Updated: Mar 2
Spring is the time when we get bombarded with new diets, juice fast promotions and new fads that 'help' detox the body and loose weight. Unfortunately many of them are drastic and exhausting for the body and often back-fire as uncontrollable binge urges and overeating attacks in the months to come.
As a nutritional therapist I know that 'diets' don't work the same way as intense methods of detox (short juice cleanses, diet pills and restrictions) are too drastic for the body. The body is designed and already knows how to detox naturally, as long as we allow it to and provide it with the tools it needs.
This year, instead of going on a 30- day cleanse (only to come back to your old habits later with little benefit to your body) start making small, but lasting changes. Sure, it is tempting to follow a programme for a few days and forget about it. But is it really worth making yourself suffer even for a day just to find out that it had little effect on your long-term health?
Helping your body detox long-term may take slightly longer, but guess what? You probably already have all the tools to do so. Change one small thing per week and see yourself step into summer lighter, happier and so much healthier.
Water, water, water
Are you getting enough water daily? It is fascinating how many people in UK are chronically dehydrated. Adult male should have 2,5l and adult female should have 2l daily intake of H20. And that means pure water, discounting all the teas, coffees and juices. This is the minimum the body needs to flush those toxins out of the body.
The best way to 'get things moving' in the body and get enough of your daily intake is to have some warm water and lemon on waking (at least 500ml) and leaving some time before having breakfast.
Aim to consume majority of water in the first half of the day to make sure the toxins from the night before get flushed out and to take extra pressure from kidneys.
Back to simplicity
A few simple rules that can help with everyday food choices:
- Would your great-grandmother eat it?
- Can you read and pronounce all the ingredients on the label?
Simply put, our food these days is heavily processed and filled with artificial additives, which only add to the pool of toxins. Choose simple foods and ingredients that come from plants and are responsibly sourced, rather than those that are created in a lab. Remember, real food does not have 'ingredients'. A carrot is a carrot and a fillet of fish is exactly that.
Go for local and organic foods where possible, as they are much more nutritionally dense and contain less chemicals.
Impossible to argue that moderate exercise works miracles for health. Moderate amounts of exercise (30-40min 3x week) aids in increasing metabolism, balancing hormones and boosting immunity. Faster metabolism equals body being able to clear unnecessary 'clutter' and toxins from the body quicker. Give it a helping hand by swapping lift for stairs at work and walking to the station rather than driving.
Get your 7 a day
Yes, it really is 7. Newest guidelines suggest to have at least 5 different types of daily vegetables and maximum of 2 portions of fruit daily. It really is that simple- when you fill up more than half your plate with a variety of nutritious vegetables that are packed with antioxidants, you are giving your body a boost. The fibre in vegetables and fruits helps 'sweep' all the unnecessary toxins and by-products from the digestive system.
Increase the amount of vegetables in your daily routine and watch the sugar cravings subside, energy levels and moods balance out!
Caffeine, alcohol and sugar
This may feel like bad news, but it doesn't have to be. Excess consumption of caffeine, alcohol and sugar may all get the body out of balance and create unnecessary toxins. There is no need to completely deprive yourself from life's little pleasures and instead apply 'everything in moderation' approach. Replace second cup of coffee with green tea and snack on nuts instead of biscuits.
Keep yourself motivated remembering that it is not just another 'diet', but rather a long-term lifestyle change. One small step at a time...