Sometimes we desire a fresh start or a quick fix to feel better after an evening of cocktails or a year of one too many cookies. A jumpstart can be just what one seeks to feel like they have created weight loss momentum. Diets such as a detox diet promises they have the answers to weight loss and seduce us into believing it works. Sometimes I wish those claims were true. I wish I could offer my clients a simple solution like drinking a magic elixir to help them lose weight. As you might expect, that would be too good to be true. There is no science to back up any benefits to a detox diet or cleanse for weight loss or any other touted benefit such as a faster metabolism or more energy. An important reminder for those who want to sustain long lasting changes is that there is value in the journey of weight loss. Skipping steps or simply just changing the diet, not the individual, short changes you of personal growth opportunities.

But what if you do want to immediately feel better? What if you seek a clean slate, fresh diet start? Is there another way beyond extreme approaches? Can you jump start your health goals?

The answer is yes. Here are three strategies to get you started:

Start with your head. If your weight loss approach includes deprivation, it’s time to shift your mindset. Self-compassion works for weight loss. Focus on ways you can nourish versus deprive your body and mind.

Bump up the color. Colorful fruits and vegetables provide us with nutrients that naturally detoxify our bodies. Jumpstart your day with my favorite green smoothie (recipe below) which includes five servings of produce. Fill half your plate at lunch and dinner with vegetables. The extra hydration and fiber are surefire ways to boost energy and vitality.

Watch me make my favorite “Dietitian Detox” Smoothie: 

Bring it home. Even the healthiest restaurant order has more sodium, fat, and sugar compared to home-cooked meals. Detox from eating out. A home cooked meal does not have to be time consuming. Stock up on lean proteins such as eggs, Greek yogurt, beans, and lean meats. A weight loss plate includes 1/2 produce and 1/2 lean protein plus whole-grains. If you need help with meal planning, join our parenting community. Every Friday, you will receive 5 weekday dinner ideas to make meal planning one step easier.

Ditch the detox mentality this year, and nourish your mind and body with optimal nutrition and self-compassion.

Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.