Kick off the New Year with a 7-day detox!

After the indulgence of Christmas, your body (and your bank balance) are no doubt worn out.

If you're feeling sluggish, low in energy or just feel your metabolism needs a kickstart, why not try a short-term detox in the New Year?

Rather than going on a crazily restrictive fad diet, a clean-eating detox simply involves eating more of certain foods and less of others. It may be hard to beat certain cravings, but keep in mind that this is only for a week.

Here are our guidelines on how to get started, what to eat and what to cut out. 

If you have any health concerns regarding diet changes, please do consult your GP or a diet professional.

The guidelines

1. Keep things simple: Don't leave yourself in danger of getting overwhelmed with ingredients lists and buying a cheeky oven pizza at the last minute. Each meal should include a portion of whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats – keep that in mind and you'll be good to go.

2. Check your calendar: If you have an event or party to attend, it might be worth re-scheduling your detox week. While in theory it might seem like no problem for you to avoid the buffet or only eat a light salad while out with friends, when faced with the tempation it's a lot harder to resist. Choose a quiet week with no big indulgent events.

3. Eat regularly: A meal timetable and plan will be your best friend this week. By outlining pre-arranged meal and snack times you're less likely to mindlessly nibble away on food without noticing. Eat small and often.

4. Don't panic: Nobody is made of stone and we all get cravings from time to time. Don't punish yourself for falling off the wagon – it's no big deal. If you decide to eat that bag of crisps, savour them and move on.

What to include

  • Non-dairy milks like rice or almond milk
  • Egg whites
  • Non-gluten grains like brown rice, quinoa or buckwheat
  • Fruit and vegetables: Go for non processed, non-sweetened produce. Eat your fruit fresh or blended into smoothies, and eat veg raw, steamed, sauteed lightly, juiced or roasted.
  • Protein sources like fish, lean chicken, lean turkey, lamb, lentils, beans, chickpeas, green peas and edemame
  • Nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds
  • Liquids like water, decaf herbal teas or soda water
  • Non-sugar sweeteners such as stevia or agave nectar
  • Oils and condiments like olive oil, coconut oil, flax oil, canola oil, vinegar, herbs and spices.

What to avoid

  • All dairy and egg yolks
  • Grains such as wheat, corn, cous-cous and barley
  • Fatty spreads and sauces like butter and mayo
  • Fattier sources of protein like pork, beef, shellfish and soy products such as tofu.
  • Peanuts and peanut butter
  • Alcohol, coffee, tea, soft drinks and other caffeinated beverages
  • High-sugar sweeteners like white/brown sugar, honey and maple syrup
  • Sugary sauces and glazes like BBQ, teriyaki, ketchup, relish and chutney
  • Salty and sugary snacks such as crisps, biscuits, chips, chocolate, sweets and cakes