We all have those weekends, weeks…okay sometimes MONTHS where we just aren’t following our typical healthy regime and we need to kick our butt back into a healthy lifestyle. This happened for me after a weekend trip with my family to Phoenix. Trust me, it’s hard to avoid a drink or nachos when you hit up a hockey and football game in the same weekend. Although I was still keeping up with workouts, I found myself bloated and, well, feeling “yucky”. These tips helped me feel great and back to my old self in less than five days. If you find yourself in the same rut, give some of these tips a try to help detox your body and get back on track!
1.Lemon Water – I’m not going to say that lemon water is a true fix to help your body detox. Although there are studies that show lemon water (especially warm lemon water) aids in detox. Many of these studies are conducted by diet companies that are biased. Meaning, they want you to buy their products are follow their diet plan which includes drinking lemon water. Not that these studies don’t have any merit, but it’s important to keep that in mind. Regardless, I have found that the lemon water works. It could be because the water tastes a little better, which in turn helps me to drink more than normal. What to take away from this is definitely drink lots of water! Whether or not you want to add the lemon for the extra citrus taste and possible benefits, is up to you. Many nutritionists suggest that “weight-loss” from lemon water is most likely from getting that sweetness from drinking water, as opposed to drinking sugary drinks. Either way, drinking water helps to keep your metabolism running. Lemons have a good source of vitamin C, can help diminish bloating and according to research, helps your liver produce more enzymes. For me, lemon water definitely helps after a weekend of poor food choices and alcohol intake. Mainly because of the bloating that follows for the week after. I am suggesting you try it for that benefit, but I don’t agree that lemon water will help you “lose weight”.
2.Cooking and Eating Your Own Meals – This one is pretty self explanatory…but in case you still don’t get it, let me explain. To reset your body and feed it properly, it’s key to know what you are ingesting. As I’ve written earlier, sometimes something that seems healthy (ie. a salad), might be packed with tonnes of hidden calories, high salt and sugar or other additives. It’s so much easier to make your own food. I don’t suggest cutting out carbs completely. There are a lot of good carbs out there that will help clean out your system (fiber!). My favorites are rice and oats.
3.Extra Sweaty Workouts – They just work. I don’t mean only doing cardio for the next seven days. I mean adding in HIIT work outs to your daily routine and really pushing your limits. Studies show that working out, high intensity cardio and lean muscle mass can rev up your metabolism throughout the day. Exercise helps the circulation of blood and lymph throughout your body, which in turn, aids digestion and helps eliminate toxins.
4.Spicy-ness – Who doesn’t love spicy food? Well, my mom, but let me convince you in-case you’re like her. Studies have shown that spicy food can actually speed up your metabolism (study from Purdue University in 2011). Research shows that the heat can speed up metabolism by five per cent and can increase fat burning by 16 per cent. The best spices? Ginseng, black pepper, cinnamon, mustard and ginger. Spicy foods have also shown to suppress appetite and, in turn, help you feel full after eating. If that’s not enough to convince you, added spicy-ness to your foods has also shown to lengthen your lifespan (by 14 per cent according to a study by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences), helps lower risk of heart disease, and surprisingly, lowers risks of ulcers (conflicting studies and information on that last one).
5.Green Tea – If you haven’t heard that green tea is good for you, you’ve probably been living under a rock. So, let me enlighten you. Number one; studies show that green tea can help us feel full. It breaks down the chemical in the body that signals to our brain that we are full. I suggest drinking after a meal, this has helped me, as I am human garberator when it comes to eating meals. Green tea supplements have also shown to lower blood pressure, which helps control fat build-up. What else can this miracle drink do for you? It can protect your DNA from damage, helps fight depression, lowers your risk for heart disease, a possible cancer preventative, stabilizes brain cells and much more. Want to read up more on this? Check out this article from the Huffington Post.
6.Veggies – Eat yo veggies! These guys are packed with not only good nutrients, but lots of water! Most raw veggies have insoluble fiber which promotes digestion and can help flush our bodies out. Yummy greens contain chlorophyll that can rid the body of toxins through aiding the liver. If bloating is your problem, avoid kale, broccoli and cabbage for a few days. I know this from science but also experience. Don’t get that Super-foods kale salad if you have a photo shoot or beach day coming up.
7.Proper sleep – Sleep is a way to reset our body in more ways than one. This one is a no-brainer. Having a proper sleep (at least seven hours people!), will reduce the amount of hours a day you can eat (obviously), but also will help you reach for better meals than a quick, unhealthy fix. A well rested person will less likely reach for sugary foods and drinks to help keep them up during the work week. Get yo sleep!