Optimal Nutrition for Detox and Weight Loss

Zoe Palmer - Nutritionist and NaturopathZoe Palmer

Zoe is an experienced Nutritionist and Naturopath. She is also a foodie who believes that good nutrition is the foundation for a healthy and happy life and has had years of working with clients to transform their diets, their health and their waistlines both at her London clinic and 38° North retreats in Ibiza. Zoe is also a detoxification and fasting expert and runs popular London-based juice detox programmes. She regularly lectures on health and nutrition, is an advisor to healthy food companies helping them design menus and is often asked to provide expert comment for health articles in the media.


Interview with a Nutritionist and Detox Expert

What advice would you give to people who are looking at different ways to lose weight?

That a constant round of yo-yo dieting is bad for the body and the metabolism, for example by causing a loss of lean muscle or reducing the function of the thyroid gland which is crucial for good metabolism. Instead of looking for the new 'diet' or quick fix it's far better to get an individual assessment of your body, diet and weight by a nutritionist. This will help make positive life-long changes to your eating habits that enables you to lose weight and maintain the weight loss (without starving the body of vital nutrients) whilst also becoming healthier.

Should we diet to lose weight or is this just a short term fix and not a long term solution?

It depends what you mean by 'diet'. There are many 'diets' out there that are very short term/quick fix and are not sustainable as they restrict food groups or key nutrients, which can often contribute to weight gain in the long term by compromising health and metabolism. However there are some diets that are nutritionally sound and can help support healthy weight loss.

As a detoxification and fasting expert, tell us how a juice detox programme can benefit us and how often should we do this?

Juice detoxing can benefit us in many ways. Obviously loss of body fat is one great benefit and after a juice detox people often feel energised, they're slimmer, with brighter eyes, better skin and they feel ready to start and stick to a healthy eating programme. In terms of how often, a good rule of thumb is to detox at least twice yearly but I always recommend that people listen to their bodies and do them as often as they feel they need to as there are signs that tell you when it's time for a detox. For example sluggishness and fatigue, dark under eye circles, weight gain and when you know you've been overdoing things in terms of indulging in too much processed food or alcohol is also a good time to do one.

Who may benefit from seeing a Nutritionist?

Those who want to lose weight, find out if they have food intolerances or allergies or if they are deficient in vitamins and minerals. People suffering with digestive problems, skin issues, hay fever, low energy levels, hormonal problems and more.


The pool at Aguas de Ibiza

The rooftop pool at Aguas de Ibiza

Do you think it is easier to change your long-term eating habits by initiating them on a healthy holiday?

In many ways yes because on a healthy holiday you have the time and space to really focus on your health and reflect on your dietary habits, and start to consistently practice those healthy habits, meaning you are more likely to stick with them going forwards.

Why is good nutrition the foundation for a healthy and happy life?

The food we eat contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fats; all of the building blocks our bodies need for health - they are essential for our immunity, brain function, digestion, for cells to repair and rebuild, for healthy DNA. And good nutrition affects brain chemistry and so our mood and memory are hugely impacted by the quality of the food we eat - for example our bodies need B vitamins in order to manufacture serotonin - one of the most important neurotransmitters for mood and memory.

If you lived on a desert island for one year, what five foods would you most want to take with you?

1. Oysters - delicious and decadent and packed full of the mineral zinc - essential for a strong immune system
2. Kefir - a yoghurt drink packed full of gut friendly bacteria - to keep tummy bugs at bay 
3. Raw honey - as well as tasting great with the kefir it is a natural anti-viral and anti-bacterial agent, and can help heal wounds
4. Raw dark chocolate - a brilliant source of relaxing magnesium, antioxidants and a natural mood booster
5. Nuts and seeds - a great source of protein and minerals as well as fibre

What results have clients achieved from going on the 38 Degrees North Detox and Slim Fit Retreats?

Weight loss (body fat), increased energy levels, new knowledge about their body and how to get the most out of it, and motivation to continue a healthy lifestyle.


Stretching at Aguas de Ibiza

Stretching on the rooftop at Aguas de Ibiza

What physical activities do you encourage your clients to take part in?

Walking and hiking, yoga, stretching and more - activities that work the muscles and stimulate blood flow and the elimination of toxins via the lungs but aren't too physically exhausting.

What are the main benefits of working with a nutritionist during a weight loss and fitness holiday?

It's an opportunity to have a professional Nutritionist assess your diet in depth and analyse whether it is providing you with the nutrients you need to be healthy. It is a chance to have any physical symptoms you suffer from or health problems you have explored in depth, and learn if any of your food choices are causing or contributing to these problems. You will also receive a food plan that is designed just for you to enhance your health and vitality.

Tell us your top 3 detox tips?

In terms of how to detox well my advice is to choose a reputable detox programme and get your mind in the right place before you begin - decide why you are doing it and what you hope to achieve out of it as this will help you approach the experience with the right mind-set. And it goes without saying that you must drink plenty of pure water and if possible choose alkaline water.

For more information about the 38° North Ibiza health and fitness retreats visit Aguas de Ibiza

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