Over-eating and over-drinking is, unfortunately, a common occurrence during the holidays. However, it can also be common for those suffering from binge eating disorder, or BED, a recent addition to the official eating disorder types. The good news is that there are ways to detox naturally and safely after over-indulging.
First, skip the guilt and the promises to “never do it again.” Over-eating and over-drinking will likely happen again in the future, but it’s the steps we can take to heal and plan better that are effective and offer immediate results.
Here are a 6 ways to detox and get back to feeling more like you:
1. Up your heart rate.
Cardio releases endorphins, and an increase in heart rate will also help you feel lighter. It’s a bonus that it burns calories, but be careful to steer clear of depending on exercise to “work off” excessive calories. It’s a type of bulimia (which isn’t just purging) and can lead to an unhealthy cycle. It’s recommended that we get 150 minutes of cardio per week, so make that your overall goal. Making time for some of those minutes after over-eating just happens to also make you feel better, too. Plus, it helps with digestion.
2. Sip on some black tea.
Both green tea and black tea tout countless benefits. They’re also both natural detoxifiers. The soothing warmth is a comfort after a night of overindulgence, and the caffeine can help slightly increase heart rate to stave off feeling sluggish. Start each morning with a cup of tea instead of coffee and start a new, healthy tradition.
3. Indulge in some active pranayama.
The “control of breath” is part of many yoga practices, and there are many types of pranayama available. However, for those who over-imbibed, a more active pranayama can help increase energy and heart rate. Breath of joy, which involves standing while swinging the arms and bending up and down gets the blood pumping. We rarely fill our lungs to capacity, which means our lungs are begging for a little attention (and so are the muscles that support our lungs and diaphragm).
4. Stick to water after your cup of tea for the rest of the day.
Many Americans reach for soda, sugar-laden juices, or cup after cup of coffee instead of water. Water naturally detoxifies the body and is a better alternative than almost any beverage. For a lot of people, a big challenge in choosing water over unhealthy choices comes down to sugar addition. Particularly if you over-indulged in sugar and went on a dessert binge, skipping the excess sugar from non-water drinks is a great way to detox.
5. Check out the sauna at your gym.
If you have access to a sauna (most gyms have them), whether wet or dry, treat yourself to a brief session. Sweat is your body’s natural way to detoxify, and while there are many ways to work up a sweat (like hot yoga), after a night of over-eating or over-drinking, you might only be up for a sauna session, and that’s okay. It’s also relaxing, and a wet sauna can be fantastic for your skin (the largest organ on your body).
And you might just have something to look at 🙄
6. Choose immunity-boosting foods.
Foods rich in antioxidants give you an extra boost of self-care. As an added bonus, many superfoods are tasty and will be a welcome change to your diet after a day of indulgence. Consider blueberries, dark chocolate with no or little sugar added, and avocados. Get creative and figure out new-to-you recipes like the hipster staple smashed avocado on whole wheat bread.
Detoxifying doesn’t just have to happen after you treat yourself to a little too much. Try to commit to a monthly detox to set a healthy habit for yourself. As the holidays creep closer, there are temptations everywhere. Detoxing is a way to stay healthy, feel better, and get through the holidays without starting 2018 with guilt clinging to you.