If you're dead set on cleansing your body, avoid these detox traps with Lyndi Polivnick's 9 step plan.

9 steps to pretox - Fruit & veg - PICTURE - Women's Health & Fitness

STEP 1

Set clear, realistic goals. Instead of focusing on losing weight, set goals based on your health. While you're focused on fitness and health goals, your weight will shift naturally without you even realising it. For fitness goals, think faster and stronger – not thinner.

STEP 2

Halve the processed foods you eat in a week, so if you eat popcorn twice a week, choose one popcorn day and savour it (or keep your two movie nights and halve your portions).

STEP 3

Gently curb alcohol and caffeine. Trade up to herbal teas; cycle through them until you find a favourite.

STEP 4

Trick your body into absorbing fewer calories by increasing fibre intake with whole grains and unpeeled fruit and veg. Fibre lowers the kJs you extract from food. For example, a high-fibre muesli bar would provide less energy than a brownie even though they might have the same calories! Fibre also keeps you fuller for longer and sweeps toxins from your system.

STEP 5

Eat protein to prevent muscle loss, which will keep your metabolism cranking. It will also curb snacking by keeping you full between meals.

STEP 6

Eat plenty of antioxidant-rich fresh fruit and veg, oily fish, dark leafy greens, whole grains and dairy foods. Good carbs are keepers.

STEP 7

Make lots of little changes rather than few big ones – you'll get the same net effect without feeling deprived. Try eating a quarter less at dinner, drinking half a latte or sharing dessert. It all adds up.

STEP 8

Work out regularly. You only need to burn 1,000 kJs a day for four weeks to drop a kilo.

STEP 9

Give yourself permission to eat what you like but choose food consciously and eat it mindfully. You'll be satisfied with less. Commit to look after your health, not your jeans size. Guilt and health cannot co-exist.

NEXT: Do-able detox