Its January… our bodies have just about survived the Christmas & New Year food and drink extravaganza, we are feeling guilty and bloated, and so it seems many of us feel the urge to detox.
The media and celebrities are full of all sorts of weird and wonderful plans that are apparently going to magically make you healthier and more attractive – it’s a mind field of contradictions!
But what exactly is a detox? The free dictionary defines it as ‘treatment designed to rid the body of poisonous substances’ and gives the most common examples of such substances as alcohol and drugs. That makes sense, fair enough I say – having a ‘dry January’ is pretty common and most wouldn’t argue that alcohol and drugs are poisonous. But there’s quite a big leap between this and some of the detox diets you hear about that seem to consist almost entirely of liquefied vegetables and water! 
So what should we be doing? How extreme do we need to be to really ‘detox’? Just cut out one thing or all the ‘bad things’? The answer is… I don’t know! But fear not, read on, as a physiotherapist, here’s what I do know…
  • When it comes to alcohol, sources recommend at least 2 alcohol free days a week. This is due to the fact that the liver is a regenerative organ, it can recover itself within days not weeks.
  • Research shows that cutting things out is not a sustainable practice for good health and extreme diets are more likely to result in yo-yo weight loss & gain. 
  • “No food can burn fat; only physical activity can do that” BDA 2010
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! The key to weight loss is eat less, move more. 
  • Moderate exercise is very good for you – the government recommends a minimum of 30 minutes, 5 days a week just to maintain good health. Exercise and physiotherapy go hand in hand. 
  • If you haven’t exercised in months or more, start slowly and build up. If you have an injury preventing you from exercising, physiotherapy can help. 
  • We need a balanced diet to get all the nutrients we need; protein is the bodies building block, carbohydrates are the fuel, fruit & veg and dairy provide most of the vitamins & minerals we need to look and feel good.
  • Statistically as a nation most of us eat too much fat, sugar and salt – and these are the major risk factors for heart disease and many other conditions.

Research has also shown that positively expressed goals are more effective than negative ones and being focused on fewer goals is better than too many.

So, this year, make those New Years resolutions about what you are going to do, keep it simple and concise & don’t worry about the detox crazies! 
If you like what you read, Follow me on Twitter for more or win a few cases of detoxing Jax Coconut Water by liking us on Facebook
Happy New Year,
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