If there’s one word that sends a shiver down the spine of millions, it’s ‘detox’. Letting go of our vices can be hard work, both physically and emotionally, so it’s no surprise that we continually put off the inevitable. Getting your head in the game can be as hard as scoring a goal for England, so it’s vital to prepare and focus on the end result – a healthy attitude, a weight off your shoulders and bounds of energy. I’ve tried many detox plans, home delivery services and diets, but over the last couple of weeks I’ve motivated myself enough to go it alone. The services offered by brands such as Soulmate, Nosh and Nourished may be great at starting you off and filling you up, but they’re only temporary and are often pretty pricey. Here are my top tips for giving yourself a DIY detox, ensuring you’re ‘spring cleaned’ inside and out come the warmer months.
1. Get your head in the game
There’s a reason why 95% of diets and detoxes fail: people don’t prepare themselves or really focus on what they want to achieve. Like anything in life, if you’re not 100% dedicated you won’t achieve what you set out to do. If it’s important enough for you to detox, then there’s a reason behind the change – do you want to lose a little excess weight, stop bloating, cleanse after over-indulgence, clean up your eating habits or just make a difference to your skin? If you focus on the end result and how you’ll feel when you achieve it, this will hopefully give you enough determination to kick start your plan. Every time you go to reach for the chocolate, just think about how that will make you step back; what’s the point in trying if you’re going to ruin your hard work with one mouthful of Dairy Milk?
2. Prepare your fridge
If you lack willpower then you need to detox your fridge. Remove anything unhealthy or that could tempt you back into bad ways, filling it instead with tonnes of fresh fruit and veg. Buy fresh eggs, meat, fish and yogurt so there’s plenty to keep you going and enough variety to keep your tummy interested. There’s nothing worse than coming home to an empty cupboard and reaching for the frozen pizza as a quick fix. I always find if I have a fridge full of fresh produce that I feel pressured into cooking and eating it before it goes off – never do I eat healthier than after a speedy trip to Sainsburys! You’ll be flabbergasted at what tasty things you can throw together with a couple of eggs and some leeks… And this coming from the worst cook since Elle Woods.
3. Shout it out loud
I know shouting out that you’re on a diet is a little bit embarassing, but you’ll be surprised how supportive friends and collegues will be if you tell them you’re on a detox. The girls in my office frequently tell me off if I say I want some pick n mix, and they always come back with a herbal tea rather than coffee on a tea run – without their support it would be a lot harder to focus. Similarly, use your friends like your own personal cheerleading troop: nobody feels better than when your mates tell you what a good job you’re doing. Telling people is much easier than hiding it too; lies can be exhausting, so be straight up and honest about what you’re doing and why.
4. Take your Vs
When you go on a detox it’s really important to be taking vitamins and supplements. You need to be replacing some of the minerals you’re not consuming, as well as keeping your immune system up. At the moment I’m taking Iron, Zinc and Vitamin C, as well as adding in super-berry Acai and a sprinkling of Aloe Vera. Acai is world-renowned for helping to boost your metabolism and acting as an antioxidant, while Aloe Vera acts as a natural colon cleanse to get rid of nasties. I’d thoroughly recommend a trip to Holland & Barrett where you can browse all the different shelves and pick a combination of vitamins that suits your need.
5. Be aware of your surroundings
The biggest hurdle when you’re trying not to be bad is the dreaded ‘food envy’. How often do you walk down the street and spot someone carrying a latte, then find yourself thinking you could kill for a double-shot-no-foam-skinny-hazelenut-latte? Or when in a restaurant you see someone else order a chocolate cake – you’d almost trade in your grandma for a bite? You need to rationalise these lusting moments, because you don’t really want that stuff at all – if you sit back, think about why you wanted it (i.e. because you’re being a greedy bugger) then I guarantee the need will pass in a few minutes.
The key to success is focusing on your goal and rationalising your choices. If you give up the cake today, then this weekend you can enjoy that Sunday roast guilt-free. If you pass on the wine all week, you just know you’ll get a better nights rest and your skin will look fresh as a daisy. It’s not easy, but just a week of self-imposed detoxing can leave you feeling like a new person. For the last couple of weeks I’ve given up all caffeine, sugar and carbs, replacing everything with fruit and vegetables; the result has left me bounding with energy, clearer skin, a fresher mind, less bloating and generally feeling like I’ve lost 5yrs. I couldn’t recommend it more. What are your top detoxing tips?