Feeling bloated, suffering fatigue and irritable skin breakouts are the first symptoms to an unhappy body. But do not fear a detox diet is near and can be just the thing to reset your bad habits – not only will sticking to an initial detox boost your immune system and encourage your brain to produce feel-good chemicals, but it’ll kick off weight loss too!
It is important to remember that detoxing successfully doesn’t mean going hungry. It means eating clean, regular portions of healthy and nutritious food.
What to do
Check your diary and mark a week where you have a clean break from functions or events that might derail your detox, such as weddings, birthdays or special occasion meals. Some people may experience a ‘cleansing’ reaction in the first few days of detox, including headaches or loose bowel movements. This is due to the sudden withdrawal of certain foods, in addition to stimulation of detoxifying organs. These symptoms should subside in 24 to 48 hours.
How does it work?
Be warned, the first day of this plan will be tough but if you stick with the strict fruit juice and yogurt regime, it will kick start your detox. After that, the calorie intake for each day varies, from 800 calories on Day 4, the special rice day, to 1300 calories on Day 6. This carefully controlled low-fat, low-calorie diet will ensure you lose weight while the high concentration of fruit and veg will flood your system with vitamins and minerals. The result will be glowing skin and a lighter you!
How do you follow the 7-day detox plan?
Simply follow this seven-day food plan exactly. To help detoxify your body, each morning add 15ml of Pure Plan (available at all good health stores) to 1 litre of still mineral water.
This is a mixture of dandelion, burdock, artichoke, fennel, seaweed, wild pansy and tamarind.
Make sure you drink the whole bottle during the day.
To compensate for any vitamin shortfall, you should also take a multivitamin once a day.
Day 1: 600 calories
This is a fasting day. Drink loads of water and non-caffeinated herbal teas throughout the day. Breakfast, lunch and evening meals are the same: 1 glass of unsweetened fruit or salt-free vegetable juice plus a carton of natural live yogurt.
Day 2: 1200 calories
Breakfast: This is the standard breakfast you’ll eat for the rest of the week. 1 portion fresh fruit (vary throughout the week between apple, pear, mango, grapes, pineapple, grapefruit), 2 slices of wholemeal toast spread with low-fat cottage cheese, a carton of low-fat live yoghurt, a small glass of skimmed milk and a cup of herb or weak Indian tea without milk or sugar.
Lunch: 1 kiwi fruit, a mixed raw vegetable salad (a bed of iceberg lettuce, filled with grated carrot, celeriac and beetroot, with a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil) plus 150g (6oz) of any steamed vegetables, sprinkled with a chopped clove of garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. Herb or weak Indian tea.
Dinner: 50g (2 oz) blueberries and 100g (4oz) unsweetened muesli mixed with a tablespoon of orange juice and a carton of low fat live yoghurt. Herb or weak Indian tea.
Day 3: 1100 calories
Breakfast:As on day 2.
Lunch: 1 large mango, 150g (6 oz) mixed salad including watercress, fresh mint, spring onions, tomato, red and yellow peppers, chicory, baby spinach and beansprouts drizzled with a lemon juice and olive oil dressing. 1 large jacket potato with 50g (2oz) low-fat fromage frais whipped with chopped chives and a clove of garlic. Vegetable juice.
Dinner: 1 carton of low-fat live yogurt mixed with blackberries, blueberries and 1tsp of honey. 1 crusty wholemeal roll with a matchbox size piece of soft cheese (brie, camembert, or similar). Herb or weak Indian tea.
Day 4: 800 calories
This is a very special day where your main food will be rice. Start by preparing the rice for the whole day. You’ll need 225g (9oz) dry brown rice cooked according to the packet’s instructions. If you prefer, you can cook half the rice in water and the other half in vegetable stock for a more savoury flavour. Drink only water today.
Breakfast: 75g (3oz) cooked rice with 125g (5oz) stewed apple flavoured with honey, cinnamon and grated lemon rind.
Lunch: 75g (3oz) cooked rice with 175g (7oz) steamed vegetables – celery, leek, carrot, tomato, spinach, broccoli and shredded cabbage.
Dinner: 75g (3oz) cooked rice mixed with soaked dried apricots, raisins, sultanas, and the flesh of a pink grapefruit.
Day 5: 1100 calories
Breakfast: As on day 2.
Lunch: 1 apple, 1 pear, 150g (6oz) raw vegetable salad (cauliflower and broccoli florets, carrot, spring onion, grated red cabbage, mange tout) tossed in olive oil and cider vinegar dressing, sprinkled with a teaspoon of raisins and 3 chopped brazil nuts. Large jacket potato filled with 75g (3oz) steamed spinach chopped with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, clove of garlic and a generous grating of nutmeg. Herb or weak Indian tea.
Dinner: 75g (3oz) from age frais mixed with 1 carton of low-fat live yoghurt, poured over a generous bowl of mixed fruit salad, including kiwi, pineapple, orange, grapes, blueberries, apple. Cup of herb tea.
Day 6: 1300 calories
Breakfast: As on day 2.
Lunch: 1 banana, 150g (6oz) mixed salad (shredded iceberg lettuce tomato, olives, red pepper, carrot, spring onions, cucumber, a clove of garlic, fennel and watercress) with a dressing of lemon juice, walnut oil and tarragon. 1 large jacket potato with 75g (3oz) steamed French or runner beans with a dessertspoon of sunflower oil sprinkled with finely chopped onions. Herb or weak Indian tea.
Dinner: 75g (3oz) muesli mixed with lemon juice, 1tsp honey, grated apple and 1 carton of low-fat live yoghurt. 1 slice wholemeal bread with a matchbox sized piece of brie, camembert or similar soft cheese. 1 slice wholemeal bread with honey. Cup of tea.
Day 7: 1200 calories
Breakfast: As on day 2.
Lunch: 150g (6oz) mixed salad (watercress, baby spinach, mixed lettuce leaves, parsley, celery, garlic, chives, basil, tomato – with a dressing of 1/3 walnut oil, 1/3 olive oil, 1/3 cider vinegar and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, sprinkled with sunflower seeds). 75g (3oz) boiled potatoes and trout stuffed with finely chopped parsley, onion, tomato and pine nuts, covered in thinly sliced lemon, baked in foil with a little olive oil. (If you’re vegetarian or don’t like fish, stir-fry tofu with shredded carrot, bean sprouts, mange tout and soy sauce or have a grilled veggie burger.) A glass of dry white wine.
Dinner: 1 pink grapefruit, 2 poached free-range eggs on 2 slices of wholemeal toast with a scrape of butter. Herb or weak Indian tea.
It is important to exercise during this week. A brisk 20-minute walk three times a week will make all the difference to this plan.