Detox done right

5 min read
03 Feb 2017
5 min read
879 words
Many get into the whole 'New Year, New Me' mode by opting for detox programmes that could actually do more harm than good

Why detox?
Detoxing is known to provide many benefits, including the following:

  • Cleansing the body and boosting energy
  • Boosting metabolism
  • Aiding in weight loss
  • Improving skin and hair conditions

Bad rep

Like most fitness and diet plans, detox programmes have celebrities to thank for their popularity. However, in recent times, it has gotten a bad reputation for being harmful for the body. Why is this so? Well, it is due to misconceptions about what a detox is. Many believe that it is a magical tool that will instantly help you get rid of excess toxins in your body. Experts have refuted this claim, and say that through the work done by their liver and kidneys, the human body is naturally capable of cleansing itself.  The conclusion? Stick to detoxification in a healthy way as recommended in this article.

Take and replace Detox - the healthy way

No, you do not have to buy and download some app for a fancy detox plan or dedicate days to simply drinking water or 'green detox juices'. Instead, the best detox that you can adopt for your overall well being is this 'take and replace' approach. It basically requires you to 'take' processed, high-fat and sugary foods and 'replace' them with foods like fruits and vegetables. This plan will ensure that you are not starving yourself, and being full on whole foods will subsequently prevent overeating.

1) Watch your added sugar intake
I avoid adding sugar to my coffee and/or tea. When I do this, most ask if I am a diabetic. I'm not. You see, not many realise the extent to which added sugar negatively affects our bodies. In the long run, too much sugar consumption results in fatigue and weight gain. Aim to cut down on added sugar, including honey, syrups and artificial sweeteners as well.
Tip: Swap carbonated drinks and packaged fruit juices with water or flavoured water and fresh juice.

2) Tea over coffee
Caffeine is an element that stresses the liver, so it is recommended that you cut down on it. Replace coffee with tea; tea has caffeine too but is much gentler on the body than the caffeine in coffee. Tea is full of antioxidants, which will make you feel full and avoid binging in between meals.
Tip: In a jug, seep two tea bags (preferably green tea). Squeeze the whole of a lemon into the tea. Sip on this throughout the day.

3) More fibre
Another key to detoxing your body is by ensuring regular bowel movements, which means more fibre! It is perfectly fine to indulge in fried treats once in a while, but it is necessary to replace them with more fibrous foods. And simply drinking more water helps with our bowels.
Tip: Make your midday snack a serving of fresh fruits (banana, orange, etc) and nuts like almonds and walnuts.

4) Meat options 
In terms of digestion, meat takes longer to get digested compared to vegetables. So when it comes to taking and replacing in this detox, take meat off your meals at least once a week and replace them with leafy vegetables. You can also choose to trade your meat for protein-packed veggies like tofu.
Tip: In this hashtag-crazed world, join the #meatlessmondays bandwagon! Whip up delicious #meatless meals on #Mondays, and show them off on social media.

5) Sweat It Out
What's a good diet without any exercise? Complement your detox plan with sweat sessions at least 3-4 times a week. Regular exercise improves circulation in both the blood and lymph systems. Hello brighter skin and healthy hair! If you are unable to make time for an entire session at a stretch, then spread your workout. Aim for a total of 30-45 minutes worth of 10-minute periods of exercise moves throughout the day.
Tip: Start your day with some stretching exercises like the Sun salutation, hamstring stretch, cat stretch and calf raises. While watching television or during commercial breaks, perform moves such as squats, planks, jumping jacks and push ups.