It’s incredible how this season of rebirth, rejuvenation and renewal manages to take root in our hearts and psyches as well, irresistibly compelling us to start spring cleaning our homes, to freshen up our routines, to air out our lifestyles and to lighten our diets.
Spring is the perfect time to wipe the slate clean and give your body the opportunity to receive what it craves: to feel strong, energized and optimal. Use this rejuvenating time of year to perform some spring cleaning on yourself, to renew your commitment to self-care, self-love and happiness.
Kick-start your weight loss program with this easy 7-day spring cleanse.
1. Begin Every Day with Lemon Water
First thing upon waking up, drink a tall glass of warm water with a generous squeeze of lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Puckering just at the thought of this potion? It refreshes and hydrates your body after all those night hours of fasting, while stimulating your digestive system, encouraging morning bowel emptying and improving your liver and gallbladder’s ability to metabolize fat. Lemons are also rich in vitamin C and potassium, key nutrients for a healthy metabolism. Cayenne pepper has been scientifically linked to improved calorie burning and appetite control.
If possible, use organic lemons and filtered spring water.
2. Simplify Your Diet
Eat three to five small and very simple meals every day.
For each meal: fill one quarter of your plate with a lean, clean whole protein food. Fill the rest of your plate with a rainbow variety of raw or steamed vegetables (and bonus points if your veggie medley also includes at least one type of seasonal spring green, like dandelion leaves, watercress, kale, spinach, or other dark leafy greens). Add two tablespoons of a healthy high-quality fat, such as avocado, extra-virgin olive oil, olives, raw nuts or seeds, and then season with as many fresh herbs, spices, and fresh squeezed lemon juice or lime juice that you desire.
3. Support Your Liver
Your liver works hard all year round to constantly eliminate and neutralize all the toxins in your body that could lead to sluggishness, weight gain, incessant food cravings, bloating, fatigue, water retention, premature aging and illness. Help it do its job and give it a boost by eating more of the foods that help to protect and support liver detoxification, such as: artichoke, garlic, pomegranate, turmeric, broccoli, etc.
4. Clean Green Detox Smoothie
Nourish your body while cleansing your blood and giving your digestive tract a good scrubbing by drinking this Cleansing Green Detox Smoothie once a day.
5. Make Sure Your Bowels Move Every Day
Cleaning, lubing and fueling your digestive machine regularly is key for firing up your metabolism, enhancing fat burning, reducing bloating issues and improving elimination functions.
Make sure your bowels are moving no less than once a day. Make them move to a smooth groove by doing this.
6. Get Moving Outside
Outdoor exercise is not only more effective for burning more calories, it also has many other therapeutic benefits, like cleaner air, health-enhancing sunshine, anger management, stress relief, and more.
Choose one of these fun outdoor exercises to do once a day for at least 20 minutes.
7. Rebalance Your Mind & Your Heart
It turns out that stress is not just a state of mind. It’s also a state of body. A flabby body, that is.
Research has shown that an increased amount of stress hormone, cortisol, in the body causes depression, memory loss, digestion problems and low libido. It also increases appetite and cravings while lowering muscle mass and bone density, all of which lead to weight gain and belly fat. A Yale University study found that even slender women with high cortisol levels had a higher than average amount of abdominal fat.
That’s why a cleanse that aims at re-calibrating your body to reset, get healthy and lose weight can’t be successful if it only focuses on getting more active – it also has to focus on getting more relaxed.
Explore different methods of stress management and relaxation techniques, such as going for walks, listening to music, mediation, taking a bath, breathing exercises, etc. Also, getting enough sleep each night is essential for keeping weight-gaining cortisol levels down while keeping weight-controlling leptin hormones up. Studies have shown that getting less than 5 hours of sleep a night leads to weight gain – even when diet and exercise are in play – while sleeping 7 to 9 hours is associated with successful weight loss.