Skip the juice cleanse and do one of these instead
If the lure of hot cross buns and Cadbury creme eggs was little too-tempting, kick-starting the cold season with a juice cleanse might seem like a fail safe way to beat the weight gain, right?
Well, not necessarily. While the jury is still out on whether they are a healthy or effective method for weight loss (beyond the short-term), if your goal is to keep excess weight off and form healthy habits year round, it’s best to avoid the liquid diet trap.
Especially if you’re fit or planning to get fit. Why? Juice cleanses are proven to decrease muscle mass, thanks to the lack of amino acids in fruit and veg, that are normally prevalent in protein based foods like meat, dairy and legumes. And what’s the point in burpees and kettlebell swings if there’s nothing to show for it? Not to mention the whole hungry, grumpy, lightheaded thing.
So, this autumn, forget the juices and fire up your belly with these wholefood plans as created by some of Sydney’s leading health experts.
1. The seasonal program
What it is: The ‘21 day Seasonal Cleanse’ is a program created by naturopath Anthia Koullouros of Ovvio Organics, designed to reset your health according to the change in season.
Why it’s unique: Much like fashion, this program is tailored to suit the seasons. So, you know that pesky pre-winter cold or post-summer liver damage? Koullouros’ program works to fight it off or fix it before the symptoms come to full fruition.
How it works: “Seasonally synchronised cleansing allows you to connect with the change in temperature, environment and length of day so that you can be refreshed and prepared for the months ahead,” says Koullouros.
It’s not just a body cleanse either. This holistic program will have you removing toxins from all areas of your life – from what you breathe in to what you drink, eat, apply on yourself or clean yourself with, how you move and how you think.
The benefits: If the cleanse is followed four times per year (one each season), as advised by Koullouros, it will lead to:
A balanced weight, repaired digestive health, removal of addictive stimulants and processed foods from your diet, elimination of toxins from the body, a renewed sense of empowerment, the prevention of illness through greater understanding of causes, reconnection to yourself and a greater sense of inner peace
To register for Koullouros’ next 21 Day Winter Cleanse, click here.
2. The gut-healing program
What it is: The ‘Heal Your Gut’ program is a four-week course based on restoring inner health, as created by Lee Holmes, Sydney-based nutritionist, cookbook author and founder of Supercharged Food.
Why it’s unique: If you haven’t heard already, gut health is a buzzword right now. The gut has even been coined the ‘second brain,’ with researchers suggesting our gut microbiome largely affects how we feel and thrive. With this in mind, Holmes has devised a four-stage program that will nourish and heal your tummy to good health.
What’s more, it goes beyond food. While you can expect emails and web videos with nutrition and diet based tips and recipes, you’ll also get yoga poses to assist with digestion and meditation and mind and body detoxification practices.
How does it work: “There are four phases to the program: the elemental diet which includes nutritious, easy to make digestible breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert recipes, a cleansing and detoxing phase, a repopulating phase to rebuild communities of good bacteria in the gut and a detoxing life phase which deals with stress and the gut,” says Holmes.
The benefits: After the program, Holmes says to expect “wellness from head to toe, more energy and a feeling of being healthy again.” It also will assist with digestive disorders such as – irritable bowel syndrome, Crohns disease, coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, auto immune conditions as well as skin issues, weight issues, depression and anxiety.
To register for Holmes program, click here.
3. The fit food program
What it is: LIFE Fundamentals is an eight-week integrated fitness and nutritional food program created by celebrity personal trainer Luke Istomin, in consultation with leading Australian Sports Dietitian Peta Carige.
Why it’s unique: Because when it comes to training, you want a food plan that’s going to fit with (and fuel) your fitness. And this gives you two for one – a tailored diet and training regime that compliment each other.
Also, unlike a one-off cleanse – it’s a program that will give you essential training and food principles to maintain your health for life.
How does it work: Sign up and you’ll be given access to nutrition, training, mindset tools as well as a fit-fam community.
The nutrition plan, based on what Istomin has seen work for his clients over time, is made up of a wholefood diet of fresh, seasonal produce, animal-based proteins, healthy fats and small amounts of nuts, seeds and fresh fruit.
And unlike strict trainers, Istomin won’t let you go hungry. “I don’t believe in deprivation or starvation – eating is one of the great pleasures of life, so it’s all about tasty food that nourishes the mind, supplies energy and vitality and gives you a lean, healthy body.”
Exercise wise, expect the same – an achievable plan for life, but with top of the crop expert advice.
“It’s not about an extreme makeover where you bust your gut for a few weeks then go back to old habits. I’ve spent time working with people at the top of their field, documenting their habits and then condensed it down into a manageable plan people can follow.”
The benefits: Expect to tick all the major health boxes (better digestion, faster metabolism, reduced inflammation) and still be entitled to a guilt-free meal now and then too, says Istomin.
“I’ve had one member who is 64 and had never exercised vigorously tell me that since following LIFE Fundamentals his productivity has soared, he can concentrate without the 3pm slump, is physically stronger than ever and his cholesterol levels are the lower than they’ve been in over 20 years – so he doesn’t need medication now. Most importantly, he still has his beloved Friday pasta and wine lunch every week. It’s all about balance!”
To register for Istomin’s LIFE Fundamentals program, click here.
4. The home delivery program
What it is: Eat Fit Food is a healthy program that delivers fresh, healthy and calorie-conscious meals to your door, as created by Bianca Monley in consultation with nutritionist and dietitian Jaime Rose Chambers.
Why it’s unique: Firstly, it caters for the time poor generation. Monley launched the company after noticing how hard healthy eating was to achieve with little time, so this program helps take the pressure out of cooking and grocery shopping.
Also, unlike ready-made meals from the frozen aisle, it’s fresh, healthy and calorie-conscious food. “They’re not based on fad diets, they are made from real ingredients and are not just for those wanting to slim down but also for those wanting to support optimal physical health or maintain a healthy weight,” says Monley.
Lastly, it’s customisable. Whether you want a five day fix, a six week overhaul, a ‘clean and lean,’ or a ‘cleanse’ program, there’s something to accommodate you – and it’s a no fuss way to fuel up and get healthy, fast.
How does it work: “The busy, time poor professional might select the 10 meal pack so they come home to a healthy meal every night, while some may choose a five day cleanse to kick-start healthy eating or others may prefer the six week program that includes meals and regular consultations with our in-house dietitian and personal trainer,” says Monley.
In terms of the food, meals are high protein based and have a balanced amount of fibre, essential vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. They are also free from chemicals, additives, artificial sweeteners and preservatives and will accommodate for specific dietary needs.
The benefits: Aside from getting your nutritional fix handed to you, Eat Fit Food programs offer the following outcomes…
Increased energy and clarity, removal of processed foods from diet, an increased metabolic rate, decrease in post-workout fatigue, increased ability to absorb nutrients in the body, improved sleep quality, strengthened immune system, reduced sugar and caffeine cravings.
To purchase an Eat Fit Food delivery, click here.
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