September 4, 2008

Wash Away Those Toxins

By Sarah Howden

HAS summer 2008 ruined your skin and left you with unsightly overhangs, not to mention zero energy? Well, it's time to detox after you retoxed with all that hard work earlier in the year. Now is the time to fix that summer blow out and get your health, fitness, skin and wellbeing back on track for autumn.


You committed to pounding the treadmill three times a week and always choosing the healthier option at mealtimes for the past three months. And eventually all the hard worked and detoxing paid off.

But after a summer of wine in the evenings, barbecues at the weekends, weddings and that long-awaited blowout holiday, chances are all that hard work has disappeared and those love handles, jelly belly, bingo wings and saddle bags are back. You have officially retoxed.

So it's time to start again. "The key to losing weight is managing your blood sugar, so at each meal you should have a good balance of protein and complex carbohydrate," explains Edinburgh nutritionist, Nell Nelson.

So start the day with an oat-based breakfast or an egg and toast.

"Portion size is also crucial. A rough guide is the 'palm' method as your hand size is relative to your weight and height. Cup your hands together as if they were a bowl you'd serve your food in, and this is the rough size of your carbohydrate serving at each meal."

For even quicker weight loss, Edinburgh personal trainer Will Sturgeon advises a reduction in carbohydrates. "I'd recommend only two portions of complex carbohydrates a day and before noon," he says. "This will cut down on your body storing any fat and will stop bloating. I'd go wheat-free too, if possible."

And exercise. For quick results get that heart rate racing five times a week, combining cardio exercises and toning. Cycling, jogging and the cross trainer are the best forms of cardio.

"If you're too busy to hit the gym, an hour of walking every day will make a huge difference," says personal trainer Paul Cope. "You can burn around 200 calories in an hour - that's more than 1000 calories in a week."

But according to Will Sturgeon, of WillPower Personal Training, while cardio will shed those excess pounds, toning exercises make the real difference.

He adds: "Lunges with a lateral raise and squats with a shoulder press are good - and loads of reps as well. The treadmill will burn calories and two or three sessions in a week could burn up to 3lbs of fat."


The sun has a lot to answer for. Irregular pigmentation, rough- textured complexions, premature wrinkles, unsightly skin sagging . . . UV rays does it all, and more.

But there is good news. Damage control is now available courtesy of a whole new line-up of treatments and products. First up is sunscreen. "It's vital people wear sunscreen, and a good sunscreen at that," stresses cosmetic doctor Simon Connolly, of Edinburgh complementary health centre Mulberry House. "It helps protect people against sun damage which can cause premature ageing, but it also protects against the harmful effects of the sun which can cause melanoma."

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50+ Melt in Cream (GBP 13.50) is one of the most powerful UVA-blocking products available. Also try Vichy Capital Soleil Pro-Density Face SPF30 (GBP 13.50), which contains Procysteine, an ingredient that acts on melanin production and evens skin tone.

Exfoliation is key to brighten up the complexion. "When you slough off the dead skin cells, you're increasing the rate of skin- cell turnover, so pigmented cells are removed faster revealing new, fresh skin," says national makeup artist Sadie Jean Sloss of Edinburgh apothecary, Dollyleo.

A mild at-home microdermabrasion or gentle fruit acid peel can help to dissolve the dead top layer of skin rather than mechanically scrubbing it off. Try Natura Bisse Glyco Extreme Peel (GBP 160, Space NK), Origins Modern Friction (GBP 28, John Lewis), Kiel's Epidermal Re-texturising microdermabrasion (GBP 37, John Lewis), and Kiel's Overnight Biological Peel (GBP 30) which reveals vibrant skin by morning. And boost moisture through a thick face cream to hydrate lacklustre skin.


One minute it's all Greek salad days, sun-tan lotion and sand between your toes, the next you're chained to the desk groaning under the weight of a packed in-tray. If you're feeling a little bit deflated and dreading winter, chances are you've got the post- holiday blues.

So what can we do? Clinical psychologist Ros Taylor claims we should be "diarying in" some fun. "You have to ask yourself: why should you have one large burst, namely two weeks of non-stop pleasure, and not much else for the rest of the year?"

Plan your social life, and eat yourself happy. Certain foods can also be mood-boasting. Take care of yourself, keep resting your mind and body as you did on holiday, and get some quality, deep sleep.

(c) 2008 Evening News; Edinburgh (UK). Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.