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After the Christmas stuffing it’s time to try a detox diet

A fter the festive season we often have a feeling of having eaten and drunk too much leaving us bloated. This is when you might decide to detox to remove excess waste in your system.

It takes three to five hours to digest an average meal -- even more if you take in liquids with your food, as this dilutes the hydrochloric acid and enzymes in your system which break the food down, preparing it for elimination.

You can tell that your system is blocked if you have bad breath or bad body odour, you are sweating more than normal or have a puffy face and hands. If so, it's time to have an internal clear-out. When your system is clear you should be going to the bathroom about one hour after having your food, that's if your body is functioning properly.

The most efficient and simple way to detox is to start for one day eating only soft pears or soft grapes, as these are the best cleansing foods. Start after you have your breakfast, then eat the fruit whenever you feel hungry. Drink still water or a little warm water with a slice of lemon.

Don't worry -- you will not be rushing to the bathroom all day and you will be able to carry on with your job without difficulty.

Continue your fast until the following morning and break your detox with some porridge or toast. Do not gorge and undo the benefits of the fast.

If one day was manageable, then do one more. The ideal way to continue is to eat fruit one day, light food the next, and so on. Try and keep to pears or grapes rather than acid fruits like apples or oranges.

The benefits of internal cleansing are more energy, better sleep, improved skin and hair condition, a clearer mind and inches lost off your waist as your fat stores diminish. Overall you will feel better.

I don't believe you need colonic irrigation as it should be used as part of a supervised medical programme.

The success of detoxing is up to you, but it should be part of a long term programme and not just a quick fix to get into that little black dress. You will know when your system is clear, one simple sign is a sweet perfume from your breath, sweet body odour and, of course, less bloatedness.

For more information check out the Mayr programme