Look good without resorting to extreme diets, juice cleanses and fasting.

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We all know the feeling. You’ve had a bit of a blowout on the weekend, with too much to eat and drink and you’re feeling less than perfect.

And to make matters worse, you’ve got a special event coming up and a dress you want to squeeze into by the end of the week.

While you may think you need to take drastic steps to feel good in your gown by Saturday, there are other ways to combat the bloat without resorting to extreme diets, juice cleanses and fasting.

In fact, Charlene Grosse, accredited practising dietitian and spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) says resorting to these drastic methods can sometimes make you unhealthier than before you started.

“To look and feel your best – avoid quick fixes, they’re a waste of time, and can make you feel and look worse in the long-term,” Ms. Grosse told mybodyandsoul.com.au.

“The kind of diets spruiked for quick weight loss are what we call ‘fad diets’. They usually restrict whole food groups and amounts of foods, making it virtually impossible to get all the nutrients you need for energy and health.

“Instead of losing body fat, people on extreme or restrictive diets often break down muscle mass and their metabolic rate takes a dive, so it’s much easier to gain weight once the diet is stopped.”

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The DAA warns that while the concept of “detoxing” might be popular, there is no scientific evidence to suggest our bodies need ‘help’ to remove these toxins and eating a healthy, balanced diet would provide the same benefit with better nutrition.

“Fortunately, healthy adults have extraordinary systems for removing toxins from our bodies every day,” added Ms. Grosse. “Our lungs, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract and immune system remove and neutralise toxic substances within hours after we eat them.

“Some people report feeling better on a ‘detox / fasting diet’ but this is quite often as a result of eating less foods high in fat, salt or added sugar, drinking less alcohol and caffeine while eating more fruit and vegetables. Eating a healthy, balanced diet would provide the same benefit with better nutrition.”

Fast weight loss is also more often related to fluid changes and reduction in carbohydrate stores rather than actual fat loss.

But all is not lost, Ms. Grosse says in preparation for an important event, there are definitely some foodie tricks to make you feel and look your best.

“Aim to rehydrate your body with water and base your meals around the five core food groups (fruit and vegies, grains, lean meat, poultry, fish, nuts and seeds, eggs, legumes, tofu, and dairy foods), and ditch the processed foods like chips, confectionary and soft drink. This is the best way to maximise the vitamins and minerals that keep your body healthy, and your hair, skin and eyes glowing.

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“If you choose to drink, keep your alcohol intake to no more than two standard drinks per day, being sure to fit in two alcohol free days each week and choose water as your first choice for drinks. Keeping hydrated is key for all processes in our body, and it also maintains the appearance and texture of our skin.”

And if you feel you’re having an all-too-familiar ‘fat day,’ it may not be because you need to lose weight, you may just be bloated and retaining extra fluid.

“Rather than focus on the scales which are a measure of how heavy you are and sensitive to day-to-day fluid fluctuations, focus on how you feel, how your clothes fit and on positive behaviours you have made,” Ms. Grosse advises.

If you feel bloated, it could be down to one of these reasons:

• Suddenly increasing your intake of fibre containing foods

• Eating carbohydrate foods that breakdown in the large intestine, causing gas and bloating such as onion, cabbage and brussels sprouts, dried beans and lentils and cauliflower

• Eating foods with lactose (milk sugar), which may be fermented in the gut if there are not enough lactase enzymes present. Example foods include: Milk, ice-cream and some yoghurts

• Alcohol

• Food and drinks with artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol and mannitol C

• Carbonated drinks

• Chewing gum

Ms. Grosse adds that if you want to tackle the double whammy of water retention, limit your intake of salty and processed foods.

So all in all, to look and feel your best by the weekend, skip the fads, and focus on simple changes that will boost your health this weekend and beyond!

September 5, 201611:56am

Beauty | body+soul

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