Stocksy / Guille Faingold
Over Christmas, you've probably been eating way too much cheese, drinking way too much prosecco and now, here we are: bloated, tired and in desperate need of a detox. "One negative effect of poor eating and drinking over the course of time is a broken metabolism," says Sarah Asay, a registered dietitian at bistroMD, a doctor-designed and chef-prepared healthy meal delivery service. (Yes, it is possible to break it, after all.) "Metabolism dysfunction may present as weight gain, increased blood pressure and cholesterol, less energy, food cravings and trouble sleeping." Sound familiar?
"The good news is these symptoms can be reduced or alleviated with lifestyle changes," Asay says. But who wants to wait six months to patch their metabolism back together? No one. Luckily, there are a few simple changes you can make today to kick your body into detox mood fast. Read on to learn six easy ways to beat bloat, get energised and feel healthier in 24 hours or less.
"Giving yourself a good night's rest is key to resetting your body," Asay says. "Sleep has been connected to weight loss, reduced cortisol levels and stress, and improved overall health." The best part about sleep is that it takes absolutely no effort—just make sure the temperature of your room is cool, and give yourself a 10-hour block to snooze.
… and right before you go to sleep. And throughout the day as well. "When you think about it, while our bodies are asleep, we go seven or more hours without any hydration," Asay says. "By providing your body with hydration upon waking, it refreshes and energises our cells."
"Take a break once an hour, even if only for five minutes, to stretch and move around!" Asay encourages. "This will decrease fatigue, get your blood flowing through the muscles and get your heart rate up, burning calories."
Ingredients like lemon, ginger, peppermint, coconut and cayenne powder all encourage digestion, which will alleviate bloat quickly. Infuse your water with some fresh lemon or brew a pot of ginger tea.
Sadly, that hair of the dog mimosa is not detox-friendly. "To our bodies, alcohol is a toxin, which means when we ingest it, our bodies will work to metabolise the alcohol before other sources of energy," Asay says. In other words, while your body is busy working on the alcohol, the other calories in your food or drink will store as fat. Not to mention, alcohol will dehydrate and fatigue you. If you're serious about detoxing quickly, lay off the stuff.
Gather & Feast
When your body feels gross, your gut reaction (no pun intended) might be to swear off everything but green juice and water. But Asay says this type of thinking can be a mistake. "No single food or drink should be considered off limits," she says. Instead, picture the foods you love on a spectrum of how much—there are those you should eat a lot of, and there are those you should eat more sparingly.
"Some examples of items to consume sparingly would be deep-fried items, sugary beverages, unfulfilling snacks like candy or chips, and highly processed meats such as hot dogs or bologna," Asay says. But if 7 p.m. strikes and you find yourself desperately craving chocolate, don't stress. You can still have a few squares of chocolate or a handful of chips. As long as your choices are mindful, your detox will still work.