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Sigrid de Castella – ‘Half the Woman I Was’ Author

It seems ‘The Master Cleanse’ is all the rage right now. And, whilst I’m dubious, I thought I’d give it a go.

Google reveals it has three parts: Ease In, the Lemonade Diet — think American home-made lemonade not the fizzy carbonated stuff — and Ease Out. The main detox involves drinking a mixture of maple syrup, lemon juice and cayenne pepper in water anytime you feel hungry. No other food except plenty of water, and a laxative each morning and night.

Many detox-style diets start with drinking lemon juice — to soften stools — and cayenne pepper  — to speed up the metabolism. The maple syrup simply makes the drink taste better and gives you some calories — about 600 a day — so really this is a bit like a ‘Clayton’s’ version of fasting.

It’s suggested the Lemonade Diet is followed for 10-days, however there’s good medical reasons why you shouldn’t exceed 2 days. These are as follows:

  • Your liver requires certain nutrients to function properly.
  • After 48 hours your body’s reserves are depleted and you’ll start  feeling side effects including boredom, irritability, lack of concentration and headaches, as well as a decreased metabolism, despite the cayenne.
  • Plus, in any reduced calorie program muscle, not fat, is the first to be consumed by the body.

With all this in mind, I tried the program. Here’s what I thought.

Day 1:

The Lemonade recipe is far too sweet and the pinch of cayenne is hardly noticeable. What is it with American palates? So I halve the syrup and double the pepper. After the second drink I decide I actually don’t like the taste of maple syrup and the conspiracy theorist in me can’t help but wonder if this cleanse is just clever marketing by the Maple Growers Association. I switch to natural raw or Manuka honey instead for its flavour and health properties.

Drinking loads of filtered water helps with stomach rumblings. The water that does most of the detox anyhow. By late afternoon I finally get to the chemist and buy Nu-Lax, which is fruit based and gentle. My energy levels are good but it’s hard not to eat dinner with my husband.

Day 2:

It’s exit all areas and I’d forgotten how bad stomach cramps and the green apple splatters can be. I wonder again why I thought this was a good idea. By the end of day two my energy levels are starting to wane and the extra bowel movements are limiting my regular activities.

Days 3 onwards:

I start adding whole food back to my diet starting with more liquid type foods. These are vegetable soups, fruit and vegetable smoothies and juices for a few days. But, these are only freshly made from ‘live’ ingredients, not shop bought. This allows my intestines to reacclimatise whilst gradually building up my intake of solid foods.

In Summary:

Sure after a few days I feel better and the scales are lighter, but why wouldn’t they be? Really the whole concept of ‘detox’ is a bit of a fallacy. What’s important to realise is these programs don’t actually detox you, they just allow your intestines to empty more than usual.

And it doesn’t really matter which one you do. They all follow basically the same principle. Eat less, eat only living foods and cut out all animal products, sugars, processed foods, caffeine and alcohol. It’s a pretty simple concept, and one that due to increased fibre consumption with or without a laxative,  that is sure to get results.

More interestingly though, if we didn’t eat all the rubbish in the first place then we wouldn’t feel we need to detox, ever. And the big issue with all these ‘detox’ programs is that when we go off it, we return to our old habits, and therein lies the real issue. If we ate more sensibly, controlled our intake of calories and processed foods and drank lots of water then we’d feel healthier, our weight would stabilise and we’d probably live longer too.

The bottom line is, detox programs are not a quick weight loss fix. The only real weight loss solution is slow, steady portion control, regular exercise and changing your behaviour at a subconscious level. And I should know because that’s exactly how I lost 70 kilograms and kept it off.

Sigrid de Castella is an internationally published author, speaker, and coach in the fields of health and business. Her book Half The Woman I Was– How I lost 70kg naturally, reclaimed my life … and how you can too!” has received international acclaim and has been hailed as the most comprehensive weight loss book on the market. Sigrid has also studied Personal Training with the Fitness Institute Australia and has a keen interest in whole food nutrition, natural therapies and all aspects of physical and mental health. Sigrid and holds a BBA from RMIT University and is a member of both the Australian Institute of Managers and the Australian Society of Authors.

