My detox diet: successes and failures

I am not a notorious dieter. Recently, I decided to start a detox diet though, hoping that it would help me to get rid of my terrible fatigue and prepare my body for better absorption of vitamins. This is a one hundred percent honest account of my detox diet experience.

I had been thinking about it for a while, but when I actually decided to start a detox diet, it was rather spontaneously. I did not have all the necessary ingredients at home and – more important – I was psychologically unprepared and had not cared to take my social life in the following days into account.

The moment for a diet is difficult to choose and we tend to postpone it all the time. Therefore: whenever you want to start, just do it. But make sure you have all the stuff you need at home.    

I had not informed myself about all aspects of the diet before. I knew I was going to reduce my sugar intake. I did not know caffeine was also going to be an issue. I realized that I was a lot weaker during the diet than I would have been before my cancer diagnosis. My craving for sugar was not that bad. Caffeine reduction affected me severely, though. I drank lots of green tea instead of my usual coca cola until I realized that I was not allowed to have that much, either. I suffered from most caffeine withdrawal symptoms. I had to remind myself that I was dieting in order to get rid of fatigue. My caffeine consumption was part of the problem, so I had to deal with it.

The first few days of dieting are really hard and you need all the support you can get. Be prepared for sugar and caffeine cravings. Keep in mind that the benefits of quitting your unhealthy habits are enormous.

My social life with children, friends and weekend activities was a challenge. I was offered food and drinks I was not supposed to have all the time. In restaurants, I could not get the meals I was allowed to eat. I spent nearly an entire day without eating and was getting incredibly weak, because there was no detox food around and I had not brought anything with me. Helpful friends kept offering me potential “alternatives” … so we ended up talking about food until I was so hungry that I thought I was going to quit my diet.

Reduce your social activities or bring your own food along. When going out, you are permanently tempted.  Make sure to calculate extra time for the preparation of your food (I didn’t). 

My belly was always bloated during the diet. My nutritionist explained that suffering from abdominal distension was a reaction to changing one`s eating habits. I did not diet to lose weight. I wanted to detox. However, I was annoyed by the fact that I looked even heavier than before.

I have no idea if I could have avoided this unpleasant side effect. I have to admit that it bothered me a lot. A bloated belly is not very motivating when you are dieting.

After three days, eating my special meals became easy. Even now that the the diet has ended, I continue to eat them. I have successfully changed my eating habits. I have not been quite so successful with my caffeine intake. Anemia, fatigue and low blood pressure are taking a heavy toll on me. I fainted once (and had to stay in bed for a whole afternoon because I felt so dizzy). My feeling is that I am less tired than before the diet. Nevertheless, my caffeine and fatigue dilemma has not been solved. I have switched from coca cola to green tea though.

During a diet, you will be faced with your body`s weaknesses. Don’t exaggerate and ask for medical advice if necessary.

In a nutshell:

Time restraints and a normal social life with children make dieting difficult. Normally, sugar, caffeine and other forbidden fruits find their way back into my life after a diet – sooner or later. I love some of the healthy detox meals and they will be part of my culinary agenda from now on. I feel fitter, less tired and healthier, but I am still a caffeine junkie. When I say, “less tired” it doesn’t mean that I am not suffering from fatigue anymore. Unfortunately, it is still an issue.  If I realize that my diet consists mainly of junk food and only chocolate & coca cola seem to give me the energy to make it through the day, it will be time to detox again.

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