The Mental Detox You Really Need

3 Recipes to take the weight off your shoulders

Girl in distress Unsplash - Abigail Keenen

Once I understood the harmful effects of diets — i.e. rebound weight gain by caloric overcompensation, deregulation of the body’s hunger and satiety centers, obsession with food, etc. — I must say I started to wriggle every time I heard the word “detox”.

The term “detox” is related to detoxification and is based on the premise of manipulating your diet to help the body flush out toxins — something your liver does extremely well, but it doesn’t make a profit for anyone, right?

In general, a detox diet implies a restriction of specific foods, such as red meat, sugar, processed foods, dairy, among others. Depending on the type, the guidelines are different, but…

All of them are based on some food restrictions.

And when our brain notices any restriction or prohibition, what will it do?

Don’t think of a pink elephant.

Oh no, you weren’t supposed to think about it!

Tell me the truth, did you think about it?

Did you notice the problem?

So when you spend 30 days restraining yourself and saying “NO” to all your desires, you have done nothing more than showing your body that the world is a bad and scarce place, so it should do something to replenish your reserves — i.e. get you to eat more, especially very caloric dense stuff.

Yes, your body is THAT smart.

I know you want to lose weight, maybe for health or even aesthetics — your body, your rules. But it’s imperative that you do it responsibly and sustainably if you do not want to deal with the yo-yo effect.

That said, I must say that there are some things that you can — even should — avoid if you want to achieve a lighter life — and a lighter body as a result. A good mental detox has nothing to do with food, but I assure you it works miracles to make you feel better about yourself and your body instantly!

Ready?

#1 SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX

Do yourself a huge favor and stop following all the profiles that make you feel terrible about yourself.

Phone with social media icons

You know, people don’t really mean it, but much of what we see in feeds is completely assembled and unreal. Then you end up comparing your body and your plate with neatly retouched, millimeter-sized bodies and plates, so you feel you’ll never be good enough, or beautiful enough, or rich enough, or healthy enough, etc.

What makes you unfollow these people so difficult is your fear of losing something valuable — the famous FOMO. Fear of missing out the next tea or miracle food, fear of missing out the next recipe that suppresses hunger, fear of missing out the next fat-loss supplement.

When you finally realize that there is no magic pill, that all this is a big waste of money time, that fear will go away passes, I promise you.

Look inside yourself and find out your truth, because then you will stop feeling pressured and things will finally flow in your life. Real-life is full of imperfections, in our lunch, and in our legs. So don’t let anyone convince you that being perfect is the standard, it just keeps you hostage to an industry that profits from your dissatisfaction.

Seek to follow profiles that encourage you to be you, that doesn’t make you feel guilty or failing if you eat chocolate or if you skipped training. Your value as a person is not determined by these things, know that.

#2 UNREALISTICALLY SMALL CLOTHES DETOX

You know that shirt you love, but it just shrunk?

Woman folding clothing

Or those beautiful pants that you wore on a special occasion, but can’t get past your thighs for a while?

Get it out of your sight.

It’s the same as social media. When you open the wardrobe, they are there to point a finger in your face and call you fat and a failure

You already suffer enough, perhaps from criticism from others or even yours. You no longer need this kind of weight on your shoulders.

There are people who claim that this pressure gives them “motivation”. I claim that guilt does not motivate anyone in the long run. Self-love and self-compassion, yes. These are the real levers of change. You cannot hate or shame yourself until thinness. You cannot be your worst enemy. Hating your body will not “slim you down”, it will only make it a harder place to live.

So keep this daily reminder that you don’t have the weight you would like out of your sight. You do not necessarily need to get rid of all your tight clothes. You can make a candid assessment of what you would like to reuse, sort by size, and store them out of sight. Then you can schedule dates to prove them sporadically.

This attitude takes a huge weight off your daily life and makes you more prone to success.

# 3 LIMITING BELIEFS DETOX

A limiting belief is something that keeps you stuck in life. We learn and reinforce them throughout our lives, whether in our family, our experiences, our environment, etc.

Woman smiling with donut in hand

One thing I believed for a long time was that I needed to be thin to be happy. So I postponed good opportunities and fun until the day I’d be at the perfect size. Because THEN I would be more confident, able, willing, disciplined, and shiny. Also, my hair would be less greasy and, for some magical reason, I would have more money.

Can you imagine my frustration when I found myself wearing a size 2 and none of this happened? I kept finding myself inadequate, afraid of doing a lot of stuff and I wasn’t rich, damn it!

My belief that “being thin = being happy” was a lie, a fallacy that deprived me of so many good moments and opportunities.

Another thing I always believed about myself was that I was unable to eat smaller portions of food. My routine of food restriction made me so crazy about food that I couldn’t understand how could someone eat half of a slice of cake “forget to eat”. Unacceptable!

Only when I abandoned the restrictions did I realize that what for me was a certainty (I was unable to eat smaller portions) was actually a survival mechanism of my body.

Nowadays, when I stop eating a slice of cake in half or forget to eat, I still laugh inside thinking about how much energy I have wasted trying to control my appetite.

Do you realize that it is not all about what you are eating or not eating?

What you think and what you feel are fundamental to your health.

These mental detox recipes can transform your life, making your day-by-day lighter. Roll up your sleeves and put them in action!


I am a Brazilian girl (living in Sao Paulo with my fiancé — and other 20 million people). I love coffee, books, and good food. I also really enjoy studying and learning new things that allow me to further develop myself both professionally and personally. I have a degree in Food Science and hold a Ph.D. in Agri-food Marketing. In addition, I am a Certified Nutrition Coach and an enthusiastic Nutrition student.

After 15 years of living in war with my body and with food, I found freedom through mindfulness and intuitive eating, practices that allowed me to overcome yo-yo dieting and binge eating.

I’m passionate about helping women rewrite their food and body histories so they feel free and confident to live their lives to the fullest.

There is a power that comes alive when women free themselves from the food prison in which they have learned to live, when they realize that they are capable and deserving of feeling fantastic in their own bodies, and that confidence is a state of mind — not a body lotion which you get the right to use when you reach a weight-loss goal.

My work is dedicated to nurturing, celebrating and sharing this message.

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