Getting Ready for the End of Winter: A Detox Guide
Although it’s far from warm and the trees are still quite bare, there’s that feeling in the air that lets us know that spring is on its way. But while the world around us bursts into bloom, it’s fair to say that most of us are feeling a little sluggish. Months of eating stodge, staying wrapped up by the fire instead of going out and covering up against what little sunshine there has been will have made their mark on our bodies and our psyches. Before the season changes completely, it’s time to get ourselves ready with a spring detox.
Don’t do things by half
It’s unfortunate but true that anything worth having involves sacrifice. In this case, you need to ditch some bad habits, such as alcohol and caffeine, eating fatty and sugary foods and smoking; it sounds like a lot to give up, but the benefits will outweigh the difficulties. Although you may decide to avoid some unhealthy habits completely, for the purposes of your detox, you can console yourself with the knowledge that you only need to stick to it for a week or so.
Unless you’re fasting, you don’t have to deprive yourself of food as long it’s healthy. For a start, eating five smaller meals in place of three large ones is a great way to give your system a boost; eating raises your metabolic rate temporarily, so by eating five times instead of three, you have two additional boosts to your metabolism. You should also make sure that you eat more vegetables and protein than carbohydrates, as they can make you feel bloated. Lean chicken, fish and nuts are far better than large amounts of pasta or bread and if you team them with multi-coloured salads or steamed vegetables, you’ll have a balanced diet that won’t weigh you down.
Flush it out
Since you won’t be drinking alcohol or drinks that contain caffeine – which includes tea, coffee and cola – you need to find something to replace them. It’s best to avoid milky or carbonated drinks during a detox; although milk is a great source of calcium, it can also be high in fat, unless you choose the skimmed variety, and some people are sensitive to lactose and can experience bloating and discomfort. Water and herbal teas are ideal as they help your body to eliminate waste without containing any unwanted calories or pollutants.
It’s not all about food and drink
While eating well and drinking plenty of pure liquids are at the heart of an effective detox, it’s important to get yourself moving again after the inactivity of winter. Perhaps it’s time to get the bicycle out of the shed or to dust off the running shoes; swimming is a great whole-body toner and helps to expel toxins from the tissues, leaving you looking and feeling healthier. If you’re a little embarrassed about looking pasty after being wrapped up for so long, apply a good fake tan; there are plenty of great products that are both easy to use and very natural-looking. This will give you an instant healthy look and, as a bonus, it can have a slimming effect.
You should follow a detoxifying diet for a minimum of five days, but somewhere between ten and fourteen days is better. Once you reintroduce coffee or alcohol, you should try to avoid undoing your good work by overindulging. When the warm weather arrives and you look and feel good enough to ditch the heavy layers, it will really have been worth every minute.
FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post