Summer can be full of temptations, from poolside cocktails to barbecues and ice cream trucks. It’s the ultimate dilemma: You want to look good on the beach, while not spending sunny days watching your waistline. That’s why we’ve built a five-day detox plan that will let you cut back during the week so you can indulge a little more on Saturday and Sunday.
Don’t expect this to be a deprivation-inducing juice cleanse. “Building healthy eating habits in your daily life is the most important thing, no detox is one quick fix,” says DailyBurn Fitness/Nutrition Coach Nora Minno, RD and certified personal trainer.
Instead, you’ll focus on fitting in five workouts a week (weekends are your rest days), and eating meals comprised of whole, clean foods. You should aim to cut out processed foods altogether, and seriously limit your consumption of added sugar and dairy, Minno advises. “Sugar is going to raise your blood sugar and [could cause] you excess calorie intake leading to weight gain,” Minno says. “…As much as you can, cut those out and give your body time to reset.”
But will you really see any difference in just five days? “[You’ll] usually notice more energy, because a lot of these [clean] foods are easier to digest and use for fuel,” Minno says. “You’ll feel energized and you may notice some weight loss…and the skin usually clears up, too.”
Though it will vary from person to person, aim to consume around 1,500 calories per day, including three meals and one snack. You can figure out your specific calorie goals using this handy calculator. Then, adjust your serving sizes of the meals below to fit your individual needs.
When it comes to workouts, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is your new best friend. “Aim for high intensity at least two times a week, then strength training in between,” Minno says. On weekends, don’t forget to work in some active recovery sessions (we bet these yin yoga moves would be even more relaxing on the beach).
Here’s how to get started — you’ll thank us by Saturday.
How to Detox Your Body
Detox Day 1:
Breakfast: Matcha Pear Green Protein Smoothie (299 cals per serving)
With higher levels of antioxidants than standard green tea, matcha is the darling of the health world right now. In addition to offering up a hit of caffeine, matcha may have special detoxifying properties due to its high levels of chlorophyll. Combined with protein powder, vitamin-rich spinach and fiber-packed pear, this smoothie is a nutrient-packed way to start your day.
Lunch: Vegan Lentil Salad Recipe (296 cals per serving)
You know why we love lentils? They take only about 20 minutes to whip up, and are packed with protein, fiber and iron. Top them off with a slew of your favorite veggies (asparagus, peas, carrots, snap peas and zucchini are featured here) for a heartier take on a classic salad.
Dinner: Zucchini Noodles and Meatballs Recipe (107 cals per serving)
Zoodles are a detoxer’s best friend. You get all the joy of slurping up noodles, with none of the bloat-inducing gluten or carbs. Lean turkey meatballs offer up plenty of protein, with less fat than your grandma’s recipe.
Snack: Antioxidant Fruit Salad with Bee Pollen (296 cals per serving)
Fruit salad never looked so good. Berries, nectarines, plums and cherries fill your bowl, for a naturally sweet treat. Skip the vanilla-honey topping, or halve it if you’re trying to cut back on sugar.
Workout: The 30-Minute No-Equipment HIIT Workout
We guarantee this HIIT workout will be a challenge, regardless of your fitness level. By alternating periods of all-out effort with short breaks, you’ll create an afterburn effect that will help you torch more fat and calories than a standard aerobic workout. HIIT, for the win.
Detox Day 2:
Breakfast: Mango Blueberry Protein Smoothie Recipe (344 cals per serving)
This smoothie stars some of your favorite summer fruits. Mangos are full of fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, while blueberries are packed with nutrients that can help fight disease. Chia seeds add a boost of omega-3 fatty acids and even more fiber to your glass.
RELATED: 14 Creative Chia Seed Recipes
Lunch: Turkey Chili with White Beans Recipe (320 cals per serving)
Chili’s not just for winter. This light recipe is filling without weighing you down, thanks to the protein and dietary fiber found in white beans. Combined with lean ground turkey, you’ll spoon up 33 grams of filling protein per serving.
Dinner: Baked Fish Recipe with Bok Choy and Brown Rice (402 cals per serving)
It’s hard to find a dinner this hearty for less than 500 calories. Halibut is a solid source of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids — and cooking it using this foil pouch method makes the whole meal easy to pull together, too.
Snack: Spring Green Detox Soup Recipe (156 cals per serving)
If you love green smoothies but want to change things up, this brightly hued soup will please your palate (and your senses). Full of kale, chard and broccoli florets, this mix of greens will help facilitate your body’s natural cleansing and detoxifying process. Whip up a batch and snack on this super low-cal soup all week long.
Workout: The 30-Minute Arm Sculpting Workout
We’ve got two words to motivate you through this workout: Sleeveless season. Do three to four sets of each move for a thorough 30-minute workout that will help tighten and tone your arms and give you the confidence to ditch that sweater.
