From experience, I can tell you that 2-3 months of consistent overeating can lead to some significant weight gain. There was a time in the not-so-distant past that I was able to gain 8 lbs. between Halloween and January 1st.
A weekend or two of binging won’t make a difference, but consistency is key–whether it comes to gaining or losing weight.
How do you “reset” your body after the holidays and possibly undo some of the things you did to your body? Here’s the good news–you don’t need to worry about purchasing any detoxifiers or internal body cleansers.
The key is to get back to the basics.
5 Ways to Detoxify and Cleanse Your System After the Holidays
- Consume Whole, Minimally Processed Foods. One of the best ways to keep your body functioning optimally is to consume more fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. I know I sound like a broken record. Why these foods? They are great sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Imagine your body is a car. The quality of fuel we put into it may help it run more optimally. Think of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains as fuel of the highest octane. These foods help keep our body running smoothly.
- Get Up and Move. When it’s cold outside, it can be so easy to want to stay indoors, sit by the cozy fire, and catch up on all of those Netflix shows that your friends keep bugging you to finish. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to brave the cold to move. Within the comfort of your home, you can:
- Walk or jog in place
- Jump rope (or if you don’t have a real jump rope, pretend!)
- Perform push-ups or sit-ups
- Shadow box
Moving helps cleanse some of that clutter in your mind and releases hormones that make you feel good. It may help clean out your arteries, too.
- Stay Hydrated. We often think that dehydration most often occurs in warm weather. Believe it or not, you’re also likely to be dehydrated when it’s cold outside. Don’t forget to keep your cells functioning their best by consuming enough water. Notice: I said enough. No need to consume too much! If you do, you might end up excreting some of those vitamins and minerals that you spent so much time and care consuming from tip #1.
- Relax. The body does need both rest and sleep. Finding time to rest the body and mind is important, especially after the holidays. You may have spent the past two months with the front door of your home acting as a revolving door with family and friends coming and going as they please. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about social support, but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. There may be a point where you just need your own space and quiet time. Finding some real quiet time to breathe, and possibly even meditate, can help you recharge.
- Sleep Well. Rest and sleep are two different concepts. I used a car analogy a second ago, but I’m going to switch for a moment use a computer analogy here. Sleep, particularly deep sleep, is like providing your brain with software updates and providing it with a hard reboot. A large misconception is that when you’re asleep, you’re giving your brain a rest. This is not true. The brain is actually quite active while you're asleep. It’s sorting things, cleaning out junk files, and making sense of the events of the day. These are all important tasks for feeling your best when you wake up. Furthermore, your body can use this time to repair damaged muscles and replenish your immune system. The immune system helps cleanse the system by killing harmful microbes.
The best ways to cleanse the body after a prolonged period of not-so-healthy behaviors would be to restart some of these healthier habits.
If you're looking for a quick special cleanse that you can buy from a store, think again. Researchers have found that within a couple of weeks after quitting smoking, someone that has smoked cigarettes for years and years can have their body repair itself in some incredible ways. This is without any special cleansing agents.
The same can be said for other habits. After the holidays have ended, go back to some of the healthier behaviors I mentioned, and give your body a jump-start to cleansing itself.