Simone Samuels – Australian Holistic Coach

Detoxification has become a very popular topic in recent years. There are a lot of different approaches and programs for detox on the market.

Personally, I feel that detox, when done improperly, is at best ineffective, and at worst is harmful to your body. However, if we are able to actually reduce exposure to environmental toxins in the first place, then there will be less of a need to spend a ton of money on supplements or programs. In fact, there is no need for expensive supplements, equipment or protocols to see health results such as weight loss, reduced cravings and more energy, as well as improved mental clarity, clear skin, better ingestion and increased immunity.

There are three main areas to focus on in reducing toxicity. The biggest is food and drink, where 90 percent of the toxins we are exposed to come from. The next problem and main source of toxins comes from plastic containers that can are made from a number of chemicals that are potentially harmful. The third area of concern comes from personal and household products, where parabens and phthalates lurk.

One gentle way to cleanse yourself of toxins is through raw foods and leafy greens, as well supporting liver function through fresh juices.  Sweating through exercise and sauna is also a great way to facilitate elimination through the skin, the body’s largest elimination organ. Dry brushing also helps stimulate the skin and open up the pores. There are herbs that you can use to support detoxification of the organs. Also, make sure you are well hydrated, as water helps our body flush out toxins. Finally, use yoga to support  detox. Certain yoga poses are a great way to stimulate and support our bodies’ detox process. Yoga, as a gentle form of exercise, is also a great way to help relieve stress and aid elimination during a detox program.

If you are ready to take detox to the next level, you can do a detox program regularly — about once or twice a year. Detoxification is a process during which you normalize the body’s natural ability to process and excrete toxins that are stored in fat cells, while you temporarily reduce the amount of incoming toxins. So make sure you take a gradual approach that can minimize withdrawal symptoms and sudden toxin release.

Secondly, starving does not equal detox. In fact, detox is a very energy-intensive process, and our body actually uses more energy when it’s asked to do such work. Make sure the program lets you take in enough calories to support the body’s detoxification and elimination process. This is also needed to maintain metabolism so that you avoid weight gain after the program.

Lastly, a well-designed, comprehensive program should include components that address issues of addiction — such as sugar, caffeine, alcohol — prior to start of the program. Withdrawal can be challenging for people dependent on these substances, and these symptoms can be difficult and lead to people quitting the program altogether. And speaking of withdrawal and detox symptoms, a well-designed program should also give you tools to deal with these instances, to help you increase your success rate.

Simone Samuels is an Australian holistic health coach raw food chef. She also comes under the titles of yogini, scuba diver, photographer, fitness lover, writer, world traveller and life adventurer. She believes that being happy and well is a state that everyone deserves to feel, every day. Simone runs the practice Integrated Wellness so she can help busy women to reclaim their wellbeing and empower them to feel happy and hot! Simone received her training as a Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s cutting-edge Health Coach Training Program. During her training, she studied over 100 dietary theories, practical lifestyle management techniques, and innovative coaching methods with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts. She also holds a Master of  Education, and worked as a teacher, trainer and tutor for over a decade before transferring her skills to the role as health coach.

Sputnik – Chief Swashbukler, The Swashbucklers Club (I’m also an ultra runner and author if that is still too weird)

The lure of the quick fix.

Unless you’re the most disciplined of eaters, drinkers and breathers, the reality of our modern world and diet is there’ll be things going into your body that probably really shouldn’t be all the time. Maybe plenty, maybe a few, but there’ll definitely be something going into your body you’d be better off without. Some of these things you have control over. Some, like the air we breathe, less so.

With food companies becoming increasingly sneaky at how they adhere to food labelling requirements, you pretty much need to have a degree in deciphering the frequently misleading food labels to have any chance at all of avoiding all the nasties in foods, even the so called fresh ones. Obviously the best course of action is to get that degree, so that you can avoid them in the first place. The problem is, some of those things you’d be better off without, are, let’s face it, really quite yummy most of the time. So even if you’re making wise choices, chances are those really handy little internal organs, such as your liver, will consider themselves overworked and underpaid at some stage. Which is where a detox can definitely come in handy.