Detox Day 3:
Breakfast: Raspberry Chia Protein Smoothie Recipe (300 cals per serving)
There’s a reason chia seeds are all the rage right now (hello, chia pudding). They’re full of fiber, good for digestion and help stabilize blood sugar (which can lead to fewer cravings). Combined with chocolate protein powder, frozen raspberries and cinnamon, this protein-rich mix is positively delicious.
Lunch: Bulgur Greek Salad Recipe (182 cals per serving)
Pretend you’re cruising the Greek isles while eating this Mediterranean-inspired bulgur, tomato and cucumber salad. With just 182 calories per serving, you can eat a big bowl of it without exceeding your calorie goals. So dig in if your stomach’s growling! (Hold the feta if you’re avoiding dairy during your detox.)
Dinner: Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Mango-Habanero Salsa Recipe (394 cals per serving)
Bacon may not be cleanse-friendly, but tenderloin sure is with 75 percent of its calories coming from protein. Top your cut with this summery salsa that’s hot enough to encourage you to chug a few extra glasses of water with your meal.
Snack: Mini Peanut Butter and Apple Sandwich Recipe (200 cals per serving)
This kiddie-inspired snack is a totally legit way for grown-ups to get a boost of protein and fiber midday. Nosh on two of these granola, peanut butter, raisin and apple sammies for just 200 calories.
Workout: The Fat-Burning Plyometrics Workout
No time to work out? These five moves from DailyBurn trainer Anja Garcia will work your entire body, pump up your heart rate and help you burn calories fast, thanks to the explosive movements required. The combo of squats, burpees, push-ups, skaters and knee drives will have you sweating in less than five minutes.
Detox Day 4:
Breakfast: Black Forest Protein Shake Recipe (330 cals per serving)
If you thought eating black forest anything was out of bounds during a detox, think again. This chocolate protein powder, banana and cherry shake is just sweet enough to satisfy any sugar cravings, while still being totally guilt-free.
Lunch: Kale and Quinoa Superfood Salad (402 cals per serving)
We don’t throw the term ‘superfood’ around lightly, but this salad is full of nutritional all-stars like quinoa, edamame, kale, tomatoes, mango, avocado and walnuts. While there’s no animal protein in the mix, edamame and quinoa are solid plant-based sources. The light lemony dressing is the icing on the cake, so to speak.
RELATED: What 25 Grams of Protein Looks Like
Dinner: Grilled Pesto Salmon Kebabs Recipe (175 cals per skewer)
Fire up your grill for these killer pesto-coated kebabs. If you’re not a fan of salmon, substitute swordfish or shrimp, instead. Bonus: You can use the leftover pesto to top your salads for the rest of the week.
Snack: Spicy Baked Chickpeas Recipe (153 cals per serving)
Next time you’re dying for some chips, cook up a batch of these crunchy chickpeas, instead. Full of fiber and protein, they’re topped with a zesty mix of paprika, garlic powder, cayenne and chili. The flavor will wow you way more than a standard bag of Lay’s.
Workout: The Core-Sculpting Pilates Workout
Work your abs (yes, they’re there!) with these simple Pilates moves. The key: Keeping your stomach muscles tight and scooped in as you progress through each exercise. Don’t forget to breathe!
Detox Day 5:
Breakfast: Peanut Butter and Jelly Protein Smoothie Recipe (317 cals per serving)
If you love PB&J, why not turn the lunchtime favorite into a filling breakfast? Featuring a tablespoon of peanut butter and tons of fresh raspberries, you’ll get your fix, minus the sammie’s added sugars and carbs. Vanilla protein powder helps up the protein count to 29 grams per serving (meaning you’ll definitely stay full until lunch).
Lunch: Cleansing Spring Salad Recipe (185 cals per serving)
It’s a veggie-palooza! This brightly-colored dish packs in beets, carrots, cucumbers, avocado and tons of greens. With only 185 calories per two-cup servings, you can supersize this salad if you need to fill up.
Dinner: Balsamic Chicken Recipe with Barley and Chard (373 cals per serving)
This one-pot meal keeps things simple towards the end of your cleanse. The boneless, skinless chicken thighs are low in fat, while barley, tomato and dark, leafy greens ensure your plate is packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Snack: Homemade Beet Hummus Recipe (145 cals per serving)
The phytochemicals in beets act as antioxidants within the body, giving this hummus an extra good-for-you twist. Prep a plate full of veggies to snack on if you need to cure a case of the munchies.
Workout: The Ultimate 20-Minute Metcon Workout
This workout is your last push before a weekend full of fun, so make it count. Metabolic conditioning (aka metcon) is a high-intensity, calorie-blasting workout that alternates periods of all-out effort with short interludes of rest. Get ready to push yourself to the limit — the beach awaits!
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