Did you eat one too many hot dogs, drink one too many cocktails, or swing by the chip buffet one too many times during your Fourth of July festivities? Me too. And I’m willing to bet we’re not alone. People across the country are probably feeling a little sluggish today, and are hoping to get back on track asap.
Perhaps you’re considering a cleanse, fast, or detox plan. I urge you: Don’t do it. Here’s why.
There are easier, less painful ways to reverse yesterday’s overindulgence, especially if you start now. Not tomorrow, not next week, but right this moment. Resuming your healthy routine right now means whatever you ate or drank yesterday won’t matter much. But if you continue to overindulge for a few more days or weeks, it will quickly add up and take a toll on your body.
The best ways to recover from overindulgence:
- Cut back on sweets and processed snacks. These items are for the occasional indulgence, not everyday. If you want to get serious, you could give these foods up for about a week. This would allow your body to readjust to a healthy routine, and would help reduce cravings.
- Eliminate alcohol for awhile, or reduce to 1-2 drinks per weekend and no alcohol during the week.
- Drink plenty of water. It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger, so when you find yourself hungry or craving a snack, have a glass of water first. If you’re really hungry, you’ll still be hungry after the water, but you’ll know for sure what you’re feeling. Research has also shown that water before a meal might also help you eat less at the meal.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. More clearly put: replace some of what you’re eating now with vegetables. If you normally have meat, mashed potatoes, and a vegetable for dinner, replace the potatoes with another lower calorie vegetable and choose fish or a leaner meat.
- Don’t drink your calories. Stick to water and other calorie-free beverages like sparkling water, herbal tea, iced tea, and the occasional diet soda if you’re craving a treat.
- Avoid doing anything extreme. Like I mentioned above, avoid cleanses, “detoxes,” or any diet that requires you give up foods you love. These types of plans don’t last, so whatever bad habits you eliminate will soon reappear. Here are 5 signs to tell if your diet will work.
- Look for pleasure. Vegetable-based dishes can be just as delicious as more high-calorie food, if you venture outside the traditional steamed veggies and boring salads. Get creative (and use the ideas on Eating Made Easy!) so you look forward to healthy meals instead of dreading them.
Start with one or two of these actions at a time, and you’ll be back on track before you know it!