A lot of amazing food, great drinks and an unforgettable time with your friends and family. It all sounds great except for one thing – how you feel the next morning. Unfortunately, all that excess, in the form of carbs, fat, salt, sugar, and alcohol, can leave you feeling bloated, tired, hungry, and guilty. Here’s how to get back to your normal routine and give your body what it’s craving and re-establish a healthy equilibrium after your 4th of July celebration.
There is no better way to start your detox than waking up in the morning and drinking a full glass of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon. Lemons are packed full of nutrition and incorporating lemon water into your diet every day will help you fast track your detox. When you drink warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice in it as soon as you wake up, it flushes your system and cleanses your body. You can also chop up lemons and put them directly into your water bottle to sip on throughout the day. If the taste is too sour for you, try adding a little bit of honey, but keep it in check – you don't want to consume unnecessary sugars.
If you overate the day before, start the next day with a light breakfast. Skip all sugary and fried foods - the best way is to start with a smoothie packed with fruits and vegetables. You’ll quickly start getting your energy back as you cleanse your system and give it a good hit of nutrients. Focus on eating colourful foods – when you eat vegetables and fruits with a rainbow of colours, you are getting a whole array of antioxidants and phytonutrients that all have specific jobs to keep the body healthy, skin vibrant and eyes strong. Try a green smoothie with ingredients such as kale, spinach, apple, banana, and pineapple.
You need to take your water drinking habits up a notch when you’re trying to detox your body. It’s the most natural and effective way to cleanse your system and you’ll notice a dramatic difference in the way you feel and the way you look when you’re properly hydrated. Keeping the body properly hydrated encourages oxygen to flow freely throughout the body. This allows you to be more attentive, alert and focused. Water itself is a powerful detoxifier because it helps the kidneys and colon eliminate waste. Drink 6-8 glasses (250mL) of water per day. Don’t drink water with meals because it dilutes stomach acid and leads to poor digestion. Add a squeeze of lemon, a few slices of orange or some mint leaves into your water for added benefits and some flavour.
Even if working out is literally the last thing you are thinking about, hitting the gym or going for a walk will make you feel much better. Sweating is one of the best ways to eliminate toxins from your body. Not only that, but the endorphins released when you’re exercising will help to make you feel energetic and alive again. Aim to do at least 30 minutes of exercise every day as a general rule and up the amount when you’re detoxing to get maximum benefits. So, hit the gym, go for a jog or get out your bike and ride to work instead of driving. If you are feeling very tired and sluggish, start from a fast walk and then move on to a jogging pace.
After overeating, your body is tired and overwhelmed with the amount of work it has to do. Without sufficient sleep, your body doesn’t stand much of a chance at healing and reviving, especially after a weekend of late nights and over-indulgence. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body’s immune system can weaken, meaning you’re much more susceptible to colds and other illnesses. It will also struggle more to get rid of all the toxins that you consumed last night. Try to schedule a routine bed-time while you’re detoxing, so you know you’ll get at least 8 hours of refreshing sleep.
When you’re detoxing, as well as eliminating toxins, it’s equally as important to fill your body up with nutrient dense foods. As much as you are trying to avoid anything that made you feel sick, don’t forget about superfoods that will supply you with an incredible array of vitamins and minerals. Try to eat at least one superfood with every meal. These can include salmon, avocado, walnuts, blueberries, raspberries, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, eggplant and oranges. Make a light salad for lunch based on greens with some fruits, lean protein and nuts and squeeze some oranges and grapefruits for a detoxifying juice.
Instead of your regular morning or afternoon coffee, switch to green tea. It's packed with nutrients and antioxidants and will give you an energy kick without causing unnecessary dehydration. You can choose green tea with mint and nettle, which will help to calm down your stomach and get rid of the toxins much quicker. Try to avoid coffee for a couple of days until you start feeling better.
Yoga is known as a healing practice, so after a day of overeating it’s the best thing to do if you really don’t feel like pushing yourself to do some more vigorous exercise, you have a headache, or stomach issues. Additionally, twisting poses in yoga are known to detoxify your vital organs. When you twist, you compress the organs, thereby pushing toxins out of your system. Twists are also beneficial for circulation and digestion. Don't drink water during the practice, because it will slow down the detoxing process but be sure to drink lots of water afterwards to flush all the toxins of out your system.
Increasing your fiber intake is one of the best ways to help your body digest food and cleanse. The easiest way to add more fiber to your diet is to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables as the main part of every meal during detoxing. You can find plenty of fiber in products including brown rice and organically-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Beets, radishes, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, spirulina, chlorella, and seaweed are excellent detoxifying foods. You can also get natural supplements to help you, such as psyllium husk, from the health food store.
If you are looking for a more intense cleanse, going on a semi-fast for a single day can help cleanse your body quickly and efficiently. You can replace meals with fruit and vegetable juices to satisfy your hunger. Drink plenty of water and freshly pressed juices and green smoothies. This gives your body a chance to rest and heal as your organs get a break from having to digest food. Give it a go on a weekend when you can chill out all day, you don’t need to do anything and you can just drink your juices and wake up the next morning feeling revived.
It’s hard to remain healthy when you’re feeling the negative impact of stress. The symptoms of stress affect you physically and decrease your body’s ability to get rid of toxins and will prolong the period until you start feeling better again. If you’re having trouble staying calm, try incorporating relaxing techniques such as yoga and meditation into your daily schedule. Additionally, find the positive in every day and move your body. This will all help to reduce stress and the stress chemicals in your body.
Probiotics are your gut’s best friends when it comes to making sure healthy bacteria thrives in your body and bad bacteria is eliminated. Fermented foods, such as kefir and sauerkraut are great ways to introduce probiotics to your diet. During a detox, you can also up the ante by getting probiotics in supplement form. Be aware that good supplements need to stay in the fridge for maximum benefit.
You can also eat foods that contain live cultures, such as cultured vegetables, Greek yogurt, or kefir. The beneficial bacteria kill harmful bacteria and yeasts and help to heal the lining of the intestines.
Acupuncture is a traditional healing art that aims to balance your body in a holistic way. Having a treatment while you’re detoxing can help your body to release built up toxins and heal any existing issues. If you’ve never looked into acupuncture before, it involves a practitioner placing small needles into the surface of your skin in areas that that may have blocked energy. It’s generally painless and it’s proven to be highly effective.
It is very likely that after your celebration weekend you are in pain – you have a stomach ache, your head hurts, you couldn’t sleep because of overeating and you feel nauseous. You may need to take something to relieve you but try to combat pain naturally by doing things like having a long hot bath with lavender oil or going for a light swim to see if that helps first. Prescription medicine and over-the counter anti-inflammatory drugs are hard for your body to eliminate so it’s best avoided, unless it’s necessary due to medical issues, while you’re detoxing.
We’re human and we live a little sometimes, and it’s totally okay. Enjoy yourself, have fun, balance it out with some extra self care, and let it go. One weekend won’t ruin your diet but will give you a lot of joy. Most of our post-indulgence suffering comes from wishing we hadn’t done it. So breathe, release yourself from any guilt, and get yourself outside for some fresh air and exercise! You will be on the right track in no time and there is no need to keep beating yourself up.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.