Don’t get me wrong, a detox is not a license to kill. Belting down every toxin known to man for 360-days a year, and then drinking lemon juice in hot water for the other five days, is not what we like to call ‘balance’. That said, a detox is a great way to give things like your liver a bit of a break. Sort of like restarting your computer.

As for what detox is best, well, that’s entirely up to you. You could go for a radical, extreme, short -term one which is an awesome way to get really grumpy, look hard core in front of your friends and get a taste of a real celebrity experience. This can be especially useful if you’re getting to walk the red carpet at a movie premiere or awards show.

But for some, it’s just as good an idea to take a more measured approach. Time to get informed, cut back and even eliminate some of the easy targets from your diet.

Yes, I know some of these toxins are the fun ones that people say they simply can’t live without. Alcohol, caffeine and sugar all spring to mind. But after the initial psychological and physiological rebellion, you might be surprised just how good you feel without these things.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you do them all at once. Unless you’re one of those people who really enjoys pain. But at least putting them on your ‘to not do’ list would be a great start.

I’m always surprised at people who are more than happy to complain about various, obscure artificial flavours and colourings, but are more than happy to chug down countless cups of coffee by day and a few beers or wines at night. The ‘detox’ concept certainly suits our modern day, silver bullet, ‘quick fix’ lifestyle. However, a few days of doing the ‘right’ thing, even in an extreme form, does not and never will make up for the punishment we dish up to our bodies the rest of the year.

For me at least, a much smarter approach is to avoid as many of these toxins as you can in the first place. Not so great for the various companies who rely on us doing the wrong thing to make millions selling us a ‘right thing’ solution.

So instead of a five day detox, how about starting a five months detox plan? Or even a five year one? Hell, why not go the whole hog and make it a lifetime? Just don’t call me when you’re going through your initial alcohol, sugar and caffeine withdrawals. It’s not pretty. But it is worth it.

Have an Out of this World Day!

Since taking up running in 2010, Sputnik has completed numerous road marathons including the New York Marathon as well as a number of ultra trail runs including the Tarawera 100km ultra in Rotorua, NZ and the brutal North Face 100 – a 100km trail race through the Blue Mountains in NSW. His practical, useful and usually at least vaguely entertaining advice and ability to make stupid, difficult and stupidly difficult acts of exercise look a tiny bit enjoyable and possibly even fun has already helped numerous people get off their arses. His mission is to do that a bit more. As testament to his Swashbuckling spirit he has eaten fried tarantulas in Cambodia, climbed active volcanos in Indonesia and been married. In November 2012 Sputnik was part of the first group to ever race the 200+km Manaslu Mountain Trail in Nepal and finished in a blaze of glory several days before everyone else – when he was helivac’d off the mountain half way through after almost dying. He’s fine now though and stands by his motto thatOrdinary is the enemy and must be avoided at all costs”.

Ali Cavill (Ali Cat) – Fitness Fashionista

A detox, or detoxification, is a natural process the body undergoes to eliminate or neutralise wastes and toxins to prevent disease and harm to body tissue. In the modern world we are exposed to any number of toxins on a daily basis including food additives, cigarette smoke, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones in food, as well as chemicals from food packaging, household cleaners, detergents, heavy metals, pollution, drugs and alcohol.

Our bodies are designed to undergo a natural detox, with the liver, intestines, kidneys and lungs, along with the skin, blood and lymphatic systems working together to ensure that toxins are transformed chemically into less harmful compounds and then excreted from the body. However, many people through lack of knowledge and expertise, time, resources and money may use a diet to cleanse the body. These diets  lack the nutrients required for this process and impair the body’s natural ability to detoxify chemicals, which further leads to toxin build-up in the body.

However, despite this, detox diets have seen a massive increase in popularity over the last decade and are available in a wide range of forms including package and store bought detox products, juice detox, body wraps, and even, cosmetic methods and surgical procedures such as colonic hydrotherapy and the exclusion or restriction of foods in our diets. A detox diet is designed to eliminate the harmful toxins from our body in a short time, performing the function that our body is otherwise not performing adequately. There is also a common belief that a detox may kick start the metabolism and aid in weight loss, skin repair and hydration, however there is limited evidence to suggest that a detox can lead to permanent weight loss.

