Diet versus detox – the confusion is real
There is a difference between going on a short-term detox to reset your body (from eating heavier meals during the holiday) and dieting. The main difference is in the mentality and emotions we hold around a detox and around a diet.
I believe in general, a detox is temporary and comes from a grounded, loving, honoring and listening-to-your-body place, whereas dieting is intermittently continuous and never ending (on, off, & repeat) and comes from a self-punishing, shame-based, “hate-my-body” place. This is just my observation in my practice with clients and also with myself in my own experiences.
Self-torture will get you nowhere
However, a detox can be coming from a self-punishing place too if a person is not truly in-tuned with their mind-body-spirit connection, and is doing it just for the sake of “losing weight”. So the goal would be externally focused rather than internal– this too then would feel like torture. The accompanying thoughts are stemming from a place of body hate: “Ugh, I am so fat, I hate myself for getting so fat, why did I let myself get so fat?!” So in other words, a cleanse in this case is just another form of “dieting”. To this individual, there is no expiry date with dieting. It’s just an endless cycle of being on the diet, then fall off the diet, then back on a diet (and sometimes, it’s on to the next fad diet).
In contrast, a detox, if coming from a loving place, would be more aligned with intuitive eating:
- noticing the body feels bloated,
- noticing the body is craving more fresh and whole foods again, and
- honoring the body’s needs (e.g., more energy, better digestion, less mood swings, clear brain fog and increase mental alertness and clarity, improve quality of hair and skin, etc).
Implementing ‘body love’ is vital
The accompanying thoughts are one stemming from a place of body love: of “needing to care for myself, reset to optimize my health again because I deserve it”. The individual would expect this cleanse to be temporary and resume with ease normal eating behaviors again that support and optimize their health immediately afterwards. Notice there is no mentality about needing to “lose weight” (it is a side effect but it is not the main purpose of a detox).
So, let’s make it a goal to stop dieting, and start cultivating body love from the inside out.
I’ve struggled as a chronic dieter and binge eater for years and hated my body, and through my journey, I now have landed in a sacred place where I completely and wholehearted embrace and love myself and my body.
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Rosalyn Fung is a Registered Psychologist & Founder of Holistic Body Love. She is a wellness speaker, consultant, mentor, writer & blogger. Roz specializes in Holistic Nutritional Psychology in which she empowers people in their relationship with food, body image, weight, as well as digestion, fatigue, immunity and mood.