Need A Post-Holiday Detox? Do This To Shed The Extra Weight And Feel Like Yourself Again

The holiday festivities are hard to say goodbye to, but when the time comes, you're probably feeling like you need a health reset to get back on track for the new year. Here are some simple ways you can detox from the Christmas season.

By Gina Florio3 min read
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The holidays bring a lot of unexpected obstacles and challenges, even if it's the most wonderful time of the year. Being surrounded by sweets, going to many social gatherings that revolve around alcohol, and traveling across state lines can throw off your routine in significant ways. By the time January rolls around, you're probably itching to get back on your normal schedule and find a way to reset. You're certainly not the only one feeling that way.

Christmas dinners and New Year's Eve parties have a special way of convincing us to eat lots of food and drink lots of wine that we don't normally eat or drink. Not only can this result in some unwanted weight gain, but it can also throw off your sleep/wake cycle, temporarily wreck your gut lining, and make you feel foggy-headed and slightly moody. These are all normal reactions to eating a high-sugar diet and staying up late to watch movies or go out with friends. January is the most popular month for people to commit to a new diet or a short, intense cleanse. If you're feeling tired, sluggish, and bloated, and you just want to get back to your old self again, these post-holiday detox tips will help you get there.

1. Drink 100 Ounces of Water a Day

Dehydration often occurs during busy times when we aren't able to stick to our normal routine. It's especially easy to get dehydrated when you're traveling; flying on an airplane deprives your body of its normal level of oxygen and often prevents you from drinking water like you normally would. A great start to your simple detox is to just drink more filtered water every single day. Staying hydrated helps to flush out a lot of the toxins you've built up over the holidays while also helping you think clearer and feel more energized. Start your day off with 20-30 ounces of water and aim for 100 ounces altogether by the end of the day. An added bonus of constantly hydrating is that your body won't mistake thirst for hunger, so you won't snack mindlessly and consume unnecessary calories.

2. Increase Daily Sun Exposure

The sun is your greatest source of energy that also regulates your sleep/wake cycle and balances your hormones. The winter isn't the best time to spend a lot of time outside, and the Christmas holidays are mostly spent inside. Depending on where you live, try to get outside as much as possible in the new year, even if you have to bundle up and brace the cold. Just because there are clouds outside and it's chilly doesn't mean you're not getting any benefits from the sun. Wait for the warmest part of the day, go outside and allow the sun to hit your bare skin for as long as you can tolerate it. This will help you sleep better at night and balance out your hormones so you can recover from all the indulgences you had during the holidays.

The sun is your greatest source of energy.

3. Temporarily Abstain from Sugar, Gluten, Alcohol, and Conventional Dairy

You probably ate and drank a lot of things during Christmas that you don't normally touch. Lots of hot chocolate, pumpkin pie, and eggnog are not normally things you include in your daily diet, but all of a sudden your body is forced to process all these things when the holidays arrive. A simple (but not necessarily easy) way to recover from this is to temporarily eliminate some foods that can irritate the system, such as refined sugar, gluten, alcohol, and conventional dairy. You don't necessarily have to abstain from all of these in order to get the benefits; even picking a couple off the list to refrain from will help. You can use the month of January for a temporary food detox. Cook at home as much as possible and meal prep, and you'll make it through the whole month without needing to "cheat."

4. Use an Infrared Sauna

Infrared saunas raise the core body temperature higher than other conventional saunas or steam rooms, which promotes a deeper level of detox to help the body get rid of heavy metals, radioactive particles, various chemicals, and many other toxins. If you've had a particularly festive holiday season, you likely ate and drank a lot of things that you don't normally eat and drink, so using an infrared sauna regularly during the month of January can help you feel more energized and speed up the detox process. Don't be concerned if you aren't sweating a lot when you sit in the infrared sauna. You're still getting major benefits even if you don't walk out dripping wet.

Ideally, you strength train 3-4 times a week.

5. Move Your Body More

Exercising is traditionally known for helping people lose weight and get fit, but it can also be a powerful tool to improve overall health, strengthen immunity, and detox the body. Commit to a workout program in the new year that you enjoy. Ideally, you strength train 3-4 times a week, but you can also mix it up with other types of workouts, like cycling, running, swimming, dance class, etc. Find whatever works for you and stick with it. The most important thing is consistency. A great daily activity is an outdoor walk, even if it's just for 15 minutes. This allows you to soak up some extra sunshine as well. In fact, if you can get at least 10,000 steps a day, you're on a good track for a solid detox and an energizing start to 2023.

Closing Thoughts

Many women fall into the trap of feeling guilty or ashamed of how they spent the holiday season. Even if you ate and drank in a way that isn't normal for you, there's nothing to be upset about—we all get a new chance to start fresh every day. Stick to a routine, be grateful you have the opportunity to take care of yourself, and enjoy every step of the way.