There are benefits to detoxification in that it encourages people to drink plenty of water, eat plenty of natural foods, such as vegetables, and even suggests the addition of various herbs and supplements. However, there are side effects to a detox that can be harmful.

A detox diet, similar to a fad diet, can recommend unsafe practices such as prolonged fasting and severe food restrictions, which can lead to a slowdown in your metabolism. These, in turn, have the opposite effect, making users actually gain weight. Then the benefits of any initial weight loss are reduced each time you try and fast.

In essence, a cleanse or detox plan that suggests adding more fresh and natural foods to your diet such as legumes, vegetables, lean protein, fruit and wholegrain cereals can eliminate non-essentials from your system. These include alcohol, coffee and nicotine. Plus, detox promotes  the consumption of plenty of liquids as well as regular sleep and exercise. All, of which, are great ideas. It is the extreme or sporadic detox practices based on little scientific data that can be hazardous. So, go fresh and natural and soon your body will recover to again take care of itself.

A successful personal trainer and owner of Fit Fantastic, Ali is also a popular group fitness instructor and an accomplished consultant, writer and speaker on fitness and health topics within the community. As Rockwear Ambassador and ‘superstar’ for the Australian Institute of Fitness, Ali is spreading her energy across the country by mentoring upcoming fitness professionals and making appearances at schools, charity and community events. In her spare time, Ali acts. She has appeared in the Australian Institute of Fitness National ad campaign as well as Home & Away, Biggest Loser, The Circle, Great Gatsby and other productions. Ali is also tertiary trained as an HR Manager, having held such positions within NSW Government.

Nick Jack – CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach and Personal Trainer

Detox diets have become a massive hit over the past few years, which, in my opinion, is a great thing. It has made people aware of the need to cleanse their body from all the toxins they are exposed to whether this be nutritional or environmental. But unfortunately, many people see a detox as a means to losing weight and miss the mark completely with what the intention of a detox actually is. And even worse still, some of these detoxification systems are designed and marketed that way so that they will sell more products.

To undertake a detoxification diet, you must fully understand what it is you are trying to detoxify yourself from and then arm yourself with reliable proven knowledge and a good plan. I can, personally, relate to this, as I have firsthand knowledge and have completed two intense detox diets myself. Both to great effect. My first was in 2010 and the second in 2011.

The reason for me doing this was not for weight loss but to help me with a skin condition and to improve my health. See over the past few years I had developed a chronic case of Psoriasis on my knees, elbows and scalp, which was gradually getting worse. I had seen as many as eight different general practitioners and numerous skin specialists, who all prescribed some sort of cream or ointment. Many had side effects that were worse than the skin condition. Not one doctor I saw looked into my food or considered the environmental factors that were contributing to my condition.

2010 DETOX

Throughout my training with Paul Chek I had become aware of the dangers of parasites and fungal conditions that could cause my sort of skin problem. I read many books, the best one being “The Fungus Link” by Doug Kaufman, and I then began trying to rid myself of the fungus. I learnt that I had to starve the fungus and then kill the fungus. This meant I had to avoid all grains, all sugars, all yeast products and all fruits and certain nuts, such as peanuts.

This was how I starved my fungus.

Then to kill the fungus, I had to drink a juice made of carrots, cider vinegar and caprylic acid.

All of this seemed to work quite well for a while, but I could not seem to rid myself of the problem completely. So I looked at my environment and got rid of all the toxic chemicals in my house, especially in my bathroom and bedroom. I changed to organic laundry powders, used Goat’s Milk soap and tried to rid my living area of any form of fungus. Again this worked a little, but I still did not see any significant change.

2011 DETOX

After some good results in 2010, but not completely ridding myself of Psoriasis I came across a detox package from a company called Sonnes. I had spoken to Paul Chek about this and also another highly regarded Chek Practitioner. Both advised me to try this detox package.

The package told me  it was a seven day, no food, fasting detox. This meant that all I would eat for seven days were organic supplements in the form of capsules. These were mainly wheatgrass and beets. I also to drink several intestinal cleansing drinks made up of volcanic clay.

This detox claimed that unless all faecal matter was removed, then no amount of drugs, vitamins or operations would rid the body of chronic ailments. A seven day fast would give the glands and organs a well needed rest to repair and rid themselves of any bacterial or fungal infections. I also had to book in to get colonic irrigation completed two to three times in that week.

