So you (and the rest of the country) indulged last week. You ate some food that doesn’t really agree with your body, you ate it in bigger than usual portions, and you probably drank your body weight in wine or champagne to boot. The next day, you likely woke up with a food (and booze) hangover: stiff, puffy, in a fog, and maybe a tummy ache for good measure.
You most likely then continued to chow down on all those amazing leftovers (pie for breakfast, anyone?) on Friday, made up dreamy sandwich creations to share on Instagram, and spent most of your non-eating moments on the couch. And this probably carried through the entire weekend, and so now you're left feeling like the goodyear blimp, chastising yourself for letting yourself go, and about to just say "eh, what the hell", and keep up this momentum since the holidays are around the corner and you can hide under parkas and wool sweaters until spring anyway.
To this we say: So what! That’s what we do on Thanksgiving! (You read that right). You had fun, spent some quality time with friends and family, and it was probably all worth it. No big deal. Seriously.
That being said, this feeling of over-doing it doesn't have to last until New Years (or spring). De-bloat, switch gears, and start feeling like yourself again right now, with these tips.
1. FIRST & FOREMOST: GET YOUR MINDSET RIGHT! Forgive yourself and move on already. It was one day (ok, maybe 4. But still!). The sooner you can mentally move on, the better you will feel instantly and the easier it will be to get back to your regular healthy eating routine.
2. NEXT, TOSS YOUR LEFTOVERS. You've been eating them for 4 days, they have served you well, so do yourself a favor and get rid of any food you truly don't want lingering in the house tempting you. Donate it to someone who would really like it, compost it, feed it to Spot, or just throw it out (note: by "throw it out" we do not mean it it all as fast as you can). You'll feel so much better not having it in the house staring at you every time you walk by the kitchen. If you positively cannot throw it away, store it in the freezer for a treat another time.
3. DETOX. Start your days right this week: Upon waking up every day this week, on an empty stomach, sip a big cup of hot water with the fresh juice of half a lemon in it. This will help to get your lymph system moving to flush out some of that ick hanging in your body, will hydrate you, and will get that digestive system to move some of that waste it's accumulated this weekend. Sip dandelion tea at night after dinner to get some of the same benefits to help detox your systems, and pop a probiotic each day to help your gut deal with itself. Some oil of oregano and fermented cod liver oil will all help you lower inflammation and aid digestion.
4. SWEAT. Either get into the gym or get outside; Even if there isn't direct sunlight, getting out in the fresh air and daylight for a walk will help your brain wake up, lift your mood, and shake the fog. Moving your body in some way or another will also help with the stiffness and puffiness you may be feeling, and get that fluid in your body moving and on its way out. Important to note: You are working out to make yourself feel better, NOT as a punishment for what you ate! Working out should never be punishment. Have some fun.
5. HYDRATE. You're almost certainly a little (or a lot) dehydrated from a few days of being off your schedule and eating more than you're used to, so be sure to drink up! Aim for half your body weight in ounces every day.
6. GET GREEN. Eat some green veggies or have a green juice. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants will help with inflammation, and your body will thank you. Eat nutrient dense, soothing foods that deliver a hefty dose of nutrients while fighting inflammation.
7. DE-BLOAT VIA LOW CARB. While we both eat a large amount of healthy carbohydrates to fuel our training, for most people Thanksgiving is a carb-centric carb-athon that never gets it's athletic outlet. Overdoing it on the carbs and sugar is a surefire way to both feel constanly bloated and trigger cravings for more. (Sugar and carb cravings can actually mean your body needs protein, so give it some protein and fat to get rid of those sugar cravings). Put down the mashed potatoes and focus instead on getting some high quality protein and fat into your body for the following week, and then start to work them back into your diet as normal.
BOTTOM LINE Above all, refer to tip #1: Forgive yourself and move on! You can't change what already happened, but you can decide what to do today. Try to make decisions that you know will make your mind and body feel like the amazing, vibrant and strong person that you are!