I am a big believer of using the foods we eat as medicine, as opposed to countless pills and tablets to sort us out. I take a very natural approach to being healthy, it works.

I am not a big promoter of ‘going on a diet’, this will always be as far as I’m concerned a short term solution to your problem. What we are trying to achieve is a long term solution of consistent gradual fat loss through healthy eating choices and a good exercise programme.

Before starting your new healthy eating initiative the first step I would advise is to undergo a period of detoxification.

Why is it so important to detox before changing your nutritional habits?

This will help you to get rid of some of the initial fat loss, give you a good start to eating right but most importantly get rid of a lot of the harmful toxins which will prevent you from losing fat effectively.

As you know the benefits and advantages of detoxification are becoming an increasingly popular method of regaining control of our health. A fully working body will be best for getting rid of excess fat and weight. So many people go on a diet without a period of detoxification first. They cut out all of the bad things that they consume at once and as they haven’t detoxed first they often become ill a few weeks into their diet as their liver can’t handle the pressure its being put under due to the removal of all the toxins at once.

This leads to one thing which is returning to the bad habits and putting the weight (and maybe more) back on.

I read somewhere this week that the average American will consume 14 pounds of toxins a year! That is 1 stone!

Your body is a fantastic thing with so many brilliant functions, one of the ways that the body responds to all of these harmful toxins darting around your body causing damage is to place these toxins into the ‘best place’ possible, your fat tissue.

This is a helpful measure as the toxins are no longer being carried around the body to some of the vital organs in the blood but it is now stored as fat. This makes the whole weight loss process a lot more difficult.

So as I mentioned above you should begin to make your long term healthy eating changes post detox, this way your body will have got rid of a lot of the harmful toxins which have been holding back your attempts to lose weight.

So I will just briefly touch upon toxins and how they do affect our weight.

How are toxins linked to increased fat levels?

You are born with a certain amount of fat cells, if you do put on weight your fat cells get larger rather than multiplying. Toxins like pesticides which we are subject to on a day to day basis cause damage to your fat cells which prevent them from working properly i.e. getting smaller (losing weight).

What foods should I eat on a detox?

The best foods to eat on a detox (and post detox) are foods in their most natural form. Try and get organic food as much as possible, these will contain a lot less chemicals and toxins than non organic foods. Any processed foods such as microwave meals and a big no no on a detox and should be avoided. Stick to foods such as:
• Grains
• Herbs and spices
• Oils
• Nuts and seeds
• Fish
• Beans, pulses and legumes
• Fruit
• Vegetables
• Quality meat

You can detox for any period between 3-28 days, 28 days will bring the most benefits but is obviously more difficult to stick to. What I will say though is you get used to it and the food choices aren’t limited so it should soon just become normal, post detox you will probably find that you won’t want to go back to many of the foods you cut out in the first place because of how much better you feel now.

I would say that a 2-4 week detox is the best start you could possibly make to change your nutritional habits long term. You could detox just once or every few months/a couple of times a year depending on your progress. So forget about the new fancy diet which will promise you lose 1 stone a month, just detox and then take on board everything you learnt on the detox about healthy eating and take it from there.

Thanks for reading and good luck,

Richard Clarke

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