New Year’s resolution: detox for weight loss and healthier living

With the New Year festivities now little more than a gentle throbbing reminder in your cranium, it’s the time of year when most people turn their thoughts to resolutions in a bid to feel better, look better, lose weight or just make a few changes to their life. Long-term health plans are great but if you want to kick start the new year, detoxing is the way forward.

The concept of  detoxification has made the news recently, with conventional science claiming that its effects are unproven, but why not try it for yourself and prove the scientists wrong as you lose weight, improve your complexion, boost your metabolism and feel good.

The first thing to do is to quit those lovely stimulants you’ve been marinating yourself in. That’s right, cigarettes, alcohol, refined sugars, processed foods, caffeine and meat.  Closing the doors on these energy sappers for good is great but if that’s too much for you, at least take a break. These highly addictive foods are known to damage your health and giving them up will have a beneficial effect on your metabolism and energy levels, helping you to lose weight and cleanse.

Replace those nasties with fresh, wholefoods – organic where possible – and give yourself extra points for incorporating raw vegetables into your day. Foods such as broccoli and papaya are great sources of fibre and help increase waste elimination, which will boost weight loss.

And you don’t have to eat your whole foods whole. You can incorporate them into juices or smoothies, which makes them easier to digest as the fibres have already been broken down for you which gives the digestive system a break and makes all the goodness very easy to assimilate.

Green smoothies in particular are a great way to get chlorophyll-rich – read as, “full of vitality” – goodness into your body. These juices can’t be recommended enough. If wheatgrass shots make you gag, try adding kale, spinach or parsley to a fruit combination of your choice, eg papaya, mango, pineapple or apple. The soft fruits will disguise the flavour of the greens, and whilst the color will look like something the Incredible Hulk might serve to Popeye at a tea party, you’ll be adding several servings of fruit and vegetable to your daily intake in one glass – and they taste great.

At the same time up your water intake. Drinking the recommended eight glasses might seem overwhelming but if you start off by adding a few large mugs of herbal tea to your day, you will soon become accustomed to the additional fluid. Your skin and digestive system will thank you for it.

Keep your protein sources simple, organic and vegetarian. Fresh nuts and goat cheese are great, as is oily fish if you can’t quite commit to vegetarian just yet.

Exercise is great but keep it achievable and simple. Yoga, walking and swimming are the best and most satisfying types of exercise and great habits to start off the new year. Yoga has the added benefit of exercising the mind, body and spirit, and its beneficial effects have been known for centuries.

If you really want to get serious, add some superfoods to your smoothies, eat fifty percent of your diet in its raw form and sign up to a bikram yoga class, where you are guaranteed to open your pores so wide, that you might find some items that you misplaced at the Christmas party.

Detoxes can last between 1 and 31 days and their effects can last for much longer. To really grasp the new year by the horns, incorporate as many of the above into your daily routine. Don’t try to be perfect, allow yourself the occasional stumble without beating yourself up over it, and before you know it, you will have a healthy lifestyle, the benefits of which are weight loss, great skin, a clear mind and a more positive outlook.

Let us know if this introduction to detoxing was helpful by leaving a comment.

Read about other diet types including vegetarian, raw vegan, vegan, macrobiotic as well as yoga styles like Ashtanga Vinyasa, Kundalini and Hatha.

images: doh.sd.gov, sugarible.com