January detox in four easy steps

Posted on: 06 January 2014 by 50connect editorial

Detox your body after the December excesses and be at your healthy best in 2014.

New Year Detox

Has a month of eating, drinking and sleeping in short snatches between parties left you feeling fat, exhausted and frankly pretty unhealthy? Despite all good intentions most of us succumb to the temptations of the festive onslaught and by January what we really need is a holiday! Since this is not usually an option, why not try the next best thing with these five easy steps to the ultimate January detox!

1 Catch up on some of that lost sleep!

A run of late nights can leave you feeling physically and mentally worn out and prolonged lack of sleep can start to affect your concentration and immune system so its essential to make time for sleep. Schedule a few quiet nights in, eat early, have a warm milky drink and aim to be in bed by 10.30pm at the latest. You may find that after all that hectic partying your sleep patterns have become disturbed making it difficult to fall asleep no matter how tired you are. If all the usual soporifics fail, don’t despair, there are some excellent natural sleep aids around to help ensure a good nights sleep without the side effects which can make you feel sluggish the next day. A good one to try is Valerian. This natural sleep remedy contains a concentrate of the herb Valerian well known for its sedative properties. Just take 1 or 2 tablets an hour before bedtime for a great night of restorative sleep.

Valerian is available over the pharmacy counter in Boots, Superdrug, Tesco, Sainsburys and independent pharmacies nationwide, costing around £9.95 for a pack of 30 tablets.

2 Get rid of those excess pounds!

Eating forms such an integral part of the season’s festivities that it would take a will of iron to resist all the tempting goodies on offer. The result is that we regularly gain at least a few unwanted pounds. Since losing weight appears on the majority of our lists of resolutions we might as well make it easy for ourselves so be ruthless! The party season is over so you really don’t need family sized boxes of chocolates and bumper bags of crisps cluttering up your larder! Get rid of them and make space for some healthy food options. Draw up a sensible eating plan and stick to it. Join forces with a friend if you need some extra encouragement. If you are having a real battle with hunger pangs you could try some natural supplements to support your weight loss. Korean pine kernel oil has increased in popularity in recent years as a weight loss aid - the kernels contain pinlenic acid, which is thought to stimulate production of intestinal hormones that tell your brain when you’ve eaten enough and helps reduce snacking behaviour. A useful complement to pine kernel oil are conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) which help to promote the release of body fat. 

Healthspan CLA, 1,000mg is derived from sunflowers £5.72 (sale price). PinnoThin - 1,000mg Pine Kernel Oil 60 capsules £5.72 

3 Get your metabolism going!

After a few weeks sitting on the sofa and stuffing lots of sugar foods and heavy carbohydrates such as potatoes and pastry your metabolism will be really suffering. These type of high glycaemic foods mean that we over-produce insulin whose job it is to take glucose to the cells for energy, however if we eat too much sugar and carbohydrates the excess glucose is stored as fat and the insulin becomes less effective. There are three key ways to boost metabolism:-

  • Stop eating sugary foods and refined carbohydrates such as white bread, potatoes, and white pasta.

  • Eat a protein rich diet including fresh fish, chicken and pulses. If you do not have a big appetite you can supplement your diet with protein shakes, which you can buy from most health food shops.

  • Try to get exercising; just a 30-minute walk once a day will help kick start the metabolism.

4 Boost your immune system!

How many times do we start the New Year feeling completely run down and susceptible to every cough, cold and virus going? When we don’t look after ourselves the ability of the immune system to cope with the barrage of winter bugs is greatly diminished and we all know how debilitating a heavy cold is.

Add vitamin supplements to your diet to give your system a boost: over the counter supplements such as Vitamin D3, Echinacea, Beta-Glucans and Probiotics can help your immune system throughout the winter months.

Read 50connect immunity boosters guide.

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