What’s the problem with detox diets?
Detox diets that encourage minimal (or no) food and restricting certain food groups only provide temporary relief from the unhealthy feelings. And in the long term, they’ll do more harm than good to your body.
Detox diets normally provide very little energy (kilojoules) to your body, plus your body is very clever at adapting to your new lower kilojoule intake. This means that when you start to eat more food again, your body will naturally store it as fat because it’s unsure whether you’ll go into ‘starvation’ or detox mode again. Plus, most of your weight loss on a detox diet is water loss, not the fat loss most people want.
Battle the holiday bulge the healthy food way
Instead of starving yourself on some expensive detox diet, simply eat lots of fresh, healthy foods to naturally get you back on track. Here are the foods you should focus on eating – let’s just call it the healthy way to ‘detox’.
- Fruit – fresh or canned in natural juice is better than dried
- Vegetables – the more the better, just lose the mayo!
- Wholegrain carbohydrates – try a fist-sized portion at each meal
- Lean meats, seafood or egg – try a palm-sized amount at each meal
- Reduced-fat dairy – a great addition to breakfast, or as a snack
- Nuts and seeds – try a small handful of unsalted, natural varieties as a snack
- Legumes – chickpeas, lentils, beans – try a couple of vegetarian meals each week
- Healthy fats – choose avocado, hummus, or oils like canola, olive, avocado or rice bran
What about cutting out foods?
It makes sense that if you want to detox the healthy way, you need to eat less of the unhealthy stuff. The main foods to limit are those that are high in fat, salt and or sugar. This will make you feel a lot better in a shorter time frame. So, for example, cut down on:
- Take-aways (including those that look ‘healthy’)
- Soft drinks and other sugary drinks, e.g. energy drinks
- Chocolate and lollies
- Cakes and biscuits
- Ice cream
- Potato chips
- Pies and other pastry items
Remember - good things take time
Try eating this way and see how quickly you feel healthy again. You may feel so good that you want to continue, and weight loss will follow if you stick with it.
The good thing about eating like this is that it’s not a diet, so it can last forever! Just remember if you really feel like something sweet, don’t wait and then stuff yourself with (for example) a whole block of chocolate. Allow yourself 2 squares of chocolate, and really enjoy the flavour and texture of it before getting back on that horse again.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and healthy bodies aren’t either. It takes time and dedication but it’s well worth it, and it beats drinking only lemon tea all February!