Even though the new year is in full swing, you may still be feeling the effects of excessive binging, raging parties, family drama, sleep deprivation, and noggy drinks from the holidays.
It’s not uncommon to pack on two, three, or even five pounds or more between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. That may not sound like much, but it is, when you consider that most people never lose the weight they put on during the holidays.
Over a lifetime, even modest incremental holiday weight gain can lead to obesity and related health problems, such as hypertension, stroke, Type II diabetes and other maladies.
If you’re one of the many Americans who enjoyed one-too-many sugar cookies in December (and haven’t managed to reverse the needle on the scale since), you’ll love this simple, seven-step detox to cure your post-holiday weight gain.
But before we begin, kudos to you for checking out this article. Just by reading, you’re taking an important first step to get your body on the right track for the rest of 2014.
Step 1: ICEBOX CLEANSING
Step 2: DETOX
Extreme detoxes aren’t necessary after the holidays (or ever, really). As such, I’m not going to tell you to sip your meals out of a straw for the next six months.
However, it’s important to clear your body of excess sugar, salt, and toxins that have built up over weeks of abuse. Excess salt causes fluid retention and puffiness; refined sugar causes spikes in blood sugar (and associated cravings); and excess alcohol and caffeine cause dehydration.
After weeks of too many sweets and carb-loaded goodies, your liver and muscle glycogen is likely topped out, and you’re retaining water, causing bloating and puffiness. Cutting your carbs will allow you to jettison the unneeded water (and weight) rapidly. Eat plenty of filling protein and healthy fats instead.
After being bombarded with salt, carbs and sugar, your body’s balance – and cravings – will be out of whack. The only way to make these cravings go away is to wean yourself off of sugar and salt, so cut the cookies and corned beef, champ.
Step 3: NOURISH
Detoxing is all about getting the bad out and the good back in. To truly purify your system while restoring essential vitamins and minerals, fruits and veggies are an absolute necessity. Aim for a variety of produce to ensure that you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals you likely have been ignoring.
Cucumber, celery, lettuce and kale are terrific options to cleanse the body and restore health. Grapefruit is a metabolic stimulant; grapes and coconut water are high in potassium (which is essential in maintaining normal kidney function); cantaloupe is high in digestive enzymes; and avocados digest slowly and help maintain blood sugar.
Quick fix? Get your day started right with a green smoothie.
Step 4: SWEAT
Sweating is a natural method for the body to rid itself of toxins, and exercise increases blood flow and metabolism.
While you may be chomping at the bit to punish yourself at the gym and work off all of the extra flab in one marathon session, don’t do it. The key to success is finding activities that you enjoy and sticking to them. Prioritize your enjoyment and results will follow.
Step 5: BOATLOADS OF WATER
Shaq-like hydration is essential to detoxing. Guzzle water every morning, throughout the day, and before bed. Pure water helps flush out toxins and helps your body eliminate waste. And lord knows you have plenty of that. Garbage in, garbage out.
Step 6: IGNORE THE SCALE
You know what it will tell you, and the news won’t be good.
As you may know, I am no fan of scales. Too many people obsessively weigh themselves in the morning, after big meals, after a BM, or after a good horoscope. Put your scale on the shelf and measure your health by how you look and feel. Really.
Step 7: SOOTHE
The body can efficiently expel toxins through the pores of the skin. To speed this process, take a bath with 1 cup of Epsom salts, which will naturally draw out toxins. Exfoliation will also hasten the detoxification process.
Treat yourself to a deep tissue massage, which helps release stored toxins. And massages rock.
That’s it! You’ll be pampered and peppy in no time.