Health & Family

In the middle of the night, a diet at risk

I woke up in the middle of the night last night wanting to break the detox diet. I was reading late into the evening and got hungry around midnight, so I reached for another tall glass of lemonade. It felt fine going down. But when I woke up a few hours later, I felt a burning in my chest and an accelerated heart rate.

The lemons and cayenne pepper were making their way through my body. I didn't like the feeling – I didn't feel in control of my body. I felt vulnerable, and I came to the conclusion that we are better to master our bodies on our own than through a cleanse.

In a way, this doesn't refute the ideal of the diet, or the concept of cleansing. In fact, what cleansings ultimately aim to create is a healthier approach to managing what we eat. Burroughs says the chemical changes that can occur during a cleansing may actually remove certain cravings – that's also why many people reportedly don't feel hungry during the diet.

I've been most surprised that I don't really crave food. And I generally love tasting food and the ritual of eating. But it didn't bother me in the slightest yesterday at lunch to sip my lemonade while everyone else ate watermelon for dessert. That said, if any food has tempted me this week, it is fruit. My body wants good food. (And I am starting to think about the orange juice I can have to ease out of the diet a day after it ends.) I've been told by others who have done the diet that food tastes much better than before when you start eating again.

Despite my discomfort in the middle of the night, I decided to stick with the diet. I woke up this morning feeling good and noticing certain benefits: my skin glows, my sinuses are clear, I feel lighter. I've probably lost a few pounds. People on the diet typically do, of course, lose weight.

However, as Burroughs points out, if you are underweight, you can still safely detox and lose mucus, waste and disease without unnecessarily losing body weight.

I'm ready for my final day of the detox tomorrow.

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