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Forget detox fasts and starvation diets, detox is for life, not just for Christmas, and invloves eating, not starving.

“Popular detox fasts and extreme diets can actually leave you worse off, with looser skin, lower metabolism, poorer circulation and more toxins”, says Kensington-based nutritionist and cellulite reduction specialist Georgios Tzenichristos, “to detoxify and lose weight you need to eat more of detoxification-supporting foods, instead of undermining your system with diet fad”.

The time of the year when people try to absolve their sinful diet practices and make a new beginning has arrived again - complete with New Year’s resolutions about exercise, giving up chocolate and detoxifying after the excesses of the festive season. In are cabbage soup diets, lemon detox fasts, detox foot baths, and body brushing, and out are coffee, cigarettes, red meat and wine - for a couple of weeks at least. Unfortunately, few people understand that detoxification is a nutrient-intensive process, not a starvation-dependent one, with most embarking on harmful, ineffective or unnecessarily punishing regimes.

Detoxification doesn’t just involve the liver and the kidney, but also the gut, the skin and the lymphatic system. All these systems depend on nutrients to perform their “detox magic", and what we do not understand is that by depriving our body of nutrients with prolonged fasting (more than two days), we decrease our detoxification capacity. Nutrient depletion that follows extreme diets and fasts not only has a negative effect on the liver, the lymphatic system and the gut, but also increases skin looseness and decreases muscle tone, leaving us flabbier in the process. Specifically:

> The liver needs a constant supply of protein, minerals, fatty acids and vitamins to inactivate (conjugate) harmful substances which are then expelled to the gut through the bile, for elimination by the faeces.

> Lack of anti-oxidants, protein, vitamins and fatty acids compromise the health of blood and lymphatic vessels, thereby making the removal of toxins from the tissues difficult, and laying the foundations of cellulite.

> The same nutrient depletion leads to reduced collagen synthesis, making our bodies flabbier with each bout of starvation diet and prolonged “detox fast”. A few years of such a yo-yo dieting is guaranteed to produce that flabby, puffy, cellulite-ridden look all women dread.

> Similarly, our bodies depend on protein to maintain muscle mass. Muscle tone, so important for that firm, toned look, takes endless hours of hard-work at the gym, yet can easily be lost with badly designed, lose-one-stone-in-a--week diets.

> Gut lining cells, gut immune cells and beneficial gut bacteria depend on fibre, protein, vitamins and fatty acids to help with the elimination of waste products and toxins and keep harmful gut bacteria at bay. On the other hand, harmful bacteria, that feast on fibre-free, simple sugar-rich drinks usually drunk during detox fasts, cancel out the liver’s inactivation of toxins through a process called deconjugation. These toxins are then reabsorbed through the gut wall into the circulation, leading to intoxication instead of detoxification.

> Ultra-low levels of calories, decrease a hormone called leptin, bringing our metabolism to a halt and our brains into a calorie-craving frenzy, thereby ensuring a quick fat gain after the diet is ended. This fat gain in combination with the muscle and collagen loss caused by the starvation phase of the cycle, leaves us flabbier and with a poorer resting metabolic rate, due to the decrease in metabolically active muscle mass.

Clearly, a slower, balanced, comprehensive approach that will last for life is better than jerky, desperate reactions that can only last for a week or two. In fact, Georgios recommends a natural, healthy detox diet, based on eating more, of wholesome detoxifying foods, that is. An increased intake of high nutrient-to-calorie foods, rich in fibre, antioxidants and essential fatty acids will do wonders for your body, helping it detoxify, fight fluid drainage, lose fat and reduce it’s cellulite, especially if combined with exercise, lymphatic stimulation massage and key supplementation.

Nutrients to look for to boost your skin firmness, circulation and detoxification include:

> Anti-oxidants and fibre derived from green and colourful vegetables, flax seeds, berries, decaf coffee and cocoa (as long as the last two are not accompanied by milk and sugar). Yes, decaf coffee is good for both your skin and blood vessels, and therefore for cellulite, it is full of antioxidants but free of caffeine. And contrary to popular belief it is safe and chemical-free, as it is extracted by a water-based method.

> Essential fatty acids derived from flax seeds, evening primrose oil, oily fish and fish oil

> Protein derived from fish and pulses

> Healthy carbohydrates contained in brown rice and pulses

Nutrients to avoid include:

> Simple sugars contained sweet snacks, fizzy drinks, alcohol and fruit juices (freshly made or packed)

> Trans fatty acids and denatured fats contained in all fried food, margarine, biscuits, croissants etc.

> Nutrient—poor starch foods including almost all kinds of bread, white rice and snacks

> All dairy products

> Saturated fat contained in meat and dairy

Supplements to look for include dandelion root and leave extracts, artichoke extract, milk thistle extract, probiotics, chlorella, butyrate, purified lecithin, evening primrose oil, purified fish oil and quercetin among others.

The above recommendations are some of the elements of Georgios’ ”Lipo Diet”, an anti-cellulite, detoxifying diet tailor-made to suit each patient’s individual needs.

Georgios’ clients can also have liver function tests, dysbiosis tests and gut permeability tests performed, followed by suitable supplementation and diet prescribed according to the test results. Tests are non-intrusive and are performed by one of the biggest laboratories in the world.

In addition, Georgios’ ”LipoTherapeia” cellulite reduction treatment and “Lipo Detox Bliss” detoxification treatment, help stimulate the lymphatic system and boost sluggish circulation, thereby aiding in the removal of toxins from the tissues and cellulite reduction.

Finally, the detoxifying “Lipo Lymphatic Wrap”, (a unique combination of pressotherapy lymphatic drainage, and a nutritious body wrap rich in vitamins, herbal extracts and fruit extracts) provides a much more effective passive lymph drainage than manual lymphatic massage: just imagine the equivalent of 26 pairs of hands working on your body at the same time and you get the idea...

For more information on what is cellulite and how to reduce it please visit:

About Georgios and LipoTherapeia

Georgios provides clinical nutrition consultancy and the most comprehensive anti-cellulite treatment in London
exclusively from his clinic in Kensington, W8.

For appointments and further information please call 0800 0758 142, visit or email

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