Many New Year’s resolutions include short-term detoxes, cleanses, fasts or diets.  The topic of detox always generates many questions and inquiries and I wanted to share some ideas.

As with everything else in nutrition, the topic cleanses and detoxes has divided audiences and this article will not discuss the merit either side. The following tips are designed to help you finding the possible way if you decide to go a program.

1  |   Don’t go extreme

As with any nutritional change, don’t go extreme, even for a short period time – short term programs often have no long-term effect. Never cut out entire food groups to only follow a trend (with the only exception food allergies). Every food group provides it’s very own minerals, vitamins and other beneficial micronutrients and cutting out one or more food groups completely from your daily eating routine (even only for a short period time)  can be detrimental to health. But in case you have to –  do it with an experienced practitioner who can also provide support during the time the program.

2  |  Know what you do

This goes for any type diet, cleanse or detox program – make sure you know what you do. Cutting out proteins, carbs or any other macro nutrient without making up for them by using appropriate equivalences may result in problems, even when done short term.

3  |  Have your annual Doctor’s checkup

Before going on any program, talk to your Doctor and have your annual checkup (every legitimate program will ask you to do so anyway). Knowing your blood sugar level, cholesterol and preferably a Vitamin/Mineral panel will tell you how much in need your body is certain nutritional elements or what you might lack. If you are low on certain vitamins or minerals, detoxes or cleanses can be even dangerous.

4  |  Do your research and beware false promises

Don’t just download something with great promises on the web from “someone with a passion for health”, even if popular. Check educational credentials, verify studies and cited sources that support the program. Apply common sense to promises. “Losing 10 pounds in 2 weeks” or “No workout needed” are just not valid promises. And remember we are all bio-individual, a detox that works great for a friend might not be appropriate for your body composition.

5  |   Plan for a healthy routine AFTER the detox

The biggroblem with detoxes are the short timelines. If the program is a starting point for you and you intend to maintain a healthy eating pattern AFTERWARDS, it’s great. But if you just plan for a couple weeks detox and then return to prior habits, it will only result in frustration and relapse – even eating more to make up for the “starvation” period. There is just no sustained weight loss or health change within 3 or 4 weeks.

 


 If you don’t want to go on extreme diets or cleanses for short periods time, here are a few tips for making a long-term resolution for the New year to achieve sustainable healthy lifestyle changes:

 

1  |  Start SLOW

Introduce one healthy food per week. Eat some carrots or any veggie your choice in addition to your regular meal plan. Serve it with your favorite dip as a snack once a day, or exchange a soda with a cup tea your choice. Small steps go a long way.

2  | Crowd in – not out

Getting rid your favorite food(s) entirely is not going to work in the long run. Don’t start by crowding out your favorite foods. Instead try to crowd in healthier options, For example, if you like pizza, modify the dough to make your own with an easy to make, healthier flour. Cooking can be a family event – and it is not only healthier, but much easier on the budget than going out. There is an abundance healthy replacements for almost every food and recipe available, contact me if you have any questions, I specialize in healthy recipe creation and modification.

3  |  Don’t apply a timeline to your efforts

Consider your change permanently. Introducing one carrot a day is 365 carrots more than the year before.  And – don’t work towards a short term goal – you will only neglect it when the “time is up” and return to old habits.

4  |   Have fun

Once in awhile, we all need to indulge. Changes in your eating routine should never make you miserable. Make sure the lifestyle change you choose makes you happy and stand up for it, no matter what trends or others say. There are healthy lifestyle options without chewing on celery sticks all day … remember, eating is fun and we all need fun in our lives to be happy!

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Please call me with any questions you might have 770.778.3535. I would love to hear from you! 

Yvonne Wilhelmi
Health Coach

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