by Scott Baptie
Fitness & Sports Nutrition Expert
I am going to be honest from the outset, I do not like the term “detox”. When people think of nutrition (which is my thing) and detox at the same time then all sorts of horribly unhealthy ideas spring to mind: cabbage soup diet, juice diet, baby food diet, raw food diet and similar non-sustainable nonsense diets. I am not a fan of people adopting rash, short term nutritional strategies as they attempt to use “detox” as a sticking plaster to cure a bad diet or a long period of calorie excess. Rather, I would like people to make small changes to their diet plan so that over time they make gradual improvements which are far more sustainable and will pay off long term. Here are some simple tips to help you lose weight.
Time your carbohydrates
The key to losing fat is manipulating the hormone insulin which is secreted when you eat carbohydrates. To do this you need to be careful, precise and pay close attention to food timing. What this means is that you can have periods of time focused on muscle repair and recovery and periods of time focused on burning fat during your day. Consume most of your carbohydrates at three key times: breakfast (to fill muscle glycogen stores after 6- 8 hours of not eating) and with your pre and post-workout meals.
Don’t fear fat!
Don’t cut out all fat from your diet! When dietary fat is ingested without significant amounts of carbohydrate, there is no insulin spike and no conversion of free fatty acids to triglycerides (the bad stuff which can be stored as body fat). Fatty acid chains then remain to be used for energy, hormone production or cellular repair. Therefore, if you cut back on carbohydrate intake (with the exception of breakfast, pre and post-workout) there is less risk of dietary fat being stored as body fat (adipose tissue) and you can reap the benefits from the healthy fats you have consumed.
Drink green tea
Green Tea Extract has long been used by the Chinese as a medicinal treatment for conditions such as headaches, poor digestion and to improve general health. Green Tea has also quickly become a very popular ingredient in most "fat burners" due to its thermogenic (raising metabolic rate = fat burning) effects and anti-oxidant properties. If fat loss is your goal, try and drink a few cups per day.
The bottom line is - don’t detox! Just take a simple, phased approach to implementing a healthy living nutrition plan that is enjoyable, varied and most importantly, sustainable.