[VIDEO] Top Detox Fears … And How To Overcome Them
Everyone can benefit from a dedicated cleanse a few times a year.
Anyone eating a version of the Standard American Diet definitely needs to detox.
And if you’re dialed-in to nutrition and already eating a plant-based, mostly organic diet, you can still benefit from detoxing!
In this article:
We all live in a toxic soup, and there are plenty of chemicals and free radicals we encounter every single day, including household cleaners, makeup, pollutants, and more.
A detox in the form of a pure diet, lots of water, and significant rest can be extremely helpful in taking the burden temporarily off of our organs of elimination. It can also help us reduce the load placed on the body from the constant bombardment of environmental and dietary chemicals.
But it can also be scary. Check out my Facebook Live on overcoming detoxing fears!
And yes, your body is amazing and capable of cleansing and detoxing on its own. But you can imagine your body might be a bit overworked and overwhelmed by the toxins it encounters daily. Why not help it along with clean eating and supportive detoxification practices, like dry brushing and rebounding?
If you’ve never done a detox before, you might be digging in your heels at the thought of it. Maybe you’ve spent years interested in doing one or even researching different detoxing approaches, but you don’t quite know where to start, or you still have some hangups.
Trust me: I’ve been in your shoes before! I’ve done plenty of detoxes in my lifetime, including extended water fasts. I’ve had legitimate fears, just like you might have.
I was worried I wouldn’t be able to take care of my baby while I was detoxing, or that I would feel so weak and sick that I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed. Thankfully, that was far from the truth.
I know firsthand how your fears can prevent you from starting a detox, and I know how grateful I am that I pushed past the fears and started. In my twenties, I learned just how powerful a dedicated cleanse could be.
Detoxes have been truly life-changing for me.
So maybe you’re here because you’re interested in completing a detox, but something’s holding you back.
Which fears below resonate with you the most? When we’re stuck on something, recognizing it or writing it down is the first step in resolving it.
I’ll walk you through some practical ways to identify and overcome your detoxing fears.
Identify Your Detoxing Fears
"My addictions are too strong."
Fear: I’ve been eating junk food for years and I know it. I’m just not ready to give up chocolate, chips, and convenience foods. I’ve tried giving them up before, and my sugar and salt cravings exploded with a vengeance. I know if I did a detox of any length, I wouldn’t be able to give up these foods successfully. My willpower is weak.
Overcome It: Think about all the reasons you want to be healthier. Write them down. Do you want to be there for your kids as they grow older and journey into adulthood? Or do you want more energy, less gastrointestinal distress, or clearer skin?
The first step in overcoming the fear of your food addiction is to articulate your “why.” Why will life be better without these foods and habits?
Whatever your health goals are, whatever your reasoning for wanting to take the first step toward better health, write them down and post them somewhere you can see them: on your computer, next to your bed, or in your office at work.
This extra motivation can be what you need to take the plunge and jump into a detox program. It can also help you battle those addictions once you’ve started the detox. Think of the accomplishment you’ll feel at the end of a detox when you’re battled those addiction demons and come out stronger on the other side.
"My family won’t support me."
Fear: How can I do a detox when my family isn’t on board? I don’t have a support system at home, so I know I wouldn’t be successful. And I don’t want to prepare multiple meals for everyone if they’re not eating what I’m eating. It just wouldn’t work.
Overcome It: When you detox with us, you'll have access to an epic online support system. The conversation is active; sometimes, people are posting every few minutes! If your family isn’t on board, find a buddy to do the detox with you. We’ll even help match you with a local buddy!
Most detoxers find this level of support essential to successfully completing the program. Being able to text with a friend who is battling the same cravings and doing the same meal prep right alongside you is the perfect way to stay motivated. Some local detox buddies split the meal prep and share what they make (or even eat together).
And like I said, don’t worry if you can’t get a friend or family member to join you. We’ll match you up with a local buddy if you decide that would be beneficial for you in completing the program.
Also, make sure to articulate your hopes and fears to the family member you fear won’t support you. “I could really use your help” is a request most partners and loved ones find hard to turn down. Be genuine in your request, explaining why this is important to you, and delimiting it to just 26 days, and you might be surprised: they might support you very well, and even join you.
