Both experts, as well as people who have been on Detox diets agree that the first 3 days are the most difficult. Specifically, the first day is the hardest. Aside from experiencing pangs of hunger, most people experience unpleasant symptoms as the toxins are being released from their bodies. These symptoms range from nausea, vomiting, and headaches to irritability, bad dreams and insomnia. All of these experiences are a result of the body releasing toxins, which in many cases have been building up for a number of years.
In his book “The Detox Book” Bruce Fife describes the difficulty many people experience the first few days. As Fife describes, these problems include stomach grumbling, hunger pains, fatigue, to name just a few of the symptoms. He explains that these issues are a result of the body “purging itself of filth.” In essence, the process of removing these toxins involves an increase in activity of the internal organs. When we fast, our process of detoxifying becomes accelerated.
Another difficult part of being on a Detox diet is that many people experience increased sensitivity, and feel their senses are off balance. Elson M Haas and Buck Levin describe this phenomenon in their book “Staying Healthy with Nutrition.” They mention how many people report that images and sounds like the TV, and even music can be irritating to people during the Detox process. Another difficult part of the process is exaggerated sense of smell. These smells can be both positive and negative. Another truly unpleasant result of detoxing is that many people have reported their tongues begin to develop a thick white or yellow furry coating. Although this coating can be brushed or scraped off, these sorts of sensations can be very difficult for people to tolerate while fasting. It should be noted that all people undergoing detox do not experience these symptoms, but these symptoms are possible.
Many people attempting Detox diets give up after just a few days as the hunger and feeling in general feelings of unwellness can be too much to handle. The most difficult part of the process is making it through the first few days. After that time everything becomes much easier. Remember, with the Detox processes we are releasing our addiction to certain foods and chemicals to which our bodies have grown accustomed. The combination of being deprived from our favourite foods in combination with hunger, headaches, aches/pains and nausea are enough to cause many people to give up and abandon their Detox goals.
Although the symptoms are unpleasant, the fact of the matter is that the body releasing toxins is a good thing that will produce many benefits. The detoxification process demonstrates that the body is effectively working, as it should to recover its ability to function optimally.