It’s the time of year when folks start talking about cleansing and detoxing with heartfelt vows to “start the new year off right.” These conversations make me cringe. For the record, I’m not a fan of cleanses or detoxes of any sort.
I get it – you pigged out and enjoyed the holidays. You’re holding more weight than you want and you’re ready to make some changes. But the truth is, you don’t need to subject your body to a “cleaning.” Quick remedies from detoxes, vegetable juices, pills and self-denial from certain foods might make us feel less guilty, but most experts agree that there is no scientific evidence these approaches work.
Our bodies are amazing and were designed with all we need to remove waste products and toxins – this is an ongoing, natural process. We don’t need to periodically flush ourselves with over-the-counter products or miracle pills. We are already the miracle. So, unless you’re seeking to “clean out” your wallet – steer clear of products and services that offer to detox or cleanse.
If you want to make real and lasting changes, then you must first accept that magical methods don’t exist. Long-term changes are not made with short-term fixes. Over time, I will share with you proven approaches to help you achieve and maintain a healthy and lean body without resorting to crazy diets, or the physical punishment of excessive cardio and training.
As a starting point, adopt these three simple healthy approaches to your everyday routine:
1. Get a good night’s sleep. Sleeping doesn't guarantee you’ll lose weight – but when you’re sleep-deprived your metabolism will not function properly. Experts suggest that a healthy body needs between 7-9 hours of sleep every day. Good sleep habits will help you stay awake and curb the urge to grab sugar-loaded snacks during the day to boost energy.
2. Have some regular activity every day. To happen every day, you need to pick something you like that can become a routine. Doing just a little every day will help you look and feel better immediately. Plus, daily exercise can lead to more exercise – which helps progress toward other health and weight loss goals. Not sure what to start with? Try a half-hour walk.
3. Drink lots of water. Water should be your #1 dietary supplement every single day! This is a natural way to cleanse and detox your body. When you are hydrated, it has a direct impact on your health and your skin. As a result, you look and feel better. When you get dehydrated, the body will pull water from your tissues, making you look older and drawn in. In addition, your mind and body rely on hydration to function at its best. Try and consume about a gallon a day and no less than a half gallon.
Make a commitment today to these healthy habits!