"I won’t succeed."
Fear: I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid of starting a detox, seeing good results for a few days, and then falling off track. I’ll feel worse about myself than when I even started. I’ll feel like a failure.
Overcome It: Are you worried about not being able to stick with the program for the full 26 days? Make a motivation board. If you’ve ever made a vision board, this is a similar idea.
On a corkboard or a poster, attach some motivational images and high-vibration words. What’s your goal in the detox? Start there! Put it in big, bold letters, or cut out a photo image that captures the idea.
What’s going to inspire you to do this and stick with it? Cut out sentences from magazines, print uplifting quotes, attach photos of your kids, write a letter to yourself about the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you complete it.
You’re doing this for your health, and this board will help cheer you on toward the finish line.
You might be happier with yourself if you complete the cleanse exactly as it was designed, but if you slip up once or twice, do not quit. Though your body will need a little time to heal from the off-plan, potentially inflammatory food, it doesn’t undo all the progress you had made until that point.
Work on forgiving yourself, and really study why you’re so afraid of failing. Just promise yourself that you’ll do your best with the detox, and if you mess up, you’ll jump right back in.
"I’ll be moody and feel like garbage."
Fear: I have friends who have done juice cleanses and clean eating, and they went through some awful reactions: mood swings, flu-like symptoms, and fatigue. I’m just not ready to knowingly make my body feel terrible just so I can feel better after. I have a job, after all, and I can’t afford to “feel sick” while I wait for the detox to work.
Overcome It: If you’ve heard that detoxes can make you moody, and that’s keeping you from signing up, read about how mindfulness can help you conquer the urge to “fix” those emotions.
Sometimes, detoxes release stuck emotions that have been trapped inside of us for years.
Accepting your emotions and feelings for what they are during the detox, instead of running from them, can help you through any “healing crisis” symptoms during the program. For example, you would think, “I am feeling a little weak and tired right now.” Instead of searching for a solution to fix the way you feel, you acknowledge and sit with your feelings.
For more on this topic, watch “Why a Physical Detox Can Solve Emotional Problems,” one of the videos in my free Detox Secrets Masterclass.
Don’t forget you’ll have the support group to vent to! Many a detoxer has been pulled through a tough moment by other detoxers who have been there.
Fear: I have friends who have done juice and water cleanses, and they were so hungry all the time. I’m afraid that if I give up food I’m used to eating, I’ll be hungry all the time, and being hungry makes me grumpy. Detoxes are too limiting, and I’m worried that I’ll feel like I’m starving and I’ll quit.
Overcome It: During the program, your metabolic need is declining, meaning your body feels like it needs less food. You’re filling up on plants with phytonutrients and vitamins, instead of unrecognizable refined and processed foods. Your body knows just what to do with all the food you’re eating, and it isn’t expending energy dealing with filler processed foods or inflammatory foods like dairy.
On the detox, most people find that they are not hungry. In fact, some detoxers even have trouble eating their entire plate during some of the phases!
And there are plenty of tips for what to do if you're hungry during the detox, though, like eating another serving of something you’ve already consumed that day or drinking a tablespoon of chia in water. There is truly no need to be hungry on the detox!
Planning ahead with groceries and meal prep is another way to eliminate the fear that you’ll be hungry.
"I’m not worth it."
Fear: I just don’t have the desire to invest in myself right now. Other priorities come first. Deep down, I don’t feel like I’m worth the investment and good health of detoxing.
Overcome It: Spend some time investigating these feelings. Why do you feel like you’re not worth the investment? Is it because you’re always focused on others and leave yourself as last priority?
Just like the flight attendants on airlines say, you have to put on your own mask before assisting others with theirs. You’ve got to take care of yourself in order to serve your family, your work, or your friends.
Consider the last time you really invested in yourself. Can’t even remember? Then this is a great way to start--and it will pay off with more energy and peace as you are released from food addictions and extra weight.
And if now isn’t the right time for you (because you’ve got too many other personal struggles, or you’re pregnant or nursing, for instance), stay close to us--we support a Detox three times a year. When your curiosity and desire to be spectacularly healthy are bigger than your fear, that’s the right time for you.
