The New Year, New You Detox Guide
It’s hard to believe it’s already 2018 – the last year just flew by! – and in typical New Year’s fashion, we likely all made resolutions to hit the gym again, change our diet, or improve our body and mind. Detoxing is usually the top of the agenda, and in our guide below, we outline some essential tips to follow when starting a detox plan.
What is detoxing and what does it do for my skin?
Detoxing is when we help our body cleanse itself of toxins, by avoiding bad food and drink. Our body already does a good job of removing toxins, but when we detox, our organs can rest and restore themselves quicker, as they don’t need to spend energy on digesting food and drink full of toxins.
We have a little bias towards the skin, but the results will speak for themselves. After detoxing you’ll notice skin is more supple and radiant, as the skin essentially flushes out its impurities.
How long should I detox for?
Generally, a detox should last around 7 days. This gives the body enough time to flush out its toxins, without any long-term affects to the body. However, many people continue their detox for up to 30 days. This is fine as long as you are consuming enough nutrients and calories to sustain a healthy diet.
How to get started
Starting a detox is the hardest part – but also the simplest. You can start a detox anytime by simply kicking out all the toxin-rich food and drink in your diet. Cut out all refined sugars (e.g. sweets, chocolates). Cut out all carb-heavy foods like wheat and rice. Cut out all high-fat foods like cheese and red meat. And most importantly, cut out all alcohol and soda-based drinks. Perhaps the biggest change in a British diet – no tea or coffee either, as caffeine drinks are off-limits too!
By giving your body a 7-day rest from these foods, your organs are able to clear themselves out quicker and more efficiently. This is of course easier said than done, especially after Christmas and New Year’s, where we indulge ourselves with yummy-but-ultimately-unhealthy food. So it is vital you have the determination to avoid these foods – the best thing would be to simply not have any of these foods lying around your home or workspace.
Hydration is key
No ifs, no buts – you need to intake 2 litres of water a day to really experience the true benefits of detoxing. This acts as a catalyst for the body to flush out toxins. You can make the water more interesting by having two or three cups of herbal tea (with honey in place of sugar), or by adding lemon and fruit to your water.
Make breakfast count
It’s important you start each day off during a detox with the right carbs and healthy fats, to sustain the body for the rest of the day. A handful of fruits with warm oats heated in water and scrambled eggs with salmon are two common breakfast ideas you can stretch out over 7 days. If you detox for longer, then you’ll want more variety. The goal is to avoid high-sugar and high-fat foods.
Lean greens for lunch and dinner
During your detox you need to make sure you eat an abundance of greens. Leafy salads, kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots and beans are essential. Lentils are wonderful. You can never over-do it when it comes to vegetables, but pair them up with olives, tofu, chicken, turkey or fish to ensure you have healthy fats and protein in your diet. Alternatively you can stick with veggie smoothies for the entirety of your detox – as long as you aren’t malnourishing yourself, this is fine for the detox period.
Whilst you will feel fantastic towards the end of your detox, it’s important to not do any strenuous exercise beyond light jogging in 30-minute sessions at most. This is because your body is going through a major change, and the sudden lack of carbs in the digestive system makes the body more prone to fainting.
End your detox – but keep the good habits going!
It is essential you end your detox (after 7 days ideally, but most certainly after 30 days) because it isn’t sustainable over a long period. Detoxing is essentially allowing your organs to hit reset, before you then start a new longer-term diet and exercise plan. However some of the habits you take up during the detox are good to keep going, like limiting your intake of bad food and drinks, eating more greens and drinking 2 litres of water a day.
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