FoodTravel

Forget detox – try these for long-term health and weight loss benefits

Detoxing in self-isolation? It’s tough, believe me. But look to your long-term health.

Even the British Liver Trust admits giving up alcohol for a month is pointless. Health professionals and GPs despair at this all-or-nothing, abstain then excess approach – effectively, it encourages binge drinking, as seen at the weekend when Dry January-ers hit the streets with a newfound vigour, not in terms of health, but in terms of thirst, from what I saw.

This health blogger it is not a month to abstain – far from it. It is instead the ideal month to try something new. New food, new exercises, new classes, new equipment – the only ‘new’ health craze I avoid is the dreaded celebrity fitness DVD. Do you really think Davinia and co got those abs prancing around in front of the TV for 10 minutes a day? Hardly – try daily personal trainers, an army of chefs and an endless beauty budget.

Here are the things I’ve tried that made the monthly cut and are now firmly part of my 2020 regime:

HEALTH BY STEALTH

I will never stop eating out. But I’ve found that some hotels are trying harder than others to provide healthy options and seasonal food swaps to combat the middle-aged spread. The Green House Hotel in my native Bournemouth last month introduced me to elderflower cordial – healthier than my usual wine and helps me keep my healthy eating resolve – while their vegetarian tasting menu included mushrooms on toast, perfect for a healthy breakfast or lunch.

In terms of dinner, guilt-free dining is still on offer at Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes with a 500 calorie, three-course menu. The innovative idea from their in-house restaurant, The Grill, takes the guesswork out of healthy eating. Start with wild mushroom and truffle soup, enjoy pan-fried turkey escallops for main then finish with gorgeous mango and raspberry mousse with chocolate sauce. What’s more, adding a small glass of wine will only take the total to 675 calories!

The diet-friendly menu is available until 14 February and is priced at £15 for two courses or £18 for three.

SKINCARE SAVOIRS

I’ve made over my skincare regime to take into account dry patches and dehydration – from stress, central heating and nights out. I’ve tried loads of products but seem to have the balance right with Elemis Rehydrating Rosepetal Cleanser (£19.40 at Lookfantastic.com). which is on offer with a free complimentary toner spray. Perfect for a quick spritz in the morning to wake up tired skin. At night, I whack on Lush Celestial Facial Moisturiser (£11.75 at Lush.co.uk), which is lovely and light. For my eyes, I’ve discovered Lulu & Boo Aloe & Eyebright Eye Gel (£19 at Luluandboo.com), which is fast-acting and all organic. Top tip – stash it in the fridge for added puffiness-busting action.

GYM AT HOME

I don’t believe in expensive gym memberships. I go to the gym with a personal trainer when I can afford to – Kane Evans at Ippon Gym in Bournemouth is the man who finally got me to my goal weight just before Christmas – but I’d rather run on the beach than on a treadmill.

However, the appalling weather in November and December made me lazy. So rather than buy a get-fit-never celebrity DVD or sign my life away to a local gym, I’ve opted for a couple of excellent at-home exercise gadgets.

Medicarn have an excellent range and two items have completely changed my bodyshape this January. Check out this video of the Ped Abs Pro – it not only makes sit-up haaaard (so you do less for better results) but it also has removable pedals. This wheels out in front of the TV most nights to keep me active. After all, after eight hours at a desk, who wants to just sit still on the sofa? Even if you only crunch your way through the ad breaks, that’s enough sit-ups to give you abs of steal.

When I was a gym member, I loved the power plate but assumed I couldn’t afford my own. Medicarn bSlimmer power plates start from £169 – the price of a decent pair of jeans – and just a 10 minute routine works your whole body. It burns fat, tones, boosts circulation for energy, aids posture and you can check your texts and emails while you do it. Some trainers believe that 10 minutes on the power plate is the equivalent of 60 minutes at the gym – I’m not sure how they would measure that it stands to reason that an all-over approach to your workout is going to save time and boost results.

Using both of the above, I’ve lost four pounds (my Christmas weight exactly), two inches round my waist and an inch off each thigh. Bye bye cellulite… see ya next January…

LOVELY LEGGINGS

Whoever invented the leggings should be knighted. As I’ve battled the alcohol this forgiving garment has been my saviour. Teamed with a white shirt, blazer and black boots by day or a glittering long vest by night, they have been my January uniform.

It is tough to find sports leggings that don’t make you feel self concious on the school run but Elle Sport Slim-Tech leggings (£36 at Debenhams.com) not only look great, they also smooth and moisturise your legs, flatten the stomach and maximise your workout to help you burn fat more efficiently from the areas that matter. They’ve been dubbed the ‘lazy girl leggings’ and testers have lost up to 4cm from their midriff in a month.

I’ve not worn them eight hours a day for six days per week (!) as advised so I can’t comment on their fat loss powers. But they look FANTASTIC.

APP FOR THAT

I’ve always been sceptical about fitness apps, especially ones that link into Facebook and Twitter (attention seeking much?). But Endomondo is slick and simplistic – it allows you to view real-time stats – distance, speed, calories – and also suggests new local routes and events to help motivate you.

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Suzi

Suzi

Editor in chief Suzi Dixon studied at Bournemouth university, went away for a while to work at The Daily Telegraph, then moved back to the sunny South coast for a quiet (er) life. Bournemouth News & Info is her website and she is assisted by the fabulous Fred From France in all things geeky and technical. Hire us to make your website, too, if you like.