The holidays are winding down...just as your pants are tightening up.
All the cake, cookies, gravy, and carbs have moved onto your hips and
thighs, happy in their new home even if they threaten to tear apart
your clothes at the seams. On top of that, your head hurts and your
mood turns ugly without regular infusions of sugar. Welcome to the
holiday hangover, a gift no one wants to find under their tree. Here are six ways to detox from holiday overeating after the fact.
1.Don't dwell on the past. Recriminations whether self-inflicted or dished out by a 'loving' relative really don't accomplish anything other to make you miserable. What is done is done. Don't look back, concentrate on moving forward.
Each time you feel the urge to beat yourself up, instead say to yourself 'it's over and done. I am changing and moving forward.' This gives you a positive base for change instead of trying to flog yourself with guilt.
2.Get some exercise. Put on some good music and boogie. Go for a walk, do some yoga or go to the gym. Whatever you do, aim for 20 to 30 minutes of daily activity that raises your heart rate at least a little bit. Don't worry about intensity at this juncture, this is not a triathlon, it's a detox and a gentle workout is just fine.
3.Clean out the fridge. Give away any lingering cookies and other holiday treats or throw them out--better in the garbage than lining your arteries for a future stroke or heart attack. Put anything you really love or can't bear to part with in the freezer to eat some other time.
4.Stock the kitchen with fruits, veggies whole grains and lean proteins. Create a three day meal plan that is low in fat and high in whole foods with moderate levels of lean protein.
Whole grains like oatmeal are great for breakfast; they are filling, don't spike blood sugar, and contain fiber that keep the digestive system moving.
Fruit and veggies are also full of fiber and vitamins, plus they are light and easy on the stomach. Eat fruit plain and lightly steam veggies or make a big salad.
sources of lean protein include; fish, chicken, turkey (sans gravy, of
course). Eating like this for a few days will cleanse your system after
overeating during the holidays. Scroll down for a
5.Drink fluids. Water is a given as it literally washes the body from the inside out. Further, part of the physical misery of a holiday hangover is courtesy of bloating caused by too much fat, sugar and salt. Drinking water gets rid of that extra fluid for almost immediate relief, not to mention loosening of the pants. Aim for 1 to 2 liters a day.
Also consider ginger tea. In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) ginger is a digestive aid that settles the stomach and supports proper digestion. Simply add peeled, fresh ginger, from the grocery store's produce section, to boiling water and cook for about five minutes. Strain and serve with just a touch of honey.
6.Plan for sugar withdrawals. Sugar can be addictive. If you find yourself craving sugar or feeling dead on your feet, you may be jonesing for a sugar cookie fix. Sugar withdrawal can derail even the most iron-willed person so it's important to have a plan.
Keep fruit on hand to fight sugar's siren call. Diet pop or sugar free mints are also helpful. Protein, oddly enough, can kill sugar cravings as well. Over-the-counter pain relievers can assist with the headaches and a good B vitamin can boost energy.
Every time you feel like you need something sweet, redirect yourself into a better option--this is why a plan is important, it keeps you out of trouble. Sugar cravings can last a few days, but preparation can ease the pain. If you absolutely must give in, severely limit portions.
With consistency, determination and some advance planning you can lose weight and withdraw your name from the 'looks most like Santa' category.
Sample Holiday Detox Menu for Weight Loss
Breakfast: Oatmeal (unsweetened) with fruit or a Greek yogurt with fruit. (Greek yogurt is lower in sugar and higher in protein than most yogurts--it can be found in most grocery stores.) Ginger tea. Water.
Note: Oatmeal can be naturally sweetened with sugar free applesauce. This can be made easily at home. Peel 3 to 4 apples, chop and cook with approximately 1 cup of water until soft and mushy. Use cinnamon for extra flavor. Add to the morning oatmeal.
Lunch: Salad with leftover holiday turkey and cranberries. Ginger Tea. Water.
Snack: String cheese and a handful of nuts. Water.
Dinner: Grilled chicken or fish with a side of steamed veggies or salad.
Snack options for 'the munchies': Water (always drink water first before eating anything just in case your body is actually thirsty!). Low sugar or sugar free popsicle. Fruit. String cheese. Dark chocolate. Diet soda. Protein.