Don’t beat yourself up after binging at weddings. Just get on to a detox programme

It’s the season of weddings, and you have spent a better part of it eating just about everything the dietician asked you not to.

Unless you have vast reserves of self-control, binging is inevitable in these days of celebrations. But, you can gently lead your system back to normal by going on a detox diet. This can help purge the system of all the toxins accumulated through processed food and the polluted environs, say some experts.

Consuming more liquids (except milk and related products) is the first step towards a better you, says Nasreen Jones, nutritionist at Pink Fitness.

Attractive meal

The second trick is to eat at short intervals, ideally packing in six to seven small meals a day. The third tip is to figure out ways to make the detox plan look attractive. If it is going to be just soups or fruits, you will get bored and disinclined to continue.

A detox diet mainly consists of lots of raw vegetables, water, fruits, seeds (jeera, flax, fenugreek), sprouts and some brown rice, wheat or millets. Nasreen says such a diet wakes up the slumbering metabolism and gives it a good shake. And yes, it will also help you shed weight.

But, Chennai-based Varsha, consultant and clinical nutritionist sounds a caution. Detox diets are not a one-stop solution to reverse damage to the body. “A detox diet is like tinkering a damaged vehicle. It’s a cover-up job.” The liver, she says, is already doing a great job of detoxifying everything that passes through it. When one binges, the liver is overworked.

“So, in a way, a detox diet takes some load off the liver, but it is not a permanent solution. Pendulum diets don’t work. What works is eating in moderation. Always,” says Dr. Varsha.

Go for a detox

If you have thyroid issues and PCOD, diabetic or hypertensive, avoid a detox.

Prepare right

Any detox diet needs at least two days of preparation, where you gradually bring down your calorie consumption to 1,800 calories or less. Then, you get into the detox programme where the calorie count does not exceed 1,000 calories. After the diet, you have to follow a maintenance diet plan to stop yourself from gaining all that you’ve lost. Dieticians say that if followed in letter and spirit, a week-long detox plan can see you lighter by at least two kg. For better results, combine it with a brisk workout every day. The diet must never exceed a week.

A diet meal, delivered

A problem with diets is having to cook a low-fat diet meal only for yourself, while the rest of the family eats ‘normal’ food. Many diets have been consigned to the dustbin because one couldn’t be bothered cooking two different kinds of meals. If you can, find a caterer who can deliver a customised meal for you. C.K. Sankar, health and wellness advisor, DCamp, Ramanathapuram, says their diet food clinic can whip up tasty, no-oil, low-salt recipes.