Ditching the detox this New Year

Merry Christmas guys!

Tis’ the season to be festive, drink lots of Baileys and eat lots of turkey (or nut roasts… no discrimination here!)

After a lovely festive season where food seems to be the centre of all social events (woo) many people begin to look at extreme diets. We have all heard people say “2018 is my year” “The diet starts January 1st” and a personal favourite “New year, new me!” Whether that be through detoxing, juicing, calorie restriction or eliminating food groups from the diet, there will be some kind of product available to ‘help’ you achieve this.

If this sounds like you then you are not alone and as good as people’s intentions are you may be spending time and money on something you don’t need to.

Ditching the detox is something that you may hear many Registered Nutritionists and Dietitians talking about and for most of us detoxing is unnecessary.

A detox may indicate that our body is full of toxins and unless we ‘detox’ they will just begin to build up in the body.  Thanks to our kidneys and liver working all day, every day, this is simply not the case.

A detox can comes in many different fad forms. Here is a little myth busting on the top three I get asked about:

 

Juicing

This can be anything from days to weeks consisting of consuming nothing but juices. The idea of juicing may have started with good intentions, you are contributing to your 5 a day and consuming lots of vitamins and minerals after all. However, you are also consuming a lot of free sugars when the fruit is blended or juiced as well as losing some of the fibre, which can help keep our gut happy. Public Health England recommend that we limit our fruit juice and smoothie intake to around 150ml per day to limit the free sugars in our diet.

 

Detox teas

A lot of these products are a marketing dream, claiming to detox you from all the ‘bad’ foods you have eaten and all the alcohol you may have drank. I wont rant on about these too much but I would advise you not to waste your money on them. If you are wanting to check out how valid their claims are, visit the ASA website and see how many of them get pulled up on false advertising.

 

Eliminating food groups

Unless there is a medical reason to why you should cut key food groups out of your diet then this is something you can definitely ditch. Carbohydrates, protein, fats, fruit, vegetables and dairy/dairy alternatives all contribute to a healthy, balanced diet. Removing one of these core food groups from your diet without advice from a Registered Nutritionist or Dietitian could cause you more harm than good. Carbohydrates may seem like the enemy on social media but wholegrain varieties can help towards your fibre intake and should be our main source of energy. Lets give carbs a break in 2018 please!

 

How to ditch the detox…

  • Firstly, think about why you are starting this ‘detox’ journey in January, is it really the best time for you to be spending more time focusing on your diet? The ‘new you’ can start whenever, so don’t feel you have to rush into a quick fix.
  • Don’t start panicking by downloading calorie counting apps and throwing the pasta away just yet. Take a step back and look at your diet and how it makes you feel. If it is overwhelming then speak to a professional.
  • Do not listen to ‘Sally from down the road’ when it comes to nutrition advice, if you are willing to spend over the odds on heavily marketed products you may as well see a Registered professional for real, trustworthy advice.
  • Remember we are all different, ‘Sally’ may have a completely different lifestyle to you. ‘Sally’ may feel better for cutting red meat out of her diet but is she feeling better because of this or is she possibly eating more fish, veggies and overall variety which she may have never had before.
  • Is your health professional actually a professional? Or do they have very good marketing to get them over 10,000 followers on Instagram? If you want nutrition advice that you can trust and can help with your lifestyle check out the Association for Nutrition Register.
  • There are some amazing PTs out there but are they qualified nutritionists? If something doesn’t sound right then question them and ask for evidence. A true professional should be more than happy to provide you with references if they are credible.
  • Try and drop the guilt surrounding food and Christmas. Yes we may eat too much but no doubt you are having a great time when you are, so remember memories will be what you look back on, not how much protein you ate that day.

 

I am more than happy to answer any questions on detoxes. If you hear of a new one that has come out this New Year that you may be unsure on then I am happy to have a look into it for you guys.

Have a great festive season and see you in 2018 🙂

Sarah x

 

*Disclaimers:

I have no personal grudge against anyone called Sally. 

 I have been in two minds about if I should post this blog. Everyone has different relationships with food and if this time of year brings anxiety or any stress to your eating habits then please get in touch. 

 

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