies — just eat the veggies, period. Though more nutrients may remain intact if not heated,” says Gomes. “Following a 100-percent raw food diet is not scientifically proven to help detox the body, though you are eating many fresh fruits and vegetables which contain potent antioxidants and nutrients that do detoxify,” according to Dr. Sue G. DeCotiis, a board-certified internist, and medical weight loss specialist. However, she adds, “deficiencies in B12 (found in animal products) can leave you lethargic, can slow your metabolism and can prevent your body from naturally flushing out toxins.”
After gorging on Thanksgiving dinner, you’ll be looking to flush the fat and toxins. Weight loss expert and author Jay Robb’s Fruit Flush includes a prescribed combination of fruits and other foods that naturally flush toxins because of their high water and fiber content. The three-day cleanse harnesses the power of favorite fruits, raw vegetables, lean proteins, and special protein shakes. “Protein shakes are great if you’re an athlete and you need more nutrition that you cannot get from food alone. However, in wanting to become ‘healthier,’ stick to lean proteins like eggs, skinless poultry, and fish,” Gomes suggest.
Liver Cleansing Diet
Created by Australian physician Sandra Cabot, the Liver Cleansing Diet focuses on that key organ to improve the detoxification of the body. Her theory is that the liver can become overloaded if not cleansed, and this eight-week program recommends the dieter eat mainly fruits, vegetables, poultry, and fish, while eliminating dairy. “Dairy and meat can slow down our digestion and have almost no fiber,” says Cassetta. A better functioning liver means that your body is able to eliminate toxins better and help to lose weight, which is necessary after the Thanksgiving chow-down.
The Ultimate Tea Diet
Tea can be soothing or a jolt of caffeine, but it’s a major component of the Ultimate Tea Diet. Dieters are allowed to drink as much green, black, white, or oolong teas as desired, and unlike many other plans, are allowed three solid meals a day. These meals must include a balance of protein, carbs, and fat, while exercising strict portion control. “Tea and especially green tea contains the potent antioxidant EGCG,” says DeCotiis. “EGCG is thermogenic, helping to boost the metabolism and fat burning and decrease inflammation,” beneficial for detoxing the system.
Post-Thanksgiving is the perfect occasion to try out juicing, though tread lightly. “The problem with juice cleanses is that most people do them for the wrong reason,” says Cassetta. “They think they can lose weight, which can happen, but it usually comes right back.” DeCotiis adds, “Juicing can be a great way to consume extra veggies during the day, however, juices are not meal replacements and do not contain all the nutrients the body needs to function efficiently.” With juicing plans like the Cooler Cleanse, Cassetta says “be sure to do mostly vegetable juices. Once fruit is added, the sugar content goes way up and this leads to blood sugar spiking, the opposite of what you want to do to lose weight. Add some sort of protein or raw nuts to help level out blood sugar levels.” Another potential downside is that you can “inadvertently consume excess carbohydrates which hinders weight loss” DeCotiis points out.
Cabbage Soup Diet
Though unlimited cabbage soup may not sound appealing after the deliciousness that is Thanksgiving, the Cabbage Soup Diet might be a quick detox solution. “The diet is extremely low-calorie, approximately 1,000 for the day, which explains the rapid weight loss,” according to Gomes. “It won’t help you over the long term; you can expect to regain the ‘weight’ soon after you begin eating real food again and in the first week of weight loss it’s typically water that comes off.” She says, “This diet cannot under any circumstances be sustained over the long term due to its inadequate nutrition,” but it will make your pants fit again in a jiffy.
Martha’s Vineyard Detox Diet
With busy holiday schedules, a plan with adjustable lengths like Martha’s Vineyard Detox Diet can be useful. This calorically restrictive diet created by registered nurse Roni DeLuz requires consuming fruit and vegetable liquids, as well as solid veggies and supplements. DeCotiis says, “Supplementation is key to jump-start and enhance the process. It is not possible to get all of the nutrients in a day needed by the body and stay within relatively low-calorie levels.” This option is not for the faint of heart and can be dangerous because of the lack of calories.