Looking for ways to shed the extra weight from the holidays? Here’s good news: Simple tweaks to your diet can bring in the results you desire. Studies show that slashing 500 calories (or roughly the equivalent of two cups of rice) per day can lead to weight loss of one to two pounds per week (a.k.a. the ideal, healthy amount of weight loss). Pair these healthy eating tricks with regular exercise (a report in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise says that it only takes at least 35 minutes a day of physical activity to drop excess pounds), and you’ll be on your way to a healthier, fitter y-o-u.
Ready to start eating clean? Read on for five of the easiest, healthiest ways to detox.
H20 is the way to go
You know this, but a little reminder won't hurt: Drinking water is essential for your health. Aside from it balancing your body fluids, it is also a natural way to flush out toxins from your system. When you drink plenty of water, it helps prevent constipation and cleans out your digestive system, too—particularly, when you combine it with a well-balanced diet.
Another perk of drinking up? Staying hydrated keeps your skin looking healthy and supple. A word of warning, though: Stick to the recommend eight glasses (or 2.2 liters) of water a day. Studies show that overhydration can throw off the balance between sodium and water in your blood.
Fill up with superfoods
Power up your meals with superfoods. These are nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Tomatoes, blueberries, kale, black beans, broccoli, salmon, avocado, apples, carrots, and walnuts are some of the most common superfoods. Plus, they’re really easy to add to any of your meals and staple dishes.
Cut your sugar intake
Think twice before reaching for that bottle of soda. According to studies from the Harvard School of Public Health, sugary drinks increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. Regularly consuming food and drinks high in sugar results in your body accumulating excess junk, instead of being cleansed from toxins. The better alternatives to sugar? Molasses, honey, stevia, coconut palm sugar, and agave syrup.
Drink tea more often
Green and black teas are rich in antioxidants, and are said to be an ace at boosting your body’s natural cleansing process. But before you go overboard on the tea consumption, know this: Taking in too much antioxidants can cause chronic inflammation and even mutate our DNA strains, leading to cancer and other chronic diseases, warns Manuel Villacorta, R.D, author of the book, Whole Body Reboot: The Peruvian Superfoods Diet to Detoxify, Energize, and Supercharge Fat Loss. Best to stick with the recommended amount of three cups per day.
Go green, go raw
Still groaning at the idea of having to eat your veggies? Keep this in mind: Those leafy greens do wonders for your body. They contain enzymes that aid digestion and improve nutrient absorption. Don’t like the taste of vegetables? Throw them into a blender with some superfoods (like chia and maca powder) and fruits—give ’em a whirl for an instantly better-tasting way to detox.
(Flashbox image courtesy of Yummy.ph)