We’re well into the New Year and, as typically does, with it comes the New Year, New Me thought process. We resolve to self-betterment and to change our old habits and get healthy. Many approach their health resolutions with a detox. But, what exactly is a detox?
We asked Allan Darvill, our very own Chief Health & Wellbeing Officer, for pointers to stay on track with our New Years Resolutions…
The definition of detox is when you stop consuming unhealthy or harmful food, drink or other substances into your body for a period of time in order to improve your health. The main organs that help us detox are our skin, intestines, liver and kidneys. There is no magic pill, shake or supplement that will help us detox, it’s a simple formula to follow:
Healthy Diet + Staying Hydrated + Keeping Active + Not Smoking + Adequate Sleep = Healthy Body
In case any of you haven’t started yet or have started and already fallen off the wagon, here are 6 steps to a true detox…
Step 1- Lose What You Don’t Need
Especially this time of year we have a lot of left over chocolates, sweets, and alcohol. If we have these things within arm’s reach eventually we will give in to them. I hate wasting food, but it’s best to get rid of them all. Surely you know someone who isn’t detoxing, give it to them. Consider it a belated Christmas gift.
Step 2- Go Shopping
To detox effectively we need the correct ingredients. Buy clean and wholesome foods, staying away from any foods if you don’t know what they’re made of. In supermarkets, anything after the first few aisles are a no-no. Replace chocolate and crisps (potato chips) with nuts and fruit and replace cereals with oats or granola (be cautious of what’s in it!).
Step 3- Cook in Bulk
“I don’t have the time” is the biggest complaint (or excuse) when it comes to not being able to stick to a healthy diet. Cooking healthy meals in bulk prevents us from buying or eating meals we know we shouldn’t be buying and eating. Creating meals from scratch with fresh and natural ingredients is always preferred because you know what is in your own food. If time is truly a factor, plan ahead and freeze pre-made meals for the future. If you’re forced to buy food out of your home, opt for vegetables, brown rice, and high protein meats.
Step 4- H2O
Drinking water is extremely important. Without it we would all shrivel up! It has a multitude of benefits: water flushes all the unnecessary waste and bacteria from our digestive system, prevents headaches, helps weight loss, removes waste from the kidneys, and keeps our skin healthy. The list could go on. The best way to stay hydrated is to carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go. That way you’ll never have an excuse for missing a sip. How much should you be drinking? The general rule of thumb is to consume two liters, but if you want to be more specific, for every kilo you weigh you should have approx. 30mls of water. (In the U.S. that’s approximately one ounce for every two pounds of weight). You can also stay hydrated by consuming fruit and vegetables that have a high-water content such as pineapple, strawberries, watermelon, zucchini, celery and eggplant, just to name a few, being cautious of the sugar and carb content.
Step 5- Stay Active
This doesn’t just mean going to your local gym or health club and signing up to every class. It can be anything that makes you more active than you were before. The best approach is to find something that you enjoy doing, or find a friend that has similar goals as you and keep each other motivated and accountable. This will give you a better chance of achieving your overall goals. Once you start a routine stick to it as best you can!
Step 6- Get Good Sleep
Just like water, we need sleep to survive. Our brain and body cannot function without sleep. Studies are changing all the time about how much sleep we need. The average should be between seven and eight hours. However, it’s the quality of sleep that’s important. The body cannot be in a healthy state if it is sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation causes stress, which causes hormone imbalance, which can then spiral into a never-ending set of problems.