"I don’t have the time."
Fear: I’m too busy working, or taking care of my family, or completing all the responsibilities I have, to dive into a detox. I just can’t make time to spend hours in the kitchen, prepping food and making clean meals every single day.
Overcome It: Keep in mind that you’ll be making daily green smoothies, which only require dumping ingredients into a blender and hitting a button. They are easy to make and full of nutrients and fiber. Regarding the other prep, the detox menu is fairly simple to prepare.
I also recommend splitting the meal prep with a friend or maximizing your off-work time to focus on preparing for the upcoming phases. Generally, detoxers find it helpful to always be looking ahead in the manual, so they’re not surprised by days that might require a little bit longer prep time (say, an extra 20 minutes).
Employ some planning strategies to ensure you can make the most of your time. Schedule your grocery shopping nights, get a free trial of a grocery delivery service, or enlist your kids to help you with the chopping. Do some batch cooking, so you have three days of lunches prepped at once, for example. We tell you exactly how to do this in the Detox manual.
There are a lot of ways to make sure you’re not spending your entire detox in the kitchen.
"I don’t need to detox."
Fear: I don’t feel the need to do a detox. I know my body is equipped with everything it needs to get chemicals, additives, preservatives, herbicides, pesticides, and everything else out. I’m healthy enough, I know a lot about nutrition, and I don’t see the point in completing a program like this.
Overcome It: There are two books I recommend for diving into this subject, and the work of both of these researchers heavily influenced the development of our 26-Day Detox. The first is called the Guide to Better Bowel Care: A Complete Program for Tissue Cleansing through Bowel Management by Dr. Bernard Jensen.
The second is a set of books called Cleanse and Purify Thyself, by Richard Anderson, N.D.
In his book, Dr. Jensen describes how a toxic bowel can make you more susceptible to disease in many ways, including raising your inflammation levels and slowing your transit time for eliminating waste. He has studied tens of thousands of colons in his lifetime, and he's monitored the output while detoxing.
But the best way to see how much better you can look and feel on a detox is to just jump in and do one. Even if you come in as a skeptic, you’ll see firsthand the results when your organs and systems are working in a more optimized way.
You’ll also want to watch the video “8 Foods That Help You Detoxify (and 11 That Cause Toxicity)” from my free Deox Secrets Masterclass to learn more about why we eat the foods we do while detoxing.
"I won’t see results."
Fear: I’m afraid of diving in head-first, putting all the work and effort into the detox, and seeing no results. I won’t lose weight. I won’t improve my skin, energy, or overall health. I won’t feel better or look better, and I’ll just have wasted all that time and money for nothing.
Overcome It: Most detoxers lose weight in the first 7-day phase of the detox and in the last five days. If for some reason you don’t see the weight loss you thought you would, we have a lot of resources for you, including the section “Changing Your Body’s Weight/Fat Set Point” in the manual.
And remember, even if you’re not losing much weight right away, there are so many other great benefits your body is experiencing that you can focus on, instead. (Also, if you have weight to lose and don’t see the expected change during the program, this is a good experiment to discover a potential thyroid or other hormonal disorder.)
Some results might not be immediately visible, but just know your body is thanking you for flooding it with nutrients and reducing the toxic load.
"I’ll lose too much weight."
Fear: I really can’t afford to lose any weight, so detoxing is frightening to me. I don’t know how I could complete a plant-based detox without shedding some serious pounds, so I avoid them at all costs.
Overcome It: Many underweight people have completed the detox with very successful results. Many of these detoxers lost a bit of weight while detoxing, but gained it back by modifying serving sizes or other healthy strategies detailed in the manual.
It’s also okay for you to eat extra servings of anything on your daily menu, including higher-calorie foods or fats.
If you’re underweight because of a digestive problem, then detoxing can greatly benefit you as much as anyone. Just monitor your weight and increase calories or serving sizes as needed.
"It’s too expensive."
Fear: I can’t afford a detox. I’m happy spending my money on cheap foods. I can’t afford to spend hundreds a week on 100% organic, non-GMO, chemical-free foods. I have to afford to pay my rent, you know.
