My New Year Detox Tips
With a New Year comes a promise of a fresh start, so logically, the idea of cleaning up your diet, and maybe even your insides with a detox is appealing.
You might be feeling bloated, sluggish and a bit rotund – (hello muffin top for me).
I saw a post on a budgeting group today, where the poster declared that they’ve decided to “Just live frugally this year, on as little as possible, does anyone have any tips?”. I immediately drew a parallel with where many people find themselves at this time of year with their fitness goals: “I’m just going to eat as little as possible and lose heaps of weight quickly – any tips?”
Does this sound realistic?
First of all, I don’t even know this person declaring their (extreme) financial intentions, but I’m fairly certain that, just as many people do trying to implement extreme dietary protocols and fitness programmes – they ain’t going to last real long. That’s statistically speaking.
I’m not a finance expert, but I do know that in the case of fitness and fat loss, it’s a long game of small daily improvements that promotes more long term success than short periods of extreme measures.
I know this, because I used to be partial to the odd detox.
It’s pretty appealing when you’ve spent a few days or weeks overindulging slightly, or excessively, but here’s the thing:
- During short periods of intense calorie restriction (like a detox), your initial weight loss is 70% water weight, and gut contents. Not body fat.
- People who employ extremely restrictive short term diets tend to re-gain more body fat afterwards.
- Most of the weight you’ve gained on holidays probably isn’t all body fat, it’s likely gut contents and water weight. Plus a little body fat, but hey, #worthit.
I once got a cold sales email from a lady inviting me to make extra money from my client base by selling them her detox products. Her email claimed that the human body can hold up to NINE kgs of TOXIC SLUDGE. When I reply emailed that I was actually studying nutrition at the time, and nowhere in my course did they refer to the human body holding “toxic sludge” so would she please kindly provide her source of information…… well, I’m still waiting for her response needless to say.
So what can you do if you are feeling the after-effects of a really great holiday period, and you’re now feeling a bit down on yourself? Here’s my “detox” tips to reset your system for the New Year:
- Increase your intake of “nutrient dense foods”. You know, lean protein sources like chicken, fish, dairy and eggs plus heaps of fruit & veg. Frozen is fine. You’ll increase your fibre intake and vitamins and minerals. Winning all round.
- Drink plenty of water. I recommend tracking how many glasses or bottles of water you have each day. Increasing your hydration upregulates urination and you normally see some scale movement from that, which can feel motivating. I’ve lost 2.2kg overnight before by water loading (oh whoops did I just give the detox game away?)
- Move more. The idea of strenuous exercise might be quite unappealing at this point, but the good news is you can start by making sure you increase your incidental movement first, which will have a bigger impact than a 30, 45 or 60 min sweat sesh where you collapse in a heap afterwards. Once you’ve got that sorted then looking at a sustainable fitness programme including strength training that you can stick to for the year is the next step.
I get that you may be feeling fed up, and a little desperate, and so does the diet and supplement industry, so they are ready and waiting to snap up your dollars for your pain.
The thing is, there really is no magic bullet, and fitness is a lifelong habit to be practiced and maintained in balance with the rest of your life. Commit yourself to extreme short term measures and you’ll either fail to commit, or be miserable for the duration.
I am constantly working with women who rebound from these methods, and are left feeling confused, and fed up.
I aim to find my clients a happy medium on an individual basis – if someone is selling you one product as a cure all, run the other way. At least you’ll get your steps up. 👍