Detox debate

  • By
    Roxanne Fisher - Health editor - bbcgoodfood.com

The January detox is almost as traditional as the festive binge that precedes it - but what does the word mean to you? Many worry the Americanism has been transformed into a marketing buzzword, encouraging dangerously restrictive diets that can do you more harm than good.

Detox debate

Making plans for a healthier lifestyle in 2012 needn't begin with crash diets and drop-a-dress-size obsessions. Our handy list of diet do's and don'ts will help you reverse the Christmas calorie overload and stay healthy for the year ahead.
 

Do...

ExerciseExcercise - getting active is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, but you don't need to be an athlete to reap the benefits. A simple walk before eating is though to improve the way your body metabolises food while excercising with friends has been shown to increase the levels of endorphins released while working up a sweat.

Eat everything...in moderation - denying yourself your favourite foods will only see your health goals collapse when cravings get the better of you. Instead, listen to your body and curb hankerings for unhealthy snacks with guilt free treats.

Eat little, more often - Regulate your metabolism by eating five or six small dishes during the day instead of three large meals and you'll find you won't need to reach for those calorie-packed snacks.

Stay hydrated - your whole body can suffer when dehydrated, affecting everything from your skin to your concentration. Many of us also misinterpret thirst for hunger so be sure to always have a bottle of cold water to hand and sip throughout the day.

Don't...

Cheesy autumn mushroomsSkip meals - your body will go into starvation mode and you'll be far more likely to tuck into something calorific later in the day. Keep energy levels up with low GI-foods and plenty of healthy snacks.

Cut out food groups - many believe cutting fats and carbohydrates from their diets will speed up weight loss. In fact, removing major food groups is more likely to make you give up your good intentions as energy levels dwindle and your body is deprived of vital nutrients. The NHS eatwell plate can show you exactly how you should balance each meal for optimal nutritional health.

Give up everything too quickly - the temptation when starting a diet is to go cold turkey, cutting out all vices and expecting your resolutionsto stick with will power alone. While it may take a little longer to see results, slowly making changes to your lifestyle will mean you are far more likely to stick to your healthy eating plan all year.

Be disheartened - everyone has a bad diet day so don't throw in the towel if you stray from your plan. A balanced diet is something we should strive for all year round and so allowing yourself the occasional treat will help keep you on track in the long run.

 

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