Feeling sluggish? Want to beat the bloat? Take time out from your bad habits and get back into fighting form with this no-effort weekend detox plan.
What the detox plan will do for you:
- You’ll lose weight as a result of cutting out high-kilojoule foods.
- You’ll be supporting your body’s organs. Although our bodies have evolved to shed toxins, our constant intake of pesticides and hormones means that a helping hand is often much needed.
- An abundance of fruit and veg acts as a great boost to your digestive system. Natural fibre acts like a broom, literally clearing out the debris from your insides!
- The exercises will aid your detox: blood flow to your muscles is increased and you’ll be improving muscle tone.
- No alcohol: To give your liver a rest from the toxins in alcohol, have a booze-free weekend.
- Ban saturated fat: Found in animal sources (butter, red meat, etc.), saturated fat increases blood cholesterol.
- Limit sugar: A no-sugar diet is a bit extreme, but sugary foods can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
- Get moving: Even if you do the bare minimum, you need some physical activity to help your body excrete toxins more rapidly.
- Drink lots of water: It needn’t be expensive bottled stuff, plain tap water will do. As well as helping to maintain body temperature and lubricate your joints, water is also essential for helping your body to flush out toxins.
Our weekend detox plan will be easier to stick to if you pick a couple of days when you’re not too active.
- On waking: A glass of cranberry juice. (Cranberry is a natural diuretic and will help with water retention.)
- Breakfast: Vanilla smoothie with a small tub of low-fat yoghurt, ½tsp honey and a couple of drops of vanilla essence.
- Snack: Handful of brazil nuts.
- Lunch: Sliced avocado with prawns and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
- Snack: Fibre-rich snack bar, such as Kellogg’s All Bran Cranberry Bar.
- Dinner: Medium bowl spaghetti Bolognese made with 4tbsp soya mince, 75g wholewheat pasta and veggies (no cheese!).
- On waking: A glass of hot water with a slice of lemon — good for waking the bowels and getting your vitamin C intake.
- Breakfast: A bowl of homemade muesli. Use organic oats with plenty of seeds, such as pumpkin and sunflower. Sweeten with fresh juice or some pre-soaked dried fruit.
- Snack: Mashed banana with a handful of flaked almonds.
- Lunch: Braaied chicken fillet with tomato marinade, a small baked potato and plenty of salad.
- Snack: Fruit salad.
- Dinner: Grilled black pepper salmon steak with tomato and onion salad (serve with lemon juice and a spoon of low-fat yoghurt).
Easy exercises to aid your weekend detox plan
Accelerate the detox process by doing the following each day:
A great exercise for boosting your lymphatic system, which aids in the elimination of waste, but don’t do it if you have any joint problems. Try five minutes in the morning and evening (you can easily break this up into 30-second intervals if you have to). If you don’t have a skipping rope, try these stair exercises instead.
The Pilates hundreds
This exercise works your deep abdominal muscles, helps improve posture and will also boost circulation.
- Lie on your back, knees bent towards your chest and arms at your sides.
- Lift your head and shoulders off the floor. Pump your straightened arms up and down, inhaling for a count of five and exhaling for five.
- Aim for a total of 100 beats — but the objective is to keep your tummy pulled in throughout and your back flat on the floor, so do fewer if need be.
Squeeze a cushion
Muscle-strengthening exercises will help to improve blood flow to cellulite-prone areas such as the thighs. Lie on your back with legs bent and feet flat on the floor and with a cushion sandwiched between your knees. Inhale deeply and, as you exhale, squeeze the cushion as hard as you can. Hold for five seconds and relax. Repeat five times.
Tip: Regular skin brushing encourages the skin to expel toxins. Using a long handled brush, make long, firm strokes towards the heart.