If you read about ancient torture methods, you’ll find some pretty gnarly stuff like something called “infusion,” in which a victim is bound and then force-fed a list of repulsive substances like salt water, honey, vinegar, and hot peppers. But wait! Isn’t that the Master Cleanse?
Truth is, you don’t need to kill yourself with a “detox” regime this New Year’s for rapid weight loss, or to cleanse your body of the damage you over the holidays. Good news is your liver and kidneys do a mighty fine job at the cleanse thing without juices, fasts, or strange concoctions. And there are a handful of foods—delicious ones—with impressive detoxifying and slimming properties, including tea, which I made the cornerstone of The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse, on which test panelists lost 10 pounds. So hold the vinegar and cayenne and give yourself and cleanse away the pounds, torture free, with my new plan—and the delicious foods below!
Instead of overhauling your entire diet in an attempt to slim down for New Year’s, simply eat half a grapefruit before each meal. This tactic can help whittle your middle—by up to an inch—in just six-weeks according to a study published in the journal Metabolism. The scientists attribute the powerful effects to the grapefruit’s fat-zapping phytochemicals. The fruit can interact negatively with certain medications, though, so check in with your doctor before indulging in the citrus appetizer.
If you’ve been keeping warm all winter by sipping on soup, your pants may be feeling tight. Lighten up! You likely haven’t packed on the pounds if you generally stick to a healthy diet; you’re just bloated from all the salty broths. When you consume a lot of sodium the body retains fluids, resulting in a paunchy belly. Luckily, there’s a simple solution: Sip some hibiscus tea, at the key times indicated in The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse. Doing so will help your pooch deflate. The flavonoids in the hibiscus plant counteract bloating by influencing how aldosterone, the hormone that regulates water and electrolytes balance, affects the body, according to an Indian Journal of Pharmacology study.
Think of guacamole as a designated driver for your digestive system. A study in The Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry analyzed the effects of feeding 22 different fruits to a group of rats with liver damage caused by galactosamine, a liver toxin. The fruit that proved most beneficial? You guessed it: the avocado. Cilantro, the savory herb that gives guac its distinctive flavor, contains a unique blend of oils that send a “simmer down!” message to an upset stomach. In fact, cilantro extract has been linked to relief in patients who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to a study published in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences. (There are easy ways to enjoy it on the run, too. Check out Wholly Guacamole’s 100-calorie packs and the rest of our list of the best snacks for weight loss.)
Any tea will help soothe your nerves, but white tea, part of The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse, packs a particular one-two punch that can actually attack belly fat. A study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism showed that white tea can simultaneously boost lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and block adipogenesis (the formation of fat cells). The tea’s combination of caffeine and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) seems to set fat cells up for defeat.