What you measure improves and connects you to your detox intention.
One of the most important aspects of detox is measuring your results. This will help you capture a snapshot of your current health as well as the progress you make during the course of past, present, and future program. This knowledge helps you determine your short and long term goals on specific outcomes beyond losing weight.
The following list is Dr. Sara Gottfried, MD list of the top ten measurements to take before, during, and after a detox program to track progress. All measurements are optional, but should be strongly considered for a complete detox analysis.
Measurement #1: Waist and Hip
Measure your waist circumference, at your belly button, and also one inch above your belly button. Make sure the tape measure is not too tight and that it’s parallel with the floor. Don’t hold your breath while measuring! Write down your measurements in inches or centimeters.
Also measure your hips—the circumference of your hips at the widest point. Try to use a similar degree of snugness each time you measure. Then calculate the waist-to-hip ratio by dividing your waist measurement by your hip measurement, or go to www.healthcalculators.org.
Measurement #2: Waist-to-Height Ratio
It is highly useful to weigh yourself first thing in the morning, before eating breakfast before, during, and the weeks after a detox. Write down your weight in pounds or kilograms.
Also determine height. As a population, we shrink as we age from poor posture and osteoporosis, so it is important to take this measurement before each detox. Write it down in inches or centimeters.
Measurement #3: Hormones
My Hormone Score is a quiz that has been formulated to help you quickly identify which of your hormones and neurotransmitters are imbalanced. You can take the short version online or purchase The Hormone Cure for the full-length version.
If you use the full-length version, tally the total number of “yes” answers for each hormone imbalance and record that number as your score on your tracker. If you’re using the online quiz, make a note of which hormones may be out of balance prior to starting your Hormone Reset, and you can revisit the quiz again after you’ve completed the detox.
Measurement #4: Sleep
At a minimum, you should record the quantity and quality of your sleep each night using a journal. Ideally, measure your deep sleep using a tracking device. On the Jawbone UP device, for example, you will receive a “sleep score” each night or a percentage of ideal sleep for you based on your age and sleep patterns.
Measurement #5: Blood Pressure
There are two important numbers to pay attention to when you measure your blood pressure. The top number is called your “systolic” blood pressure, and it should be less than 140 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury). The bottom number is called your “diastolic” blood pressure, and it should be less than 90 mm Hg.
Measurement #6: Blood Sugar
There are two important times to check your blood sugar. The first is in the morning after you’ve not eaten for eight to twelve hours, and the second is two hours after you’ve eaten. Please consult your primary clinician or nurse to teach you how, if this is not already a part of your skill set regarding health monitoring.
Measurement #7: Steps
Adaptive and moderate exercise is very important during the detox because it can speed the release of toxins and heal your metabolism. Tracking your total steps per day will help you monitor and increase your daily activity.
Measurement #8: Body Fat
It’s easy to get fixated on the number on your bathroom scale, but body fat can be a much more accurate indicator of health and fitness. Your body is a complex combination of fluid, bone, muscle, and fat; a single number on a scale isn’t sufficient to capture your progress on this program.
The most accurate measurement of fat is with bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). Search “BOD POD” online to see if there’s a device near you where you can accurately measure your body fat.
Measurement #9: Net Carbohydrates
Your goal during detox is to keep your net carbohydrates at between 20 to 49 grams per day. Net carbs are calculated by determining your total carbohydrate intake (in grams) and deducting the total fiber intake (in grams).
Measurement #10: pH
Test the pH of your urine first thing in the morning. Instructions are typically included with the test strips and generally consist of letting some of your urine hit the test strip midstream, waiting a few moments, and then comparing the color of the test strip to the colors on the package to find out your current pH level. Your pH level is an important measure of overall health.
We hope this list of Dr. Sara’s top ten measurements to take before, during, and after detox has provided you with foundational information to draw from depending on your hormonal journey, health needs, and goals.