Ever come off a weekend of celebration and feel like shit?
I hear ya friend.
See the thing is — the healthier or "cleaner" you eat, the more likely you're going to feel crappy when you veer off track with your nutrition. Your body isn't used to processing these kinds of foods (i.e. alcohol, sugar, dairy, gluten, etc.) and you might feel bloated, heavy, lethargic, or sick to your stomach after you indulge.
That's actually quite normal. Don't beat yourself up about it. Your body is simply telling you it's inflammed and needs a gentle reset to get back on track and feel great again.
I see this with myself and all my clients.
Little History Lesson
History tells us — as humans — we'd have cycles of epic feasting after a hunt or a harvest, followed by resets (fasts).
So? How do you get back on track in this modern, 24/7 takeout, kinda world?
Here are my personal secrets and ones I love sharing with my 1-1 health coaching clients:
1. Drink Lots of Water
I'll start with the obvious one. Drink up on water to flush out inflammation and move that garbage towards the exits. I'm guessing you're also dehydrated, so more water will bring you back to homeostasis and reduce bloating.
Cool body fact: we actually retain water when we are dehydrated as a safety mechanism — so drink MORE water to tell your body you're safe and then you'll de-bloat.
Bored with water? Try my sugar-free detox lemonade recipe I love.
2. Get extra Zzzs
Every extra 10-15 minutes counts. Can you turn off your Netflix and hit the hay an hour earlier tonight?
3. Cut out Sugar
Get off the sugar / glucose rollercoaster and avoid the white stuff and refined flours for 3-4 days to reset your taste buds. This sugar-detox will also give your body a chance to go back in to fat-burning mode ASAP, so you don't keep packing on the pounds.
4. Eat Low Carb
Stick mostly to veggies, proteins and healthy fats for a couple days, to guide your body back in to fat-burning mode. Think :: green salads with chicken, olive oil and avocado. Or eggs scrambled in grass-fed butter and spinach. Yum, right?
5. Add in Greens
These greens will cut out inflammation STAT :: asparagus, cucumber, zucchini and leafy greens like mesclun, spinach + romaine.
Avoid cruciferous veggies for a couple days (i.e. broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale and cauliflower) — these veg have tough cell walls that are difficult to digest and can lead to more bloating while your gut bacteria resets. Wait a few days before you chow down on high volumes of any raw or cruciferous vegetables.
PS: My Go-To Green Smoothie recipe packs in spinach + zucchini. It's also delicious.
6. Try a No-Drinking Challenge
Your body wants to detox, so give it some time. Try a 5, 7, 10 or 14 day alcohol-detox. Think of it as a fun challenge. I did 100 Days once, and I promise you, you'll feel really good and proud of yourself for giving it a go.
7. Consider Intermittent Fasting (IF)
I wouldn't dive in to this one if you've never tried it before, but I love teaching some of my advanced clients about IF. If you're not hungry when you wake up, simply skip breakfast and sip on water or coffee, and wait for hunger signals to kick in around noon. Here's an article I was interviewed for on Well+Good talking about 16/8 intermittent fasting and what to expect.
8. Add in Light Exercise + Movement
This is not the day to sweat it out at Crossfit or Barry's Bootcamp. Go easy on your body. Technically, your muscles are dehydrated and won't glide and slide over each other as they should, so you're at greater risk for an injury. Give yourself a day to go for a long walk, hit up a yoga class, or have an easy cardio session at the gym. Then on Day #2, dive in to your hardcore workout.
9. Add in Smart, Targeted Supplements
Probiotic (helps re-establish balance of good bacteria in your gut)
Fish Oil (reduces inflammation) or Turmeric (also reduces inflammation)
B-Complex or Multi-Vitamin: to restock your vitamin and mineral levels that get depleted with a hangover or less than stellar nutrition.
I personally use and love these easy daily supplement packs from Binto.
10. Stop the Moral Hangover
Sure, it's important to take a second and ask yourself, "Okay, what did I learn from this? Were there any lessons I needed to hear or things I want to do differently next time I'm at a celebration or on vacation?"
It's no fun to party for 2-3 days, then get back on track for 3-4 days and repeat that restrict / binge cycle forever.
But every once in awhile? It's OKAY. You're human — just like the rest of us.
And I promise, if you follow my advice . . . you'll feel better in 1-2 days!
Go give yourself a hug and move on, friend.
Feeling great right now? Go you! File this one away for sometime you need it.