Christmas + Detox = Any good at all?


Tis the season to be jolly! It’s here at last. And what better way to be jolly than to overindulge in mince pies, mulled wine, and a few cheeky encounters under the mistletoe?!


It’s all fun and games now, but we are only a few short weeks away from the most dreaded time of the year: January. Dark January, with its conspicuous lack of Christmas lights, and its focus on making up for December’s overindulgence. That’s right folks – I don’t mean to rain on your Christmas parade, but the Season of Detox is just around the corner.


Although, it doesn’t have to be. I for one have never been very good at detox diets. I have tried a few in my time, and when I found myself stockpiling 12 jars of Nutella ready for the diet’s end, I knew it was time to stop.  So for me, January doesn’t mean a detox, but rather a re-focus. There is a difference: a re-focus means that you won’t be drinking ginger tea for days. With a little planning, now is the time that we can all satisfy the urge to indulge, but not spend all of January paying for it.


Here are the top reasons why I won’t be detoxing in January:


  1. It’s boring. Let’s be honest. The appeal of a 3 day concentrated juice detox is that it’s quick. Quick but painful. I read that one of my favourite actresses had salad and chicken for dinner every night, with more chicken than salad. I decided to try it out (in case I am ever required to step up to the London stage), but by the second night I was done. There was a distinct lack of flavour that I couldn’t face night after night. I may well be ruining my chances of winning an Olivier, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.
  2. It’s expensive. Another detox I once tried came equipped with recipes and a shopping list – ‘perfect!’ I thought. The list was wheat-free, meat-free, dairy-free. I almost choked on my quinoa when I heard the total: for a diet that excluded practically everything, it sure was expensive. Not to mention that so much fresh food goes off quickly if not eaten…which means you end up stuffing spinach into your mouth like a crazed rabbit.


  1. It’s not healthy. Perhaps controversially, I subscribe to the opinion that anything that makes you feel sick as part of its process isn’t helping you. It’s making you sick. If you feel better at the end of three days of carrot juice, might that be because you’re allowing yourself to eat real food again? It can’t help to completely cut out protein, fibre and roughage. I absolutely don’t profess to be an expert here, but here’s an article that has more credibility than me to go into detail.
  2. Detoxes are part of a huge marketing machine. These days everything has an ‘angle’, and is targeted towards a specific market. Again, here’s another article that explores the marketing side of the detox diet. These dieticians and experts might not always have our best interests at heart, if you can believe it.
Quick Google search for 'detox': look at all the sponsored posts...

Quick Google search for ‘detox’: look at all the sponsored posts…

  1. It’s unnecessary. As the two articles above describe, your body is actually pretty good at detoxing itself. Anything else can be more of a hindrance than a help. Plus, if you’re aware of your indulgences now, you can go some way to balance them out before January even shows it’s ugly little face. Personally, I think there’s nothing better than a Boxing Day run in the bracing winds to clear the mind and help your fitness after Christmas Day.
  2. I don’t want to. I might sounds like a petulant child here, but we’ve all just spend four glorious weeks of minced pies, mulled wine, egg nog, chocolate, christmas cake and socialising. I could handle cutting back a bit in January. I could handle making an effort to exercise a little more, to balance the December fun and to make sure I have the balls to run in the Winter cold! But what I could not handle?  Eating celery while thinking of lasagne.


So…. they’re my two cents on the matter. It seems far more reasonable to use the old ‘everything in moderation’ adage because then you don’t miss out. Case in point: today I had a smoothie for lunch, but I also had a pizza for dinner. And now I’m eating ice cream because SB is at his Christmas party, so I’m having a little party of my own with Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan and Haagen Dazs.


I may regret posting such a blatant account against detoxes, especially if I give one another go in the future (God help SB). But I guess the main point of this is: January is dark enough as it is, why make it even harder?


Ellie B

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