The holidays and the upcoming new year are great opportunities to practice gratitude and enjoy quality time with the ones we love. But they’re also opportunities that invite us to overindulge in sweets and treats while avoiding physical activity and other self-care routines. When that big holiday meal leaves you feeling lethargic, bloated and guilty this year, get back on track with this post-holiday detox plan.
1) Drink lemon water
Start your day the morning after that holiday meal with a warm glass of water and lemon. Lemon is a natural cleansing fruit and kickstarts your digestion and metabolism. Have a glass first thing in the morning before your morning coffee and breakfast. Make it a part of your morning routine even after the holiday season.
2) Indulge in greens
Holiday meals are typically filled with food that isn’t exactly health. Rebalance your nutrition with the power of green veggies.
If you have a juicer, juice things like lettuce, kale or spinach and add apples, ginger root and lemon for extra flavor. You can also find a local juice bar to grab an on-the-go option. It’s easiest for your body to absorb the nutrients in juice on an empty stomach, so try to drink the juice first thing in the morning or in the afternoon between meals.
Plan meals featuring:
- A wide variety of veggies and fruits
- Whole grains
- Beans and legumes
- Plenty of water
Eating healthier is a gradual process that takes time. Trying to overhaul your diet quickly may not be sustainable for your lifestyle. Make small changes for your post-holiday detox and then slowly integrate them into your routine throughout the year. Start by committing to eating a piece of fruit in the morning with your breakfast. Or swap out fries or chips for steamed vegetables. You might be surprised at how your taste buds and cravings change as you incorporate healthier changes into your diet.
This actually makes it easier to make healthier choices in the long run, and you set yourself up for success. Once you have made progress with smaller changes, you will naturally gravitate toward bigger, healthier ones.
3) Say no to heavy junk foods
You may have indulged in all things not nutrient dense over the holidays – including alcohol. Many of these foods may cause inflammation in the body. Reduce the inflammation and put nutrition first by cutting out junk foods. This will allow your body to naturally eliminate the inflammation and get your body refocused for the new year.
4) Review your food sensitivities
Your stomach pain, bloating or other gastrointestinal issues may need more than a few post-holiday detox meals. If you don’t have a condition or medication that is causing abdominal distress, take a look at the foods you’re consuming. Even if you are eating a generally healthy diet, you might be surprised at some of the foods that commonly cause issues for people. Please consult with a nutrition expert for specific recommendations.
Keep a diary of your exploration:
- What did you you eat throughout the day?
- How did those foods make you feel?
- Do you have high or low energy levels?
- How does your stomach feel?
- How are your bowel movements?
After taking a break from the foods that you have chosen to eliminate, notice any changes in your body after working them back into your diet. Any discomfort might indicate a sensitivity to that particular food.
5) Amp up your exercise
Oh how sometimes we dread the word: exercise. For many of us, it’s something that we know we should do, but it’s just so much more convenient to exercise tomorrow. Excuses like no time, too tired or too stiff can often get in the way of working up a sweat.
After overindulging on traditional holiday treats though, nothing jump starts your post-holiday detox like a good sweat session. Any bit of exercise that you can incorporate into your post-holiday detox will set you up for success:
- Take a walk around the block a few times a week
- Walk for 20 minutes on a treadmill
- Walk in place or lift light weights while watching TV
Just like with your diet, the key to success with exercise is focusing on small changes. Once you get used to this routine, you will likely naturally want to do more.
Stay motivated by setting goals throughout the year:
- Sign up for 5k walk or run for a local charity that you want to support
- Ask friends and family members to be your accountability partners
- Take a yoga class at your local YMCA
- Ask about a guest membership at your local gym
- Check out local boot camp classes in your area
- Break out your bike and go for a ride in your local park
Remember: everyone is not meant to be a CrossFit muscle machine. If you try one form of exercise and don’t like it, there are plenty others out there. Find one that helps you approach this post-holiday detox and that is sustainable throughout the rest of the year. Before you get started with any new fitness program, of course, please consult with your healthcare team.
6) Invest in a body brush
A body brush exfoliates your skin, and also encourages detoxification in your body. When you sweat, your body is ridding itself of toxins. When the sweat dries, some of the toxins are left on the surface of your skin. Sweating or getting into a shower while these toxins are on your skin can result in your body re-absorbing the toxins into your body. Brushing them off with a body brush removes them from your body and “helps detoxify by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymph flow/drainage” and “stimulates your nervous system, which can make you feel invigorated afterward.”
Don’t have a body brush? A good body scrub can also boost circulation in your skin and help spark the detoxification process.
7) Show your spiritual side
How have you been feeling emotionally? Take an inventory. Is there anywhere in your life where you want to feel more spiritually fulfilled? Connecting with a higher power can be a valuable way to live a more fulfilled life. If you would like to work more spirituality into your life this year, consider trying one or more of the following until you find a good fit for you:
New Year’s resolutions rarely stick. Why? We often set ourselves up for unattainable goals. But you can’t climb a mountain if you don’t first take small steps toward that mountain. So forget the grand plans of a New Year’s resolution. Instead, focus on a few post-holiday detox steps and then integrate them throughout the year for a healthier you!
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