There are always lots of expectations when the New Year rolls around; and 2012 may bring even more, you know, with the rumored apocalypse and all. So it's probably advisable to be as healthy as we can this year. For those of us who enjoyed a few too many of Santa's cookies, this New Year may bring extra efforts to slim down and clean out the ol' system before the thaw, but make sure your cleansing is doing more good than harm by avoiding these five most common mistakes.
- Starving: Yes, food got you into this mess, but it can help get you out of it, too. Suddenly eliminating nutrients can send the body into a survival mode causing you to hold on to weight rather than shed it. It can also cause mineral deficiencies, put stress on major organs and cause dangerously low blood pressure. Adopting a vegan or raw food diet for several weeks (or permanently!) can help you shed pounds while staying nourished with healthy foods.
- Bingeing: Plunging into a reduced calorie diet or straight fasting can often land you at the refrigerator in the middle of the night with fingers full on in the mayonnaise jar. Avoid giving in to temptation and observe the feeling of hunger as just another sensation in the body like an itch that doesn't necessarily need to be scratched.
- Dehydration: Similar to avoiding food, avoiding liquid can rapidly lead to dehydration, which quickly takes its toll on the body and can lead to serious health issues. Definitely avoid the sugary sodas and fancy coffee drinks, but lots of water will help flush the toxins out of you and allow your body to function properly. "Water weight" is often temporary and once your body is hydrated and cleansed, you should experience minimal, if any, issues with it.
- Supplements: Those magic diet pills that promise to shed fat, suppress hunger and make you look like a supermodel are often ineffective and may even cause more damage. Many contain stimulants that can wreak havoc on your metabolism and cause you to feel jittery and nervous.
- The Solo Mission: Will power is a commendable human quality, but so is support. Starting a diet or cleanse with a buddy or a group can help keep you on track and focused on things other than food.
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