There is an old saying; ‘Everything in Moderation’, and during January when every man and his dog are going through a cleanse to try and purge the over indulgences of Christmas. Obviously, ditching the copious amounts of alcohol is a good thing, and you will feel better for it, as will cutting back on the over eating, sugary foods, salt and general junk food.
However, the body is a complex network, and is actually more than capable of cleansing itself, meaning that you don’t actually have to undergo a gruelling month of no alcohol, dairy, meat or fish. In actual fact, your body works better with proteins and minerals from these products.
Think of your body like a car, if you don’t keep it topped up with oil, fuel and water, it will eventually grind to a halt and not work properly until you rectify the problem.
So Veganuary is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard, while Dry January is actually dangerous. This is because once the month is up, people over indulge to a point where they’re back at square one, while just cutting back a little bit is far more affective and you won’t feel like a prisoner. Most prisoners as soon as they get out go mad for booze, cigarettes, junk food and drugs.
Doctors have been banging on about this for years, especially doctors that specialize in mental health, and have repeatedly stated that abstaining with an end goal will only leave you back at square one because you’ll go back to doing it again, and twice as much. Either abstain 100%, or don’t do it at all.
There is also the problem of New Year dieting. Someone that loses 1 stone in a month will think that now they’ve reached their goal, they can go back to their old ways and not maintain their weight loss, which is essentially yoyo dieting, and is damaging to your health than not dieting at all.
The thing with New Year is that everyone seems to end up with an eating disorder, be that juicing constantly, going vegan for a month, and controlling their intake of calories through drinking. There is a lot to be said about the correlation of Fad Dieting and Eating Disorders, as people like to be in control, and one of the easiest things we can control is what we take in.
Now, there is nothing wrong with wanting to make healthier choices, but this has to be done in moderation. Try going Vegan for 1 day a week, veggie for 2, fish for 2 and meat for 2. This will then provide you with a proper balance of dietary requirements while at the same time broadening your pallet.
So this new year, don’t beat yourself up too much if you fall off target before the end of the month, because the body is more than capable of looking after itself, though if you do want to supplement your diet with more goodness, by all means do!