Many of us have fallen under the temptation of overindulgence during the holidays. So, naturally, we want to do post holiday detox to cleanse our bodies and get back on track.
But where to start?
Detox diets and supplements have become more mainstream because of the general awareness increase in what we eat. People have become reserved about processed foods lately. This gave rise to the trend of cleansing the body from the prolonged consuming of these unhealthy foods.
So, the real question here is are these magical rituals going to help negate all the bad things we have done to ourselves?
What Is Detoxing?
To understand detoxing, we first must understand how toxins affect our bodies. Toxins are everywhere in our environment, including the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. Our body can cleanse itself from these toxins, and this is what detoxing is.
Now, there’s no magical ingredient, ritual, or process that can replace the body’s function in cleansing itself.
This didn’t stop the rise of a huge industry of artificial products and magic pills, all boldly stating the magical word “detoxing”.
Do Detoxing Products Really Work?
Scientific research has so far been keeping itself away from researching detox benefits. The little research that has been done has been of low quality. And, the methods some of the detox gurus offer are not helping either. A simple colon cleanse encouraged by consuming laxative – rich foods isn’t really detox.
Detox doesn’t happen in the gut. It happens in the liver and kidneys, as these organs are the body’s way of filtering the harmful toxins that have piled up.
Even knowing which organs do the detox process doesn’t change the general opinion. Detox dieticians have lead people to believe that you can flush and squeeze these organs like a sponge and be done with it. It doesn’t work that way – these organs need to do their job at the pace they are supposed to naturally.
The holiday season and the overindulgence doesn’t help the process. The body simply isn’t used to that much food intake and can’t keep up with cleansing itself. This leads to harmful radicals piling up in the body.
Now that we know that, here’s how to properly detox the body after the holiday season.
The Proper Way to Detox
Although there isn’t a direct study that shows the benefits of detoxing the body, there have been studies that have shown improved waste removal after longer periods of no eating.
So, fasting is a way to encourage and make the detox process easier. It will give the body cells and organs the break they need to properly do their job. The whole process can be helped by ingesting vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. They help the body’s fight with free radicals that are a result from the high levels of toxins that were consumed.
Nutrient-rich fasting will help the body achieve optimal conditions to perform its cleansing process.
Before we start with the detox guide, we would like to state one thing. In the long run, if you turn back to overindulgence and consuming unhealthy food, the body will again get full of toxins.
The best way to do a detox is to create a positive environment for daily detox. This is done with a diet rich in organic vegetables and fruits, and grass-fed, unprocessed, non-GMO meat.
Otherwise, the benefits of a short-term detox will be negated and you’ll be back to square one.
Processed Sugar Detox After the Holidays
Note the “processed” adjective. Sugar (and glucose functions) is the main source of energy in the body. Still, it’s not vital for our bodies, as they can also use fat as energy too. Our body creates fat by turning excess carbs (like sugar) into triglycerides.
Now, sugar is not a toxin on itself. Still, it does affect insulin levels which can cause hormonal mood swings, and it makes us feel hungry. It also has a pro-inflammatory effect and accelerates rust and oxidation in our body.
With that out of the way, it’s how the body reacts to processed sugar what matters. Processed sugar is absorbed very fast, and it skyrockets the insulin levels in the blood. Sugar in fruit, on the other hand, is processed slowly and it slows down the metabolism. After all, after the food passes the stomach, it doesn’t matter where the sugar came from.
Processed sugar foods are plenty on the holiday dinner table, so it’s quite usual to go overboard with the sugar consumption.
Our body stores sugar for long term use by converting it to fat, and our body has a few days (2 days to a week) worth of sugar reserves. After they’ve been used up, the body enters a ketogenic state. During it, the liver produces ketones from the fat that has been stored to be used as a replacement for glucose. This is the concept on which the Keto diet is based. Everything revolves around getting the body to a state of ketosis so it starts using fat as fuel, instead of glucose.
Foods that Help Handle Keto Flu
The period when the body adapts from using glucose as the main source of energy to using fat is called keto flu. During this period, the body hormones are adapting themselves to this new metabolic state. Foods rich in electrolytes, plenty of fluids, protein-rich foods like peas, bone broths, soups all help with this transition which usually takes from 2 days to a week.
Please note that the process of ketosis will last for as long as you don’t start consuming excess sugar. You must have a long-term diet plan which doesn’t include refined sugars. This will optimize the body’s detox process without overwhelming it with toxins.
Alcohol Post Holiday Detox
While many go wild in the food department, some people go wild in the alcohol department too. Still, there is a big difference between drinking one glass too many, and alcoholism. Don’t get us wrong, moderate consumption of alcohol is considered beneficial. But, the holidays and moderation don’t usually go hand in hand. The reality is that alcohol is fermented sugar, and as we mentioned above, sugar is very bad when consumed in large amounts.
Detoxing for those who fall into the category of one glass too many for the holidays is simple. Start consuming supplements that have Quercetin, such as apples, green tea, and berries. Green tea is especially great because it contains theanine too. This amino acid accelerates the breakdown of alcohol metabolites. Also, foods rich in B vitamins, like peas, encourage the metabolism to process alcohol more effectively.
It’s often good for the soul to overindulge during the holidays. Still, developing an unhealthy habit might lead to poor well-being, and might even lead to health problems. Don’t allow your body will be saturated with more toxins than it can handle.
Even if you overindulge, follow this simple guide on how to detox your body after the holidays. And not only that – work towards developing a habit of eating healthy, because it’s easy to go back and forward from overindulging to cleansing. These extreme swings lead to stress, mood swings, and hormonal imbalance.
We don’t say you should stop the odd cheat day – just make them the exception, not the rule.