While we reject the notion that indulging in champagne toasts and holiday cookies qualifies as "overdoing it," we also get it: After several weeks of merriment, it's easy to feel a little sluggish, bloated, and in need of a little detox.
"One negative effect of poor eating and drinking over the course of time is a broken metabolism," says Sarah Asay, a registered dietitian at BistroMD, a doctor-designed and chef-prepared healthy meal delivery service. (Yes, it is possible to break it, after all.) "Metabolism dysfunction may present as weight gain, increased blood pressure and cholesterol, less energy, food cravings, and trouble sleeping." Sound familiar? Well, lucky for us, there are healthy (yes, healthy) ways to detox your body—in just 24 hours to boot.
Meet the Expert
Sarah Asay is the Director of Nutrition and Product Development at BistroMD in Naples, FL. With eight years of experience, Asay focuses on providing dietary and nutrition advice that caters specifically to the bodily needs of her patients.
"The good news is these symptoms can be reduced or alleviated with lifestyle changes," Asay says. But who wants to wait six months to patch their metabolism back together? No one. Fortunately, there are a few simple changes that you can make today to kick your body into detox mood fast. Read on to learn six easy ways to detox your body in 24 hours or less.
1. Binge on sleep
"Giving yourself a good night's rest is one of the best ways to detox your body and reset," Asay says. "Sleep has been connected to weight loss, reduced cortisol levels and stress, and improved overall health." The best part about sleep is that it takes absolutely no effort—just make sure the temperature of your room is cool, and give yourself a 10-hour block to snooze.
2. Drink a big glass of water right after you wake up
…and right before you go to sleep. And throughout the day. "When you think about it, while our bodies are asleep, we go seven or more hours without any hydration," Asay says. "By providing your body with hydration upon waking, it refreshes and energizes our cells."
3. Take a lot of stretch breaks
"Take a break once an hour, even if only for five minutes, to stretch and move around!" Asay encourages. "This will decrease fatigue, get your blood flowing through the muscles, and get your heart rate up, burning calories." (Plus, a quick stretch break is probably one of the most enjoyable ways to detox your body, no?)
4. Reach for bloat-busting beverages
At the top of the list of nutritionist-approved drinks: herbal teas, mineral broths, and (you guessed it) good old H2O. (You can find more ideas here.)
5. And avoid alcohol while you're at it
Sadly, that "hair of the dog" mimosa is not detox-friendly. "To our bodies, alcohol is a toxin, which means when we ingest it, our bodies will work to metabolize the alcohol before other sources of energy," Asay says. In other words, while your body is busy working on the alcohol, the other calories in your food or drink will store as fat.
Alcohol will dehydrate and fatigue you. If you're serious about detoxing quickly, lay off the stuff and drink more water.
6. But don't deprive yourself
When your body feels gross, your gut reaction (no pun intended) might be to swear off everything but green juice and water. But Asay says this type of thinking can be a mistake. "No single food or drink should be considered off-limits," she says. Instead, picture the foods you love on a spectrum, from those you should eat a lot of to those you should eat more sparingly.
"Some examples of items to consume sparingly would be deep-fried items, sugary beverages, unfulfilling snacks like candy or chips, and highly processed meats such as hot dogs or bologna," Asay says. But if 7 p.m. strikes and you find yourself desperately craving chocolate, don't stress. You can still have a few squares of the stuff or a handful of chips. As long as your choices are mindful, your detox will still work.
Next up: These four sugar detox recipes will help you recover from your cookie coma.