So, I started the detox and by the 2nd day I was violently ill. I could not stop vomiting for several hours. Prior to that I had been going to the toilet over the past few days and my bowels were eliminating a dark black looking faecal matter that looked like it was coming from the depths of hell.

I could not believe how many times I had to go visit the toilet, especially considering I had not eaten anything for nearly 48 hours.

Once I stopped being sick, I could not take the supplements and definitely could not drink any more of the drink. So I started eating again, slowly, and almost instantly I felt normal.

Two weeks later I had my first colonic irrigation. The day after the treatment I developed flu symptoms, where I had a fever for seven days, lost my voice for two weeks and had a very chesty cough and runny nose that lasted three months.

But, guess what?

For the first time in over 10 years I had completely rid myself of Psoriasis on my left elbow and left knee. Plus, it was almost gone on my right knee with only a partial bit left on my right elbow. It had almost vanished.

I am not telling you my story to try and sell you this detox because we are different. But, I did want to show you how effective investigation and searching for the right detox for your condition can have remarkable results.

Both Doug Kauffman’s, Fungus Link Diet and the Sonnes’ 7 Day Cleanse provided me with ample research and material that backed-up their claims and both have stood the test of time. Sonnes has been around for 50 years. Therefore, in conclusion, I highly recommend taking a detox diet and also cleaning up all the toxins in your environment. Your body will greatly appreciate it.

Nick Jack is a qualified CHEK Exercise Coach, Level II Holistic Lifestyle Coach and personal trainer. He runs a personal training business called NO Regrets Personal Training.

Nick likes to lift weights, cycle, run and triathlon. He has played almost every sport at one time in his life. Now, he enjoys spending time walking his dog and relaxing with his wife and friends.

Kris Etheridge –  Sports Movement, Strength Conditioning and, Balance and Agility Trainer

Lose five kilograms in five days, cleanse your body of toxins, get red carpet ready without exercising, the claims go on and on but is there any proof that following a detox diet has any weight loss or health benefits?

Health benefits

Scientists from the Sense About Science Organization found no evidence that commercial detoxes have any health benefits, and, in fact, stated they view detoxes as a “waste of money” and totally unnecessary. This view is echoed by many doctors and scientists however, some doctors believe a liver cleansing diet that emphasizes drinking eight to12 glasses of water per day, avoiding dairy and increasing the amount of veggies, fruits, nuts and health fats you consume could have liver cleansing and health promoting benefits, along with eating only poultry and fish for protein.

Fat Loss

It’s true that if you go on a liquid detox you will lose “weight” and most likely some body fat with it.

However there are a few things you should know before you run out and buy one.

Firstly, weight loss is a simple game of numbers. If your body requires 2000 calories per day to function and you only eat 1500 calories your body will get the other 500 calories it needs from your body fat stores. Do this on a recurring basis and you will lose body fat and body weight.

Liquid detox diets cause you to lose weight because they are very low in calories requiring your body to use its body fat stores for energy to make up the difference in energy. The problem with these diets is that they are usually very low in protein. So if your body is lacking in protein it will then start to cannibalize your muscle mass instead.

This happens for three reasons. The first reason you lose muscle mass is because the human body prefers to use muscle for energy over body fat when a low calorie, low protein diet is followed. The second is your body gets the protein it needs to function by breaking down your muscle. And the third is your body cannibalizes it’s muscle to reduce the number of calories and energy that it needs. Basically, your body is trying to change from being a fuel hungry sports car to a fuel-efficient hybrid to ensure that you don’t run out of body fat, because it knows body fat is essential to life.

But I lose weight almost instantly

You lose weight quickly on these diets because your not eating solids. By not eating solids you flush all of the digestive matter in your intestinal tract and bowel out, which makes you weigh less. This will occur on the scales until you start eating again, which will cause you to gain some of the weight back just as fast.

Keeping the weight off

Reducing your muscle mass has implications later down the road when it comes to keeping the weight off. When you reduce your muscle mass you no longer burn as many calories making it easier to gain weight. But, what makes it worse is that building your muscle mass back up is a very slow process.

