Scrap the short-term solutions and get that spring back in your step this season.

Most of us are often left feeling a little ‘bleh’ after winter, which is also sadly the time when we become vulnerable to the inevitable quick fix detoxes and weight loss gimmicks on the market.

There are so many weird and wonderful (mostly weird) products and diets out there that the word ‘Detox’ has become a dangerous buzz word in the health industry. Unfortunately most of these are not only short-term solutions but can also be detrimental to our health.

Our body is already designed to cleanse and detoxify automatically and we should be supporting that every single day with good foods and smart movement as best we can.
If you’re feeling a little behind the eight ball after winter, the easiest (and safest) thing you can do is to commit to a fortnight of good, healthy, clean eating to get that spring back in your step. It doesn’t have to be complicated or boring and hey — you might even keep these habits long term! By not limiting yourself to a harsh diet or super strict regime, 14 days is a reasonable time frame to keep yourself in check and try out some new habits.

10 simple health swaps for a fortnight of healthy eating

• Switch your first morning beverage with a glass of lemon water (hot or cold) to kick start your metabolism and promote hydration.
• Limit yourself to one coffee a day and swap to herbal teas after your first cup.
• Remove as much refined sugar from your diet as you can and snack on sweet fruits when you need a sugar hit instead of that afternoon biscuit or chocolate.
• Swap soft drinks or sugary sports drinks for coconut water or sparkling mineral water and fruit.
• Load up on good fats and proteins like avocado, nuts and eggs that will keep you feeling full instead of sugary processed breakfast cereals.
• Remove all alcohol for 14 days (or at least on weekdays).
• Swap sugary stir fry sauces and marinates for fresh herbs and spices.
• Replace processed low nutrient simple carbohydrates like white bread and pasta, with whole grain low GI alternatives like quinoa, brown rice and sweet potato.
• Swap your portions. Instead of loading up on the starches first, fill 1/2 your plate with greens and vege, ¼ lean proteins and ¼ low GI carbs.
• Swap that elevator ride for the internal staircase. Every little bit counts!

Remember that any sort of quick fix or ‘wonder fast’ will not miraculously erase all the food you ate over the winter. These dangerous diets do not instill good eating practices and will instead cause ‘yoyo’ weight loss, followed by the inevitable weight gain.

Don’t get into a negative spin about your diet. Food is there to be enjoyed and not to make us feel guilty. Health and wellness is about maintenance and sustainability – fad detoxes, fasts or diet crazes will only cause you more harm than good. Think simple, get back to basics and JUST EAT REAL FOOD (#JERF).

Bianca is a qualified personal trainer specialising in general fitness, nutritional health, pre-and-postnatal exercise and general wellbeing.