Overcome It: Know that the nutrient-dense, whole foods you’re feeding your body during this time are nutrient-dense will nourish your body without breaking the bank.
You can complete the detox frugally. One participant reported only spending $350 for food throughout the program, and her second time, she still had the spices and other staples, so it was even cheaper. Depending on what food or staples you already have in the house, you could spend more or less than this.
Some of the foods you purchase for the detox will last far beyond it, like salt-free seasonings or healthy oils. And if you’re someone who often eats out at restaurants, you will find your food and grocery budget will decrease significantly.
"I need to count my calories or macros."
Fear: I’ve been trained that counting calories (or macros) is really important. I even have an app that I use every single day to log all my calories, fat, protein, and more. I’m not interested in a detox that doesn’t require me to count these things. It’s part of my routine now, and I’m not ready to give it up. It gives me control over my food.
Overcome It: Counting calories is not sustainable. Apps and software can’t accurately predict what your body needs, since that depends on a variety of factors that change daily, including physical activity. And don’t believe that all calories are created equal. It’s much better to eat 400 more plant and legume calories than it is to eat 200 calories of processed food.
After the detox, be willing to enjoy your newfound food freedom and focus on eating a variety of colorful plants and veggies every day, instead of focusing on crunching numbers and balancing pie charts.
Fear: There’s so much to learn about how to do a detox that I feel overwhelmed by the thought of tackling it. I’m also afraid of how my body will react if I cut out ALL of those things at once!
Overcome It: If you’re afraid of the detox being too much to handle at once, do a slow start for a few days or weeks ahead of time. For example, start adding more fresh veggies or green smoothies to your diet. Then, begin experimenting with some raw, vegan side dishes. Finally, replace some of your “problem foods” with a healthier option.
Each week leading up to the detox, read a little of the manual, so you’re familiar with how the program runs.
This will help you glide into the detox without feeling like you’re cramming to learn what to do or giving up everything at once.
Final Detoxing Tips
Don’t forget to stay hydrated during the challenge; it will get those impurities out of your body even faster. If you get sick of plain water, add a squeeze of lemon, lime, or herbs like basil or mint to your regular glass. Drinking enough water helps flush out the toxins you’re releasing.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed about the detox, or even if you’re having cravings, write about it in a journal. Writing your feelings can be helpful to release them from your body. You can also practice mindfulness, meditation, or a number of other calming strategies.
Create any kind of list, chart, or vision board that will keep you going through the detox. Having this plan ahead of time will give you some comfort heading into the program.
And if you need any extra motivation, read the testimonials of people who have completed the program with fantastic results. It’s incredibly uplifting to read how this program has been life-changing for so many. That might give you the push you need to conquer your detox fears.
We’ve helped almost 20,000 people through our detox and seen spectacular results, including an average weight loss of 12.5 pounds. Doing 26 days of a detox might seem hard, but the benefits are worth it.
The best part about detoxing is that going through it will help you create lifelong, healthy habits that you’ll carry with you for years to come.
If now doesn't feel like the right time for you to join a detox, that’s okay. We’re here for you. You can still join us for our free Detox Secrets Video Masterclass. We only open our FREE video masterclass a few times a year when we’re gearing up to start our group detox, so join right now while you still can.
But if you’re ready to be supported through the best rest and reboot your body’s ever had, we’d love for you to join us for our upcoming live Green Smoothie Girl 26-Day Detox.
Grab your spot right now to get ready! You’ll receive menus, recipes, shopping lists, information on toxins, how-tos for identifying your food sensitivities, support, and much more. Join us today!
Robyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.
- Anderson, Richard. Cleanse and Purify Thyself. Christobe Publishing, 1988.
- Anderson, Richard. Cleanse and Purify Thyself, Book Two: Secrets of Radiant Health and Energy. Christobe Publishing, 2000.
- Jensen, Bernard. Dr. Jensen’s Guide to Better Bowel Care: A Complete Program for Tissue Cleansing through Bowel Management. Penguin, 1998.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that help support the GSG mission without costing you extra. I recommend only companies and products that I use myself.