To detox or not to detox?

In my opinion there is no need to follow a liquid detox to rid the body of toxins, improve health or to lose weight. I believe if you’re somebody who eats large amounts of junk food, smokes, and drinks large amounts of coffee, soft drinks or excessive amounts of alcohol, then by switching to a high fibre, nutrient rich diet will improve your health. Especially if this diet consists of mainly veggies, fruits and nuts, as well as lean meats and healthy fats and is combined with plenty of water, sleep and exercise.

The human body is extremely efficient at ridding itself of toxins. It can do this on its own. In fact, it has an entire system for this — liver, kidneys, lungs and skin — all we need to do is eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water and get enough sleep, along with moving more and enjoying life.

Kris Etheridge is a Melbourne based health and fitness expert that has delivered over 20,000 personal training sessions in the last 10 years. Kris has worked with world champion athletes and numerous well known celebrities. He is currently working on his first female weight loss book, which is due out later in 2012.As a fitness expert, Kris is always looking for ways to help more people live a healthier life. He is a certified personal trainer,  sports movement, strength conditioning and, balance and agility trainer,  a  level one and two boxing and Thump boxing trainer, level one and two kettle-bell instructor, a Rip 60 certified instructor and a certified Cirq instructor.

Anthony “Chief” Ippindo – Director of Holistic Fitness Australia at Fox Studios

What was once used by doctors and nutritionists as a purifying system to cleanse the body of impurities and to get the organs functioning better, has become a revolutionary weight loss treatment known as detoxification.

These days, detox is sold as a weightloss program first, and hey, while your at it, you can cleanse your internal system second, as an added bonus. Regardless of the outcome though, you should come out of a detox session with a greater appreciation for good wholesome food as you reduce the intake of processed food to a bare minimum. So bearing this in mind, let’s take a look at firstly what detox is, the pros and cons that come with it and the different types that are available.

What is Detoxing?

Detoxing can be defined as cleansing the body from poisons and toxins that may have accumulated in the colon, lymph and lungs, as well as the gallbladder, skin, blood, kidneys and liver. Basically, it gives our bodies the chance to clear itself of toxins and allows these organs to more effective do their job in the future. So where do these toxins come from? Well, they usually derive from foods, beverages and alcohol, smoking, drugs and stress, and when consumed in excess these can leave a person feeling tired, sick and overweight.

Detoxing consists of:

Lessening the burden on the organs that cleanse the body by reducing the body’s exposure to pollutions and toxins for set period of time. A restricted, healthy diet accompanied by certain supplements can help us to eliminate the toxins in our body. However, detox programs can vary greatly, between restricting intake to juice only to only eating a diet that consists mainly of vegetables, fruit and wholegrains.

Benefits of Detoxing

Potential benefits of detoxing include:

  • The elimination of toxins and poisons that have been running through your body.
  • A dramatic increase in feelings of vitality and well being.
  • A cleansed colon that prevents constipation that may cause fatigue, lethargy and bloating.
  • A reduction in food consumption.
  • Whilst the amount of food is generally unlimited on a detox, many experience a decrease in appetite that may be attributed to the limited food types.
  • Weight loss that may be contributed to a healthier diet, and to the flushing of retained water and fat cells.
  • A strengthened immune system that is freed from dealing with the consumption of toxins every day.
  • The clearance of congestion and mucous, as well as gastrointestinal inflammation and fermentation.
  • The reformation of bad lifestyle habits such as junk food addictions, smoking and alcohol consumption.

Disadvantages of Detoxing

  • Lowered Immunity
  • Upset stomachs and Diarrhea
  • Headaches and nausea
  • Some individuals experience limited weight loss, or weight that quickly returns once the detox is over once old habits return.

Types of Detoxes

There are many types of detox diets to choose from. Some popular detox diets include:

  • Juice fasting
  • Master cleanse diet
  • Lemon Detox diet
  • Raw food detox diet

In closing, I think there is a need for us all to detoxify at some point, every year, as our diet and lifestyle can sometimes hit rock bottom and this places stress on the body. How many times you detoxify depends on how often you hit this level.

All the best in Health.

