The Monday detox diet

How to start the week right with 24 food-free hours.

So you ate and drank your way through the weekend, and you feel bloated and lethargic. Nothing a simple 24-hour fast can't fix. Going foodless (or almost foodless) for a day is the ultimate form of detoxification.

"In a short 24-hour fast, the body burns off stored fat, repairs damaged tissues and cells, and cleanses itself of toxins, but usually doesn't have time to tap into hard-earned muscle tissue," says Maria Pagano, RD and Tier 4 training manager at Equinox's private training club, E. "Fasting increases the production of the hormones responsible for lipolysis, which is the process of mobilizing fat, so it's a great way to jump-start your system."

John Berardi, Ph.D, founder of Precision Nutrition, agrees and fasts occasionally as a way to reboot and strengthen his self-discipline. "The ability to manage hunger is essential to fitness and good health," he says. His own personal 24-hour "fast" includes some greens and a snack so he doesn't feel completely famished. "Make sure to have healthy food (lean meats, veggies, etc.) ready to go when you 'break' the fast Monday night." Below, he shares his painless plan for going without:

10 p.m. Sunday:
Eat your last meal of the day
Drink 500 milliliters of water

10 a.m. Monday:
Drink 1 liter of water plus 1 serving of a superfood powder like Greens Plus
Drink 250 milliliters of green tea
Take 5 grams BCAA (branched chain amino acids) powder (or 5 capsules)

Note: The tea, greens, and BCAAs aren't essential but can help get you through it—and drinking water helps to mitigate the feelings of hunger.

3 p.m. Monday:
Repeat water, green tea, and BCAA morning routine

10 p.m. Monday:
Eat a small snack before bed
Drink 500 milliliters of water

Eat normally