DETOXING: WHAT IS IT AND IS IT SAFE

Many people make plans to lose weight and get in shape every day of the week. Some opt for a gym membership, boot camps, personal trainers and/or a complete change of diet and lifestyle. The first step is to clearly think about what you hope to achieve through your weight loss or other changes, by visualising the changes this will make to your life. Having specific goals to work towards can be a powerful motivator, whether you want to fit into a snug swimsuit on your next summer holiday or you know someone who’s also trying to lose weight and you can support each other.
Let’s look at the natural way to detox

Spending more time outdoors is an effective way to keep yourself active, though understandably that’s easier said than done in the middle of winter or the heat of summer. Consider whether you really need to use the car for short trips to work or to the shops, or whether you could comfortably make the trip by foot or bicycle. If you’ve been thinking of bringing a pet into your home, walking a dog twice a day is a great excuse to spend time in the fresh air.

Getting away from your normal day-to-day life can also have great benefits, whether you’re committed to exercise and set off on a rambling or cycling holiday or reward your success with a get away to a relaxing spa. Spending time away from home can help you break bad habits and realise you don’t need to rely on some home comforts that may be damaging to your health, and you can clear your mind with a holiday.

Looking after your psychological wellbeing is an important part of the detox process, not only to keep yourself motivated but also to combat stress and tension. Experimenting with meditation or yoga could bring more peace into your life, as well as being proven natural remedies for conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Getting into shape and improving your health doesn’t mean denying yourself all your favourite foods and drinks, but looking into low calorie and sugar-free alternatives could point you towards great substitutes. Eating the occasional fatty or unhealthy food won’t damage your detox plan as long as you use restraint, though it’s recommended to avoid alcohol consumption during a detox and ensure you stay hydrated by drinking eight glasses or two litres of water per day.

Now for the dark side of ‘detoxing’

Over the past few months being able to ‘detox’ by supplements, pills and juices has been made far too easy with the promotion of these products through social media, and being easily purchased online without the need for a consultation with a doctor.

Sadly, it was reported that a young girl lost her life to a certain pill. Doctors said she,

‘burned up from the inside’ after taking tablets believed to contain highly toxic chemical dinitrophenol’

We never needed pills before and we don’t need pills now. We can detox just as much as and even better with fruit and veggies. One of the best detox drinks is fresh lemon in water. This works on getting rid of toxins in your liver and kidneys. For those wanting fat loss, introduce cinnamon into your diet; sprinkle a teaspoon on fresh fruit, over protein pancakes, or stirred into coffee. Another option is chilli. Chilli is the king of spices and added to your diet will help to boost your metabolism making you burn calories faster.

Other fruits that are loved for their detox properties on the body are:

  • Asparagus – great for it’s cancer fighting properties
  • Avocado – great for high fiber to help the bowels, don’t be put off by its high fat content – it’s good fat your body needs and can process
  • Beetroot – read more on this magical veggie here
  • Broccoli – works with your liver to churn out toxins
  • Cabbage – helps lower cholesterol
  • Dandelions – sadly considered a weed to many gardeners, but works wonders on ridding toxins from your body. wash and throw some in a salad or infuse water.
  • Garlic – boosts immune system and promotes a healthy heart
  • Ginger – kicks your liver into shape. Great if you’ve had one too many boozy or toxic drinks (ie, coke)
  • Green Tea – high antioxidant
  • Kale – Flushes the kidneys and great in a smoothie
  • Lemongrass – cleanses the liver, kidney, bladder and digestive tract all at once; get cooking that stir fry
  • Lemons – aids digestion. Though some people try the cayanne pepper detox, adding this to lemon juice actually stops the effect of the lemons working. You’re better adding some fresh chilli to your juice
  • Seaweed – Kelp, not Nori that you’ll find wrapped around sushi
  • Turmeric – works wonders on your liver, substitute another beverage for this
  • WATER – I have capitalised this as it’s so often over looked. Increase your water intake to flush toxins
  • Water Cress – removes toxic build up in the liver
  • Wheatgrass – I take this daily. It boosts the liver, has a alkaline property, lowers blood sugar level and keeps your metabolism on track

What to avoid

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Sweet, chocolates, cake
  • Overeating – if you’re reducing your food consumption (within safe limits and not starving yourself) you will feel hungry at times, this is due to your body being used to higher calories, fats, carbs and sugar. Be careful not to binge eat

Finally, when planning your detox you shouldn’t always push yourself too hard into areas you feel uncomfortable with, as these could only make you more resigned to quit. Speaking to your doctor and other health and fitness professionals should allow you to develop an exercise regime that suits you, and you should always look into the side-effects and risks of procedures such as acupuncture and colonic hydrotherapy, which do not deliver the same results to everyone and are not proven medical practices.

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