Anthony “Chief” Ippindo is a dedicated fitness professional, who is an AFL football player and physical conditioning coach that has a career spanning over 10 years. Anthony has a Bachelors in Sports Science and is a qualified strength and conditioning coach, which has enabled him to work with elite athletes from AFL football, hockey and tennis to rowing and high performance diving at the South Australian Institute Of Sport. In addition, Anthony has also studied a holistic approach to exercise under Paul Chek to become a qualified exercise coach and a level II holistic lifestyle coach. This has enabled him to move forward from personal training to become a holistic lifestyle coach. Breakfast isn’t called that by random or accident. The word literally means to ‘break the fast’ meaning that the overnight fasting period that is caused by sleep is broken. Breakfast serves to fire up the metabolism and replenish your glucose and essential nutrients, which are required to keep you humming along smoothly throughout the day.

Mathew Skate – 2008 QLD Marathon Champion, Life Coach and Personal Trainer

In today’s society, the word “detox diet” normally comes to mind for many people who have decided they have let themselves go and have packed on a few too many kilos than they would like. You don’t have to look too hard to find the word detox in a magazine, television, or health food store. In fact, the chances are you or someone you know has tried some form of detox diet.

What exactly is a detox diet?

Most people associate the word detox, short for detoxification, with people who have an addiction to alcohol or other substances that raise the toxic levels of the body. These addictions, if not managed, will start to produce negative effects on many internal organs, especially those organs that filter much of the toxins such as the liver and kidneys.

The lemon juice detox is very popular with celebrities and anyone who wants to get amazing health and weight loss results. Companies that tend to market these types of detox diets will often  go to great lengths to convince anyone that they have the best solution. The promise of “magic” pills and powders or a lemon juice concoction are very tempting, but they  will often produce short-term weight loss results due to glycogen depletion and water loss. The problem is, these detox diets are not sustainable long-term and many people often regain their weight and more. This will undoubtedly leave a very sour taste in your mouth. Pardon the pun.

A quick Google search of “detox diet” will result in websites proclaiming to take “extreme care” and some even suggest to only partaking in “detox under your GPs supervision or a naturopath”. There is no clear-cut evidence or research to suggest that detox diets are beneficial. There is, however, plenty of companies who are more than happy to suggest that a detox diet is the first step to changing your life.

With all this conflicting information  how do you decide if you should detox?

First of all, you need to establish if you have an excess of toxins in your body. The consumption of cigarettes, alcohol and a poor diet consisting of processed foods and sugars will all lead to a build-up of toxins in your body. Stress and many other external factors will also contribute to the build-up of toxins and it is a very good idea to remove these from your body.

So, how do you detox?

Without getting too technical and scientific, the best way to rid your body of toxins is to cut out highly processed foods and sugars. Busy and stressed? Then you need some ME time.

What do you replace these processed foods and sugars with?

Real food is a good start. What I mean by real food is whole nutritious food with a high concentration of nutritional value. Some good examples are as follows:

Proteins – Protein is our building block to maintaining our muscle mass which creates a metabolism that will enable you to burn fat more effectively. Lean meat, fish and nuts are all good sources of protein.

Greens plant food – Want extra energy? Then eat plenty of greens. These are great for digestive health and will also promote fat loss.

Every other coloured plant food – Fibre, healthy carbohydrates, as opposed to processed food carbohydrates, phytonutrients and many  more micronutrients are contained in these foods. Overall, these aid in maintaining a healthy body.

Maintaining a healthy diet of whole foods with plenty of good quality protein, carbohydrates and fats, omega 3 and  6, will ensure that you do not build up an excess of toxins in your body.

Think of somebody you know who is extremely healthy and is meticulous with their diet. When you think about it, chances are their diet already eliminates bad toxins from their body. The difference here is not so much in having a detox diet to eliminate toxins, but to select  the healthy alternative which is sustainable long-term.

Matt Skate is a life coach and personal trainer. He served in the Australian Army for 19 years as a physical training instructor and then started Weight to Life in 2011.

Matt assists people to lose weight and create a healthier lifestyle by helping them break through their negative beliefs, behaviours, and expectations. He loves to train in all forms and at all levels of fitness and was crowned the QLD Marathon champion in 2008.

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