How to: Bounce back after Thanksgiving dinner

The leftovers are filling the fridge and people are starting to awake from their food induced coma. My friends, Thanksgiving has come and gone and we are left with the aftermath.

I finished my Thanksgiving dinner feeling twice the size I was before I started downing the turkey. Thanksgiving marks the middle of the holiday season: Halloween one month earlier and Christmas one month later. And the bad habits are usually out of the window by then. But you can still enjoy the holidays without letting your health go downhill.

Try not to overeat. No, this does not mean starving yourself. In order to have a safe and healthy holiday season you need to eat well and often. But with the extra treats at holiday parties and from neighborhood gifts, it is easy to eat way more calories than you intend to. My rule is to only eat things you enjoy. Why would you waste calories on brownies if you are not a big brownie fan? Use those calories for the homemade caramels you adore. Eating healthy does not mean you have to restrict or deny yourself, it just means you need to make smarter choices.

However, if you did indulge a bit too much (and you feel like I did after my second Thanksgiving dinner), there are a few ways to get back on track.

  • Drink plenty of water. Water is a great way to help flush things out. Staying hydrated is one of the many easy ways to keep your body intact. You might think that water will add to water weight, but it helps cleanse the body.
  • Speaking of cleansing, doing a quick cleanse can help get the impurities out of your system. And most of that awful day after feeling is mostly attributed to bloat. Try this recipe to help flush out excess water weight and impurities: 60 ounces of pure water, 1 tablespoon of sugar free cranberry juice, 1 dandelion root tea bag, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Drink one of these every day for a week.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, starve yourself. It may seem like a good idea to skip a couple of meals the day after eating a large meal, but that will generally back fire. Your body needs constant nutrients to continue functioning. Not only will skipping meals probably make you crabby (it sure does for me) but it can really mess up your metabolism, not to mention breeds unhealthy eating habits. Instead, try and trade out unhealthy options for a big salad, or eat fruit and nuts for a snack. Starving yourself if unhealthy and could leave to worse consequences that could involve a visit to your doctor (and no one wants to spend the holidays looking for health insurance quotes so they can visit the doctor).
  • Exercise. It may seem impossible to roll yourself out the door after Thanksgiving, but any form of exercise is good. No need to run 10 miles. Bundle the family up and take a walk around the block to ease you back into your fitness routine.