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And a Healthy New Year...

Nutritional therapist Alex Jones guides you through an effective detox to kickstart 2018.

It’s that time of year when many throw themselves into a diet to detox from the festive season. The allure of a quick fix to undo recent excesses, or to kickstart a ‘new year new you’ plan, is tempting. Whatever your motivation, if you’ve made some kind of detox resolution, here’s what I believe you need to know.

With a myriad of ‘detox’ products and plans out there, according to an article in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, there is virtually no evidence to show they actually work. Thankfully, the good news is that the body has a natural in-built ability to detox, repair and rejuvenate, and eating real unprocessed foods loaded with maximum nutrition is the best way to support your body with this process.

NUTRITION DETOX

Before starting, decide which foods and drinks to reduce your intake of then choose those to increase. Once you start, keep your focus on what you can eat, not what you can’t, as this will help you to avoid feeling deprived, and lead to a drop in motivation.

Ensure you max out on nutrients by eating plenty of salad or leafy green vegetables with each meal. Drink plenty of water with lemon and herbal teas to keep hydrated and support the detox process. Ideally, go caffeine-, sugar- and dairy-free for a couple of weeks.

You’ll also be able to enhance your energy with complete protein foods – they contain all the amino acids required by the body. For breakfast, think organic eggs and salmon, yoghurt with nuts and seeds, or perhaps a protein drink. For lunches and dinners, incorporate lean meats, organic poultry and wild-caught fish into your meal plan.

Add small portions of low glycemic starches such as whole wheat or rye bread, quinoa (which is high in protein) and sweet potatoes. Compared to white bread, rice and pasta, they provide greater nutrition and energy plus they also create a fat-burning environment in the body. Add healthy fats such as oily fish, organic eggs, avocados, nuts and seeds, olive and coconut oils, which will both reduce hunger while enhancing energy and also fat-burning.

EFFECTIVE EXERCISE

Exercising with intensity is key to unlocking a naturally occurring hormone that’s anti-ageing and helps to burn body fat. A weightbearing HIIT (high intensity interval training) exercise plan of just 15-30 minutes three times a week is optimum.

MINDSET IS KEY

Before starting, make a strong decision about what you want from your detox. Create a clear vision of this outcome and the positive impact it will have on you – whether that’s your shape, health, energy, your happiness or the impact on your loved ones. Watch your vision in your mind’s eye, as though it’s your own personal movie trailer, at regular intervals throughout your day.

Celebrate your successes and record them in a daily journal to create a powerful resource and reminder of your achievements. Success creates success; however small they still count. Avoid being too hard on yourself should you slip up as this only serves to demotivate. Instead, refocus on your vision and remember why you’re detoxing to immediately get yourself back on track. And make sure you avoid mindless eating. Instead, focus on and truly savour your dining experience. Consider how your foods look, breathe in their smells and notice their tastes – and begin to notice how you feel after each meal too. Increasing food awareness will also enhance your enjoyment of natural foods, helping you to make better food choices.

Alex Jones is a qualified nutritional therapist and wellness coach. The Healthy Girl offers clarity, coaching and unique health food supplements for natural weight loss and optimum health. www.thehealthygirl.co.uk

Kickstart your 2018Alex JonesKickstart your 2018