If you’re like me and went a little too crazy on the comfort food and sugar this holiday season you may be feeling it in your body right about now. Holiday treats can be hard to turn down and let’s face, we all deserve a little treat at times. If you’re stuck feeling like you indulged a little too much there are a few things you can do to detox all that sugar, butter, and alcohol out of your system.
Signs You May Have Over Indulged
It’s so important to listen to your body and watch for signs in your everyday life that could indicate disruptors in your wellness. Here are a few signs that all those holiday meals and treats could have your body screaming for some relief.
- Changes in Bowel Movements
- Bloating or Gas
- Skin Breakouts
- Decreased Energy
- Disruption of Sleep
- Sudden Mood Swings
It’s important to note that these symptoms could also be signs of something more serious. If continued for a prolonged period or you notice symptoms worsening you should speak with a physician.
The holidays throw a lot of us out of our fitness and wellness routines. It can be frustrating, but don’t be so hard on yourself. Negative self talk is less than motivating and will often get you nowhere. Remember to be kind to yourself while reimplementing your wellness routine.
Here are a few easy ways to get you back on track and feeling your absolute best.
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Bulk up your fluids intake a little. Water helps to detoxify the body by removing waste products through urination and sweating. While you should always be drinking your recommended amount of water daily, it’s even more important to stay hydrated when trying to detox the body. If you aren’t sure how much water you should be drinking use this free water intake calculator.
If you’re suddenly struggling with constipation try drinking a glass of warm water with lemon first thing in the morning. It’s a natural way to help get your digestive system moving. The longer waste sits in your system due to constipation, the more toxin exposure you’re in contact with. Proper hydration throughout your day also helps to restore normal bowel movements.
Try to decrease the amount of caffeine consumed and instead reach for a decaf hot tea or herbal based latte in the morning. Caffeine can have a dehydrating effect on the body. The goal here is to rehydrate, especially if you’ve consumed a lot of alcohol recently.
Minimize Meat Consumption
No, this is not a ploy to get you to go vegan or vegetarian. Meat can be one of the hardest things for the body to process and most of us are consuming way too much. Give your system a rest by minimizing how much meat you consume daily.
Red meat especially can contribute to constipation due to it’s lack of fiber. High fiber foods like apples, avocados, chickpeas, and oats add bulk to the stool helping to move things through the digestive system more smoothly.
Try a meatless week or only eating meat every other day to recharge your system. On the days you do choose to eat meat opt for easier to process options like poultry or fish.
Probiotics & Prebiotics
Your gut health effects so much of your overall wellness. Trillions of microorganisms in your gut work together to create something called the microbiome. The microbiome effects everything from your immune system to your mental health.
Your diet has an effect on your microbiome. Certain foods and medications can decrease the amount of good bacteria or increase the amount of bad bacteria in your gut. Taking a daily probiotic and prebiotic can help you maintain a healthy microbiome.
These can be taken in the form of a daily supplement including pill form or an unflavored powder that can easily be added to water or smoothies. My go to morning probiotic seconds as an herbal tea cleanse that includes turmeric, ginger and mint. It can be mixed with plant milk for an herbal latte or hot water for a tea. Drinking this elixir every morning has helped me to decrease bloating while giving me subtle clean energy.
Read my previous post 6 Natural Wellness Supplements You Should Add to Your Diet This Year to learn more about how supplements can increase overall wellness.
Sweat It Out
Remember above when we talked about water removing toxins through sweat? Most toxins are filtered out by the liver and kidneys through urination, but what’s left over gets stored in fat cells. Once the body has more toxins than the liver and kidneys can handle you’ll begin to sweat toxins out.
Try to get back into the swing of things at the gym, but don’t over do it if you’re just starting out. A cardio class like HITT, spin, or kickboxing is a great place to start. If you’re not into group cardio fitness spend some time on the treadmill, elliptical, or bike.
A session or two in an infrared sauna allows you to heavily sweat in a very short amount of time. Most gyms have saunas available for member use. If you’re not a member of a gym with a sauna try searching for sweat spas in your area. Sweat spas allow you to sit in a tranquil room with calming music while you sweat it out. It almost feels like you’ve treated yourself to a serene massage session after you’re finished.
*If you’ve struggled with any type of eating disorder please avoid fasting as it could trigger a relapse.
Fasting is a great way to give the body a rest. It can also be an intensely spiritual experience if you need to reconnect with your body, mind and spirit. The process of digesting food takes a lot energy from the organs. Over indulging in sugar and fatty foods puts our organs into overdrive to process. These types of foods also create inflammation in the body- explaining why you might be feeling so crappy after the holidays.
Give your body a quick break with an all liquid fast or by intermittent fasting. Liquid fasts should only last for 24hrs. During this time make sure you’re drinking enough water. You can also consume herbal teas or bone broth, but stay away from juice high in sugar content.
Intermittent fasting can be more of a long term lifestyle change. This is something I personally practice. Since beginning this method a few years ago I’ve noticed an increase in energy, better sleep, healthier bowel movements, and less bloating. There are a few different ways to implement intermittent fasting. To learn more and find the best method for you read this article from Healthline.