Since we in America just celebrated our 240th year as a nation, and did so with enough sugary drinks and fatty foods to fill Boston Harbor, I thought this an appropriate time to offer some tips on how to hop back on the health wagon.
Let me begin with the most important tip of all:
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Throughout history, feasting on delicious food has been part and parcel of celebration. Holidays are occasions for rest, relaxation, for savoring time with loved ones and making lasting memories with them. As the book of Ecclesiastes teaches, there’s a season for everything: a time to mourn, a time to dance, a time to weep, a time to laugh, a time to eat healthy, and a time to let loose.
So I might’ve made that last part up, but I think King Solomon would be okay with it! My point is, God gave us wonderful-tasting food so we could enjoy it, so don’t feel guilty for having done so!
I know from personal experience how the enemy loves to send fiery darts of guilt and shame into our souls and tell us we’re undisciplined, no-good gluttons who’ve committed a deadly sin by eating an ice cream cone. He’ll tell us that we have no self-control when it comes to food and that we’re on the fast track to obesity. He’ll try to make us obsess over our “sin” until we’re on a track or treadmill somewhere paying our penance. Don’t let him do this!
Remember that there is a distinct difference between idolatrous, ongoing gluttony and celebratory, once-in-a-while feasting. Remind yourself that your identity is not defined by your relationship with food. Eating unhealthily every now and then isn’t “cheating,” it’s “treating,” and it actually demonstrates that you’re in control of food, not the other way around.
“ … everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.” – Ecclesiastes 3:13, ESV
Now that that’s out of the way, here are my secondary tips for what to do after a weekend of splurges!
Don’t Accept Left-Overs
Just say no thank you when someone asks if you’d like a nice huge Tupperware container filled with left-over brownies to take home with you. You want to start your first week back from the holiday on the right foot, and having temptation lingering in your kitchen will be, as my husband so succinctly says, no bueno.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
If you’re like me, after indulging, there’s a tendency to want to skip breakfast because, we reason, we need to restrict our calorie intake for a while. This smacks of a punishment mentality, one that associates indulging with “cheating,” a.k.a. sinning.
Going back to Tip #1, don’t punish yourself by temporarily depriving yourself of a meal. Cook a well-balanced breakfast composed of protein (e.g., eggs and egg whites, turkey sausage), good-for-you fats (e.g., almond butter, coconut oil, avocado), and healthy carbohydrates (e.g., a half cup of berries, a piece of fruit, no-sugar added oatmeal, Ezekiel bread), and 16 to 20 ounces of water with it. Which brings me to Tip #4…
BONUS TIP: Before breakfast, have a cup of hot lemon water to wake up your digestive system and get things moving. Feel free to drink herbal tea with lemon if you’re not fond of the plain lemon taste.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
I understand that when you’re super full, the last thing you want to do is fill up with water, but I promise you’ll be glad you did!
Staying hydrated can help you bounce back from a binge by aiding digestion and fighting gas-induced bloat. It also supports a healthy metabolism and supports satiety, which will help squelch any further cravings for gratuitous post-holiday treats!
I recommend having a nice refreshing bottle of water by your side over the next two to three days. Try to drink two to three liters throughout the day.
Fill Up on Fiber
Green veggies like broccoli, cucumbers, spinach and kale are chock-full of water and contain amazing minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium, which treat water retention. Celery, dandelion root, asparagus and others pack a powerful diuretic punch as well. I recommend eating five or six small meals throughout the day (for two to three days), each one of which should feature at least one of these vegetables, or whichever green veggie you prefer!
Steer Clear of Foods That Are Hard to Digest
If you’re feeling bloated and lethargic, try to avoid any foods that could further disturb your tummy. Foods that could exacerbate the Battle of the Bloat include dairy and gluten-containing products, coffee, carbonated beverages, refined sugar, alcohol, fatty meats, chocolate, and anything acidic. On the other hand, more alkaline foods like almonds, avocados, lentils, and the green veggies mentioned above will be soothing and won’t aggravate those of you who are prone to acid reflux.
Move Your Body
Even if you’re feeling bloated and sluggish, doing a high-intensity cardio session to sweat things out is some of your best defense against feeling blah. It will rev your metabolism, boost your mood, help deliver oxygen to the digestive tract which keeps food moving through smoothly, and the best part is it doesn’t take long to complete. I guarantee you’ll feel 100 times better after you exercise!
Check out this post for a quick, equipment-free workout that’s sure to help get you back into your fitness groove!
Fit Fact: Contrary to popular belief, sweating does not release toxins from the body. Sweat is actually comprised of 99 percent water and small bits of carbs, salts, protein and urea – not toxins.
And last but not least…
Step Away from the Scale
Just trust me. It will display a temporary inflated number influenced by water retention and the extra food sitting in your stomach, not actual weight gain. Follow the aforementioned tips for two to three days, then you have my permission to reintroduce the scale into your life. J
I hope these tips have been helpful! Please reach out to me with any questions or feedback you may have on Instagram @dianaandersontyler and Twitter @dandersontyler!
Have a wonderful 4th of July, and God bless America!
This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. -Elmer Davis
 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melissa-edmonds/does-sweating-release-tox_b_8372452.html (accessed June 30, 2016)