christmasThe month of sacrifice has begun. It’s only January 3rd but already the avocado-munching, healthy living fascists are storming the internet, flooding instagram feeds with their kale smoothies and banishing fried cheese to the fiery depths of hell.

Just 72 hours ago the same folk were lying on the sofa, contemplating stealing a medical syringe to inject melted Belgian chocolate directly into their podgy, mince pie-filled mouths.

So if you’ve trudged into work this morning, mourning for your sofa and feeling bad about the fact you had toast for breakfast instead of green juice, fear not. Because here’s four reasons why ‘detoxing’ for the new year is a terrible idea.

1.)    There’s no such thing as a detox

Despite the claims of all those people trying to sell you stuff, your body isn’t a toxic waste disposal unit waiting to be cleansed with a laxative-effect tea and three days of starvation. In fact, your body, with its magical combination of liver, kidneys and a functioning immune system, does a pretty fine job of detoxing all by itself thanks very much. That strawberry herbal shit can’t ‘rid your body of toxins’ because there are no god damn toxins to rid yourself of. You don’t feel tired and fat because all that cheese you ate is secreting poison into your blood stream. You feel tired and fat because you sat on the sofa for 10 days watching back-to-back Harry Potter movies, eating like a beached walrus and disengaging your brain from reality. Get up at 8am, eat a balanced diet and chuck in the odd treat to cheer yourself up.

2.)    There’s no new year, new me

The Facebook posts lied. There’s no magic bullet for sorting out the crappier parts of your life. You don’t suddenly get motivation to become the next Paula Radcliffe because the clock struck 12 on New Year’s Eve. Change starts slowly, with teeny, manageable steps that won’t be abandoned in the time it takes to down three tequilas come February. Think 20 minute jogs and adding a bit more spinach to your diet. Not joining London’s most expensive gym and investing in 72 clean eating cookbooks about the spiritual powers of liquidised vegetables.

3.)    There’s too much pressure

If you are planning a complete life renovation (and I suggest you start somewhere easy like the bathroom,) January is the wrong time to do it. Give yourself a few weeks to mourn the holidays and start in February so you can feel like a smug wanker after everyone else has given up in favour of chicken pot pies in front of the telly. Alternatively, if it’s some new snazzy fitness regime (or just running to the end of the road without having an asthma attack) start in November. Think of it like preparation for the darkness of January.

4.)    January is shit

If your birthday is in January, I’m sorry. Because really, truly, the first month of the year is the piss puddle of the British calendar. It’s cold, it’s dark, the public transport system had become an incubus of viral plague and there’s no bank holidays on the horizon for four months. Giving up your vital support system (gin and cheese) will only make the whole situation worse. It’s not about being unhealthy, it’s about basic life support. In the gloomy aftermath of Jesus’ birthday, you know he would have wanted you to have the odd Brie toastie.