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24 September 2014

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Diary of a detox - springclean that body!
Big women in swimming pool
Not everyone wants to flaunt their flab in the swimming pool
Last updated: 30 December 2003 1532 GMT

Feeling fat and sluggish after all the festive feasting?

Detoxing is the latest craze for spring-cleaning your system - Clare Parrack found out what it's REALLY like.

See Also

Detox diary - week 1

Detox diary - week 2

Detox diary - week 3

Atkins dieters bite back

Stacey tries Atkins - 1

Stacey tries Atkins - 2

Stacey tries Atkins - 3

Stacey tries Atkins - 4

Your Atkins diet comments

Dieting dilemmas



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Moment of truth: It's no good, I've got to do something. This morning the scales show I am past the 10 stone mark - the same weight I was when I was nine months pregnant.

And despite a New Year resolution to get fit I can't find summon up the energy or enthusiasm to drag myself to the gym to get some exercise.

The sight of a lithe and fit-looking Carol Vorderman grinning on the cover of her latest detox bible (Detox For Life, Virgin Books) in WH Smith catches my eye - then I notice the book is on special offer and on the spur of the moment decide to give it a go - tomorrow.

Day 1: The detox shopping trip. Having devoured the book (and little else, honest - apart from a chocolate biscuit or three while no one was looking) I'm ready to do a Carol.

At the supermarket checkout I feel very strange to be unloading a trolley with no meat, bread or cheese in it.quote
Clare Parrack

If she can "drop two dress sizes without counting calories" so can I. So out go milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, sugar, cakes, biscuits, wheat, meat, fish, eggs, salt, caffeine and alcohol for 28 whole days.

So what on earth CAN I eat? Apparently I'll soon be feeling full of beans if I fill up on, er, beans, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruit, grains and lots and lots of water - a whopping two litres a day to be precise.

At the supermarket checkout I feel very strange to be unloading a trolley with no meat, bread or cheese in it.

Back home the cupboards and fridge are cleared of unhealthy temptation to make way for this fruit and nut case's brand new food choices.

Day 2: My second day with no early morning mega-mug of tea to get me going, and I have woken up with a pounding headache.

The book tells me that's my body's caffeine and toxin withdrawal system working. All I know is that I feel awful. Luckily it's Sunday so I can go back to bed for another couple of hours.

After a third cup of lemon and ginger tea the taste is growing on me and I start to feel a bit better.

Day 3: Exercise and exfoliation are important elements of de-toxing - the first to get your body working and the second because it's through the skin that the body eliminates most of its toxins.

Dry skin brushing revs up your circulation

So instead of staggering sleepily into the shower 20 minutes before I'm due to leave for work I set the alarm for an hour earlier and do 20 minutes of bends, stretches and crunches, then scrub my skin all over with a body brush for five minutes before getting in the shower.

Emerge looking pink and feeling surprisingly perky despite the unaccustomed hour, and the virtuous glow stays with me all day.

Day 4: Used to skipping breakfast too, but am also feeling better for having fruit and wheat-free muesli before I leave the house. Can't say I like rice milk much, though.

Day 5: Hummus, oatcakes and carrot crudites are now my favourite lunch.

No hardship there, but I am feeling bored with entirely veg-based evening meals, however delicious La Vorderman claims they are.

Day 6: Woke up from a vivid dream of munching my way through a mountain of Brie and biscuits washed down with a nice claret - obviously suffering badly from cheese and wine withdrawal! But otherwise feeling good.

Drinking what seems like two gallons of water a day has meant lots more trips to the loo than usual but this seems to be settling down.

And all that unaccustomed fruit and fibre did give me diarrhoea for the first few days but my body seems to have adjusted to that, too, thank goodness.

This one says sheep and goat's cheese and milk are allowed, and so is fish. Hallelujah!quote
Clare Parrack

And after a couple of outbreaks of spots my skin is definitely looking clearer, and I'm keeping up the exercise routine, much to my other half's disbelief.

Day 7: I know weight loss is not the main object of the exercise but can't resist temptation to jump on scales after a week of self-sacrifice.

Not a good idea. Have lost only a measly pound. But tell myself it's how you feel that counts, and I am feeling more energetic.

»Clare's detox diary - part 2

»Clare's detox diary - part 3

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