We turn to the experts for their tips on what to ditch and what to add to our regimes when it comes to detoxing.
LOSE: Booze // ADD: Salmon
“Being healthy is meant to make your life better – not worse,” Dietitian Lyndi Polivnick says. “Don’t compromise your health, happiness and relationship with food for a quick fix,” she advises. “A far better solution is to detox your body naturally and avoid excessive amounts of alcohol, caffeine and saturated fats in the first place,” suggests the dietitian. Still, if you’ve been unkind to your body in the past, Polivnick does have some recommendations. “If the damage is already done, make a plan to limit toxins like alcohol, coffee, saturated, trans fats, refined sugars and cigarettes from here on out,” she says. “Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains, and get half an hour of exercise a day instead. The ultimate diet does not consist of juice and laxatives; it contains foods rich in antioxidants and fibre like seeds and nuts, oily fish like salmon, whole grains, dark leafy green vegetables, fruit and vegetables in a variety of colours, and dairy foods.”
LOSE: Processed foods // ADD: Low-glycaemic index carbs
For diet-related conditions like candida or a dependency on certain processed foods, Stewart recommends a wholefood approach. “Knowing how to use food as medicine, health goals are not only possible but achievable in a short period of time, even in a matter of days,” Karina Stewart, naturopath and doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and co-founder of Kamalaya says. “This is true for clearing up skin conditions as well as for eliminating bloating and even food dependencies such as sugar addictions. A healthy detox cuisine based on whole foods, plant based, anti-inflammatory and low glycemic is all about using food as medicine to achieve health goals immediately, as well as provide a foundation for vibrant, long-term health.” Even difficult-to-treat health conditions can improve dramatically within a week, Stewart says.
LOSE: LOW-CAL PICKS // ADD: Whole grains
Don’t be fooled by the higher calorie counts of wholegrain products; they may contain fewer calories per gram, but processed versions will leave you craving, hungry and likely overeating. “For long-term results regarding health and weight management, it is a much better idea to eat a healthy diet based on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein and enjoy regular exercise,” GP Dr Fran Bruce of Wesley LifeShape Clinic. “Don’t forget to also drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep to feel more refreshed.” If you have a diet-related dysfunction such as candida, see your GP. Whether your focus is symptom reduction or weight management, “Make lifestyle changes for the long term and seek support from experts including dietitians, exercise physiologists, psychologists and your GP,” Dr Bruce says.
LOSE: flavoured waters // ADD: plain Water
“Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate,” says Dr Phillip Chang from The Sydney Clinic for Gastrointestinal Diseases, adding that fibre is also high on the list of recommendations. Exercise is also essential. “Changing your diet and lifestyle is like being captain of a large ship; well considered and properly thought through alterations to diet and lifestyle are more effective than detox diets.”
NEXT: Try this simple 7 step detox plan to cleanse your body.