It is coming to the end of January and many people are probably looking forward to a less restrictive February as the finish line for all the cleanses, detoxes and dryathlons approaches.

Those of you who have taken a sensible approach to living a cleaner lifestyle this month will hopefully be feeling a bit lighter and brighter as a result. Following the tips and advice we have supplied over the last few weeks should put you on the right path for continued and sustainable progress.

However, if you decided to go for a more extreme approach with your January detox, chances are you may not be feeling as good as you had expected. Despite flooding your body with nothing but super healthy juices and following the latest fat stripping exercise regime, there is a good chance you have ended with sore muscles, headaches and low energy.

There is a whole host of reasons why extreme style cleanses are a bad idea – by extreme I mean any plan that requires you to restrict most solid foods and focus mainly on juice consumption.  The main one being that they simply do not supply enough calories for your body to thrive on.

The most common reason people choose to take this route is that they are under the impression it will get fast results with regards to fat loss, while at the same time flushing out all of the toxins. Unfortunately this is not what happens. Much of the weight loss that happens on these plans will come from the body’s water stores, carbohydrate stores and intestinal contents. All of which comes back when you resume normal eating again. Many of these plans also mean people end up missing out on other important nutrients like protein. This is vital for muscle growth and repair and is also important for helping the body eliminate toxins, which contradicts the whole process.

If you do manage to find an extreme approach that “works” and you start to loose fat quickly then it is worth noting that you may actually be making your body more toxic as a result.

To clarify, your fat cells are a major storage site for a lot of the toxins we ingest. When these fat cells are broken down during periods of rapid fat loss blood toxins can increase to unhealthy levels. It is much easier for the body to cope with this if the fat loss is gradual and supported with a diet rich in whole foods; where as an extreme approach will often leave you feeling depleted and fatigued.

As a guideline most people should aim for a 1-2% drop in body fat every 2-4 weeks. When you decrease body fat gradually in this way you will reduce the accumulation of fat soluble toxins because your body will remove them rather than store them.

Extreme detoxing is rarely the route to a healthier lifestyle. It is better to aim to eat and live in a way that optimises the body’s natural detoxification processes over the long term. You can do this by focusing on eating appropriate portions of a wide variety of high quality, fresh whole foods and moving more through exercise and daily activity.

If you are interested in how to take a more considered and progressive approach to your nutrition and exercise plan then drop into one of our 4 London sites (details to be found on our facebook page) and book yourself in for a consultation with one of our expert trainers. We can help you get to a place where you will never need to “detox” again.