Do I need to go on a detox diet?

Dr. Mark Hyman, MD
Family Medicine
Cleaning up your diet can help with food addiction, which I believe is very real. It's not a metaphor. It's not a psychological problem or a moral failing, or lack of willpower, it is a biological fact. When you eat sugar or flour products, they spike the activity of an area of our brain called the nucleus accumbens, which is ground zero for addiction. When that happens, we have very little control over our behavior. Even though they know it's hurting them, they still do it. The way to fight it is to reboot your diet.

Most people don't connect the dots between what they're eating and how they feel. Most of us don't realize how bad we feel until we start feeling good. In fact, most of us walk around with FLC Syndrome -- that's when we feel like crap -- and why many of us can't control our eating behavior is because of food addiction -- to sugar and refined carbs.

This is the best way to know if the foods you are eating are what's making you "feel like crap" is to do a quick-start reboot -- like turning your body back to its original factory settings. Completely change your diet for 10 days and notice how you feel. What you'll notice is that, not only will your cravings get better, not only will your energy improve, and not only will you lose weight -- which is actually a side effect of getting healthy -- but a whole list of health problems may improve or disappear entirely.

For those 10 days, eat only real foods, and if you must buy packaged foods, choose items that have fewer than five ingredients on the label and only ingredients that you would stock in your own kitchen. I believe that, in a very short time, you will discover how great you can feel when you take away all the junk and eat real food.

Most people have never ever done that, and most people don't realize they are simply a few days away from feeling well.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.