Blue plate on a white background with scrabble letters spelling detox

5-step tech, food & fitness detox

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With a few simple techniques and lifestyle tweaks, you can embark on a ‘detox’ that will improve multiple aspects of your health and wellbeing all at once. Learn how.

Feel like your brain’s crying out for a ‘tech break’ or as though there’s not enough hours in the day to look after yourself properly? 

You’re not the only one. While 20 per cent of Australians feel time-poor when it comes to their health, a 2018 study suggests that the appeal and popularity of ‘unplugged holidays’ is on the rise .

But you don’t need to book a break to do your health and headspace a favour. There’s a simpler way, and this five-step plan is a great place to start. 

It delivers a tech, food and fitness detox that’ll overhaul everything from your sleep and energy levels to your weight-loss efforts and relationships. 

Step 1. Move your phone charger out of your bedroom

It’s a tech detox that delivers:
  • Better sleep
  • A healthier weight
Forty-two per cent of us admit to looking at our phones after we’ve switched the lights off  in bed, a habit that can severely disrupt sleep due to that blue-tinged light . 

And unfortunately, poor sleep can bump up the risk of weight gain, thanks to the way it affects two key hunger hormones , ghrelin and leptin. 
People who sleep less have more ghrelin, which makes you feel hungry, and less leptin, which suppresses appetite. 

So, move your charger out of your bedroom and get into the habit of plugging your phone in – and leaving it there – an hour or two before bedtime.

Step 2. Fill half your plate with organic veggies

It’s a food detox that delivers:
  • A lower pesticide consumption
  • Your optimal intake of vegetables
The jury is still out about whether eating organic produce is better for you nutritionally , but eat it for a week and research shows that the level of pesticides circulating in your body decreases significantly . 

And covering at least half your plate with vegetables at lunch and dinner is an easy way to ensure you’re eating the recommended five serves a day  – something only seven per cent of Australian adults currently achieve .

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Step 3. Head outdoors to exercise

It’s a fitness detox that delivers:
  • A stronger sense of wellbeing
  • An increased likelihood that you’ll keep at it
Compared to exercising indoors, research shows that being active outdoors significantly improves energy levels, mood and how revitalised you feel afterwards. 

Plus, most people enjoy exercising outside more than doing it indoors, which makes it much more likely that you’ll do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next . 

How much ‘green exercise’ does it take to boost mood? As little as five minutes will do the trick . 

Step 4. Commit to tech-free mealtimes

It’s a tech detox that delivers:
  • Healthier relationships
  • A chance to eat mindfully
Not only does research show that just being able to eyeball your phone when you’re catching up with someone for a meal lowers the quality of conversation,  enjoying screen- and computer-free meals is a key mindful-eating strategy; one that can foster a healthier relationship with food , better meal satisfaction  and even weight loss . 

For best results, as well as keeping your phone out of sight and moving away from screens to eat, switch your devices to silent, too. Hearing that notification ‘ping’ causes the same level of mental distraction as actually using your phone or tablet . 

Step 5. Stock your pantry shelves with fibre-rich foods

It’s a food detox that delivers:
  • Lower hunger levels
  • Improved gut health
Behavioural scientists have demonstrated that, when looking at your fridge or pantry, it’s the food in your immediate sight-line that you’ll eat most of . 

So, make sure your eye-level shelves are stocked with plenty of foods that contain prebiotic fibres, such as tinned legumes, oats and pistachio nuts in the pantry, and fresh fruit and vegetables like leek, asparagus, snow peas, watermelon and nectarines in the fridge . 

It’ll increase your chances of eating enough fibre – something 83 per cent of Australians struggle with  – a nutrient that can help you regain control of your hunger levels  and improve your gut health.