You don’t need to go on some crazy crash diet or starve yourself to get back on track after the holidays. In fact, those actions can set you up for failure, leaving you hungry and fatigued. Here are some ways to truly detox after the holiday season and start feeling like yourself again this year.
Eat a Nutritious Breakfast Each Morning
Start your day with nutrition! Even if you aren’t super hungry in the morning, it still helps to have something filling and whole-food-based to avoid overeating or grabbing the first thing in sight later. Healthy breakfasts can be very simple. Here are some examples:
- Oatmeal (or overnight oats) with flax or chia seeds, fruit, and non-dairy milk
- Green smoothie with fruit, greens, protein powder, nut butter or coconut oil, and non-dairy milk
- Avocado whole-grain toast with scrambled egg whites and greens (here's a yummy avocado toast recipe)
If you enjoy coffee with your breakfast, consider what you put into it. Some people prefer to cut out caffeine completely as they detox. If you’re not one of those people, stick with black coffee or some non-dairy milk and a healthy no-sugar sweetener like stevia or monk fruit.
Have Warm Water With Lemon
Warm lemon water first-thing supports the detox process by helping your liver and kidneys filter out toxins. It may also help stimulate digestion. Here are some lemon water recipes to try.
Get at Least Seven Hours of Sleep Per Night
Sleep is essential at any time of the year, and it’s especially important when detoxing. According to WebMD, sleep loss can:
- Increase your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and other health problems
- Affect your critical thinking
- Contribute to symptoms of depression
- Cause you to gain weight, and much more
To get the most out of a detox after the holidays, let your body rest. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
Stock Your Home With Whole, Plant-Based Foods
At home, you have control over your environment. Fill your fridge and pantry with healthy foods that you can grab when hunger strikes. Focus on foods like:
- Fresh (or frozen) fruits and vegetables
- Lean proteins, especially plant proteins like beans, legumes, and edamame
- Healthy fats, such as nut butter, nuts, and seeds
- Whole grains
- Yogurt and other dairy (or non-dairy) products
Emphasize organic whenever possible, and make sure you have options for breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks.
Also, Remove the Holiday Foods
Many of us have lingering desserts and holiday snacks around the house. Discard what is out of date, then donate any remaining portions to neighbors or a homeless shelter. You’ll be able to concentrate solely on nutritious foods as you detox after the holidays.
Focus on Fiber
Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year celebrations come so close together. You’ve likely been eating rich and highly processed foods for over a month now. Although they're delicious, these foods are often low in (or devoid of) fiber—which can really slow things down when it comes to digestion.
To get things moving as they should again, make sure you’re eating plenty of fiber during your detox. If you need ideas, here are 33 high-fiber foods to add to your diet.
Prioritize Protein, Too
Make sure your meals and snacks include healthy proteins. You’ll feel full longer and get a lot of satiety out of your meals.
Protein options could be:
- Lean meats
- Beans and lentils
- Dairy or organic soy-based non-dairy
- Nuts and seeds
- Fatty fish
Move Every Day
Support your detox cycle with some exercise. You might go to the gym, go for a walk outside, do some yoga, or engage in any other form of movement.
Do Some Yoga
The days, weeks and even months after the holidays can be stressful. You’re jumping back into life after a few months of excitement and (hopefully) rest, which can be a lot. Gentle yoga can help with the transition and also support the detox process, such as easing bloating and getting you back in touch with your body.
Drink Water Throughout the Day
Drinking enough water is one of the best ways to flush toxins from your system. Carry a water bottle with you, and drink regularly throughout the day.
Detox Your Mind From Self-Punishment
After eating richer, more processed foods over the holidays, it’s easy to get in a negative headspace. You might start blaming yourself for holiday weight gain or criticizing every aspect of your body. While we’re often taught to think this way, these thinking patterns are toxic and, ultimately, don’t help.
Instead of punishing yourself for eating “bad” foods, recognize that you enjoyed your holiday time. Then, look to the future. Focus on foods and practices that will help you feel better.
Consider Supportive Supplements
Sometimes, cleaner foods and exercise aren’t quite enough. Certain detox and cleansing supplements can assist your body in getting rid of toxins and other junk as you detox after the holidays—so you can feel your healthiest and happiest going into the new year.