Why You Shouldn’t Start Your Cleanse/Detox on New Year’s Day or a Monday

So its almost the start of a new year and your ready to start day one with a new you!  Congratulations on taking steps toward a healthier you, but please heed my words of advice.  Do not start a new cleanse/detox on New Year’s Day.

Making the decision to start a detox or cleanse is a big one.  When you first saw the transition photos and the menu, you knew deep down that there was some good to be done.  But when?

This post was drafted hours ago, but due to my own disregard for this advice, it is painfully being posted about 12 hours later.  My family recently started an elimination diet to find the cause of a few mystery symptoms.  I’ve spent most of my day in bed sipping warm ginger water with a warm compress, begging for the headache to leave.  (Many thanks to my husband!)  Timing really is everything and when you time it badly, you feel it!

If you are familiar with my 3 day detox plans, I always suggest taking 2 or 3 days to prepare before starting.  It doesn’t sound like much, but by ramping down your intake of forbidden foods and drink, you lower the cliff you will eventually jump off of.

As I mentioned, we did not do this and to much dire consequence!  Instead we enjoyed a lovely dinner with with many items we would have to give up.  I didn’t believe we consumed a lot of the items on a regular basis, but my head is telling me differently. 

When you pick a date to start your cleanse/detox, you should consider what some of your withdrawal symptoms may look like:

  • regardless of your health, you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms
  • headaches
  • irritability
  • foggy thinking
  • fatigue
  • you will need to urinate more often as your body flushes the toxins out
  • you may have increased bowel movements as your system flushes

This is why I often suggest starting any detox/cleanse on a Friday (or first day of your weekend) so that you can spend the first 2 or 3 days at home if you need to.  Some people choose to prepare for longer durations to lessen the withdrawal symptoms  while others do not experience any of them.

I’ve done numerous cleanses, detoxes, and strict diet plans in the past.  I was shocked to find myself having such a hard time with this elimination diet.  There are still so many fresh food options and I can  still make my smoothies.  What I did not properly account for was my holiday sweet tooth that must have been much larger than I thought.  

Still think you are ready to start your plan on January 1?  Here are my three reasons that you shouldn’t:

  1. You’ll likely live it up on New Years Eve with increased consumption of the foods you are going to cut out, making your cliff to jump off of so much higher.  This will onlly intensify the withdrawal symptoms.
  2. You like sports?  Does your significant other like sports?  Whether you are the type to be screaming at the TV or doing your nails in the next room, football rules many households during the first week of January.  Talk about adding peer pressure to the mix.  Normal days will bring out the nay-sayers, but when everyone around you is scarfing down chips, pizza, and beer, you’ll feel even more ostracized when you pass for your juice/smoothie.  Don’t make it harder on yourself, simply try to make healthy decisions in the face of poor nutritional options.
  3. Withdrawal sucks and if you don’t prep properly, you’ll being to experience extreme withdrawal symptoms sending you down a very negative road that may have you wondering, “Why in the world am I doing this?”  I believe that taking 2 to 3 days to begin to cut down on undesirable foods, like sugar, through conscience effort first lowers the body’s expectations of receiving them and decreases your body’s physical dependence on it.

When it comes down to it, only you know your body and how you think it will react.  Give yourself the best possibility of success by choosing a time when you can support yourself an goals.

Please note: the elimination diet is not the same as a juice cleanse or smoothie detox.  I’ll post more on this diet and our progress in separate posts to come.

 What kinds of detox or cleanse have you tried in the past?  What was the toughest part for you?
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