Over the festive period many of us overeat and forgo our usual exercise routine preferring to spend time socialising with loved ones. But as the clock chimes and the New Year arrives, gym memberships will spike and everyone will start discussing the latest detox cleanses.
Here at Champneys HQ we are fully on board with this rise in motivation to get fitter and healthier, but it is important to know what you’re getting into. You can learn more about the best detoxes by visiting day spas at our resorts, but first we’ll explain everything you need to consider before starting a detox and take you through some popular New Year health kicks that might help you feel fitter and stronger in 2018.
Here at Champneys we don’t recommend extreme detoxes and would advise following a balanced, healthy diet plan.
Before starting your New Year detox there are some considerations you should be aware of.
Katie Edwards, a Registered Nutritional Therapist at The Nutrition Coach, says making small sustainable changes will make a big difference in your detox programme.
She advises, “There is something very appealing about the idea of undoing all those festive indulgences with a few days or weeks of “detoxing” or cleansing the body. However the truth is that our bodies are constantly detoxifying, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This enables us to process and eliminate the toxins and waste products we come into contact with on a daily basis through our environment, the food and drink we consume and as a normal by-product of the body’s own biochemical processes.
“For this reason, it is important to support your body’s ability to detoxify effectively throughout the year. A short term detox programme works best when used to kick-start longer term positive health habits. Simple daily practices can make a big difference: the key is to make small changes that are sustainable rather than taking the “all or nothing” approach.
“Ensuring you are well hydrated by drinking plenty of still, filtered water and including regular exercise such as yoga or brisk walking is a great place to start. Eating a diet rich in fresh vegetables and plant nutrients, especially cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and kale is also a great supportive measure.”
While there are lots of specific detox diets available, Jane McClenaghan from Vital Nutrition doesn’t recommend a particular detox diet and instead says you should have a wide and varied diet.
She says, “I instead encourage people to incorporate more foods into their diet that help encourage efficient digestion, support liver function and maintain a healthy kidney function.
“A wide and varied diet of plant based foods, packed with plenty of fruit and vegetables, herbs and spices and some good quality protein from pulses, eggs, meat, fish or chicken, nuts and seeds is a good place to start. Enough water and/or herbal teas for good hydration is important too.”
First thing’s first: a juice cleanse is one detox diet that can last for just for a few days or a few weeks.
This detoxification process is when you consume only fruit and vegetable juices to benefit from their nutritional value. You’ll get lots of vitamins and minerals from the fruits and vegetables as part of this diet.
There are many different types of juice cleanses and if you want to use this popular detox you will need to replace either all or part of your food with specially formulated juices.
This has been a favourite cleanse programme amongst celebrities for several years.
The Blueprint Cleanse is a pre-packaged juice cleanse where you’re sent six bottles of vegan juices made from vegetables, spices and fruits that customise your health goals.
The detox diet can last from just a few days to two weeks and as part of the programme you drink the juices and nothing else. Each plan is different and you could be on a diet of 860 calories a day or 1,040 calories a day, but this cleanse is not billed as a weight-loss cleanse.
Research has shown that that your sweet tooth could be damaging your health and could lead to a variety of negative effects such as weight gain, high blood pressure and an increase in cholesterol levels.
Giving up sugar isn’t as hard as it sounds and the benefits you’ll get from reducing your sugar intake can improve your health and even make your skin more radiant.
Going cold turkey is what works best and in the first three days of your sugar detox you should avoid added sugars as well as alcohol. After these three days you can begin to eat fruits such as apples and a dairy product.
By the end of a four-week programme you will be allowed to eat the occasional indulgence such as ice cream or cake because the addictive behaviour will have disappeared.
From smartphones to sat navs, our lives are full of screens. We wake up to them and come home to them and unsurprisingly many experts are saying the constant exposure is damaging our health.
To avoid becoming a slave to your smartphone you should consider going on a digital detox and below are some ways you can make your detox a success:
- Make a list of your gadgets and a list of activities you would like to do that you are currently not doing
- Give yourself a daily allowance
- Set achievable targets
- Change one habit at a time such as banning the use of devices at the dinner table
- Store devices in a different room at night to avoid using them before bed
- Give people your undivided attention
- Find a detox buddy so you can help each other
According to Thrive/Strive, a site that helps people tick to their fitness plans, say that it is possible to get rid of the bad carbs, which includes chocolate, white bread and pastries, in 3-days.
This detoxification could see you lose 3-4 pounds and another benefit is that you will experience an energy boost as your body will no longer rely on carbs. Below is the three day diet plan:
- Day 1 - This diet will see you fast for the first 24 hours. So if you eat at 6pm you will not eat until 6pm the following day.
- Day 2 - After the first day you will need to eat high-quality proteins (chicken breast, salmon and cod) and low-carb vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, kale, mushrooms, spinach, onions)
- Day 3 – You need to replenish the nutrients and vitamins your body has been deprived of and you will need to eat nothing but the low-carb vegetables.
Following the 3 days you can bring back the protein. The goal is to have two meals with 25g of protein in it, so if you’re having 4 meals a day, then meals 1 and 3 should have protein in it.
Whilst not recommended, the master cleanse is one of the most well-known detoxes as it hit the headlines when Beyoncé used the diet to lose weight for her role in Dreamgirls.
This detox is when you drink a mixture of lemon water, maple syrup and cayenne pepper as well as herbal detox tea for at least 10 days. As part of this diet you do not eat anything else.
This detoxification is a short-term diet and should not be used as a long-term plan. Though the benefits are that by following the detox strictly you can lose a lot of weight quickly, this should always be done in moderation as extreme cleanses can be detrimental.
The cabbage soup detox diet (aka the Russian Peasant Diet) is a very strict, low calorie diet that leads to rapid weight loss, but it isn’t for the faint hearted!
Whilst you eat mainly cabbage soup you’ll be able to ‘treat yourself’ to other veg, fruit and certain meats each day. The homemade cabbage soup will have virtually no calories so you should still feel full and lose weight at the same time.
Experts suggest that as a result of this detoxes extreme nature you shouldn’t stay on it for more than a week.