words by Philippa Maples
When I agreed to commit to a seven day body cleanse I didn’t realise what I was getting myself into in terms of my self-restraint and coping mechanisms. My first thought was ‘great I will eat all this healthy food and throughout the seven days I will feel amazing,’ little did I know the challenges I would face while taking part in this, sugar and food cravings, blood sugar levels and mood just to name a few.
When undertaking a cleanse the first step is that you must like and agree with the premise of the cleanse you are taking part of, whether you prefer juice or food cleanses it is totally up to you, just make sure you agree with it otherwise you spend the whole time thinking, ‘what is this really doing for me?’ Leading UK nutritionist and author of ‘It Must Be My Hormones,’ Vicki Edgson explains “You have to get in the right mind frame, this is not for now this is for life, ask your self the question, how fit can I really get if I applied myself to this? Be mindful that you know what is going to come and know that you may not feel one hundred percent.”
Set a Goal
There are certain things I found that helped me get through cleansing my body. The first was to set a goal, a before and after always helps with this. Measure and weigh yourself, write down what you would like to achieve and then work your way towards it. When you reach or even exceed your expectations it drives you to stick with it and be the fittest and healthiest person that you can be.
Zoe Copsey, head of nutrition at Lomax Bespoke Health in Chelsea had a top tip for getting rid of your sugar cravings that arise during a cleanse, “I have a cup of fresh mint or peppermint tea when I feel like something sweet, I also brush my teeth after every meal and the fresh mint taste distracts me from feeling like that after meal treat”.
My other coping mechanism was light exercise, I decided that I would go for a walk in the park everyday, this cleared my mind and gave me the time to reflect on how I was feeling and to forget about the stresses of work and everything else that seemed magnified when cleansing. Understanding how you feel and why plays a huge role in staying on track to reach your goal.
Don’t Go it Alone
Another I would recommend is to persuade a friend to take part in the cleansing process with you, whether it is a work, personal or gym friend do it together. It helps immensely having that support and to compare notes with each other. My cleanse buddy was a co-worker and as we compared our thoughts and feelings I realised our bodies were reacting completely different to our cleanses, both in a positive way.
A Little You Time
My fifth coping tip is to spend some time with you, ask yourself ‘how do I feel?’ I know this may sound pointless but it really works! On day three (which is the hardest day as your body is holding on to those last toxins) I ran myself a bath, lit some candles and sat back and relaxed, the smallest relaxation methods can have the biggest impact. Clear your mind or if you find that hard read a book and you will forget that you are even cleansing, as far as your mind is concerned you are relaxing in the bath without a worry in the world.
Motivation is the key! My final tip is to be motivated, if you want to fit into that pair of jeans that has been hidden in the back of your closet for a reason then use that as your motivation, Zoe’s motivation is her wedding, “I want to look good for my wedding, you only do it once” she said. Motivation can drive you to do anything that you put your mind to.
Think positively and you can achieve that amazing feeling, physically and mentally after completing a cleanse.
image from www.lomaxpt.com where you can also get more cleanse and juice tips!