The Nutritionist’s Guide to Detoxing The Right Way
Had one too many cheat days this Chinese New Year? We’re right there with you, sister. Not to mention the late nights, not drinking enough water… It can all make for an overloaded system that’s crying out for a much-needed reset. Which is why we reached out to our friends over at The Nutrition Clinic, who are experts on the topic of optimising the food we eat (or don’t eat) to make positive changes to our daily life.
Here are some of their best tips on how to ‘detox’ safely, for maximum results!
A restart doesn't need to be in the form of a gruelling detox diet or juice cleanse. In fact, SPOILER ALERT: we don't think juice cleanses are a good idea. They are often high in sugar, lack protein and other essential nutrients required for proper detoxification. Simply downing a detox juice also doesn't effect any long-term eating habits or changes.
“My main concern with detoxes are that they are often short-lived. I see it so often with my clients - they embark on these crazy, unsustainable plans and after a week or two they either end up binging or feeling worse than when they started.” — Bonnie Rogers, Functional Medicine Health Coach @ The Nutrition Clinic
So instead of jumping on fads like only drinking juice or “detox water”, choose real food changes. If you feel like you need to give your body a break after indulging too much after Chinese New Year, try these top 3 tips:
Tip #1: SCALE BACK
Remove processed food, gluten, dairy, alcohol and sugar, along with any foods you are sensitive to or feel you may be sensitive to. No idea? You may want to do a food sensitivity test to check if any foods you eat regularly are causing an inflammatory response.
"Food sensitivities are delayed reactions and can often be difficult to identify on your own and can cause a wide range of symptoms such as skin redness, thinning hair, chronic fatigue and bloating. In order to detoxify, it is important to avoid anything you personally react to -- as these foods will place a burden on your liver's natural detoxification abilities" — Pooja Vig Functional Medicine Nutritionist @ The Nutrition Clinic
Tip #2: SCALE UP
Get those greens in! Up your veggies, particularly cruciferous veggies which are great for detoxification - think cauliflower, broccoli, kale and cabbage. This is called crowding out. Instead of using the words ‘I am on a diet”, try shifting your focus to “I am adding more veggies to my diet”.
When you start by filling at least ½ your plate with vegetables and the other ½ with good quality fat and protein there is very little room for empty carbohydrates. Plus you should feel fuller for longer and have more sustained energy: hello reduced cravings and running to the cookie jar post-lunch!
Tip #3: SCALE... OUT THE WINDOW
Detoxification is not about weight loss (though that may be a happy by-product). When it comes to any form of ‘detoxification’, we go slow and steady using real food for a reason. A lot of fad detox diets like juicing, drinking maple syrup or detox tea can swing your body into what is known as a healing crisis: this happens when you release toxins stored in the body (often in fat cells), without first building your liver's ability to process them.
In fact, detoxification is what the body is already doing on a daily basis - our strategy should be to add specific nutrients to give your body a boost as it goes through the process.
Our biggest tip: ensure you are getting enough high-quality protein. Protein is an essential building block; think eggs, nuts, seeds and high-quality meat and fish.
What we do at The Nutrition Clinic is simple: we cut through all the clutter of (mis)information and get to the root of your problem by providing a solution that’s unique to you.
We use nutrition in an intelligent, thoughtful and inspiring way. Our method believes in taking you directly to your goal, as swiftly and sensibly as possible. Integrating the latest science with practical real-world suggestions, we support you from start to finish.
Everything starts with the decision to change. We provide the science, structure and motivation so you get impressive results.
Get in touch here.