As we welcome in the new year, many people take this time to reflect on their health and take the opportunity to make positive changes to their lifestyle. The start of a new year is a great milestone to set new intentions and goals for the year ahead. This might include curbing alcohol, regular exercise and eating a healthy diet as part of a ‘January detox’. But do these plans provide any benefit in the longer term? Here, we look at some of the most common ways to detox.
Try A Drinking Detox
One of the most popular campaigns in the UK is Dry January whereby people choose to abstain from alcohol for the entirety of the first month of the year. Studies have shown that those who cut out alcohol for the whole month did see reductions in cholesterol and blood glucose. Furthermore, they saw a reduction in liver fat which is a major cause of liver disease. However, this evidence is considered to be preliminary, and abstaining for one month is unlikely to reverse the overall effects of 11 months of excess.
In the UK, men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis. Additionally, it is better to spread drinking over 3 or more days rather than binging in one go. For reference, 14 units is equivalent to 6 pints of average strength beer or 10 small glasses of lower strength wine.
Cutting down on alcohol will also allow you more time to focus on the things that make you feel good such as making time for regular exercise. Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. By delivering oxygen and nutrients to muscle tissue, it can help to improve the efficiency of your cardiovascular system.
By exercising regularly you will release feel-good chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin that will help to improve your mood. It can also help to encourage you to get outside in nature which can help to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Build Healthy Eating Habits
Many people see the transition into the new year as the perfect time to start a new diet. This often involves cutting out whole dietary food groups. A strict detox meal plan might be seen as a good way to lose weight after the excesses of Christmas. However, this approach to diet is not sustainable and should be avoided. Instead, avoid ‘quick fixes’ and consider building healthy eating habits by incorporating a balanced diet. This can help you to maintain good health and help you to feel your best.
By eating a healthy and colourful, ‘rainbow’ diet that includes vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruits, you are helping the body to fight off harmful germs and viruses.
Get In Touch
Here at The Mayfair GP we focus heavily on Lifestyle Medicine and believe prevention is key. We help you make positive and effective lifestyle changes to optimise health and wellbeing.
If you would like more information about how to incorporate these tips into your life then get in touch today.