The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek RD, LD.
Most of us eat more than our body physically requires around the holidays. And that’s OK!
The worst thing you can do is say, “Oh well! I messed up, so I might as well finish off the rest of that pie!” Don’t look at it as messing up. You just participated in the human activity of overindulging. No worries; wash your hands and move on with this five-step plan to undo your overeating and quickly reclaim your body as if nothing ever happened.
The following plan should be activated immediately after overeating and then followed for the next 24 hours. The purpose is to give you a mental and physical reset:
- Mentally you are getting yourself back into self-care-mode, while honoring your “humanness”.
- Physically you are helping your body–including those taste buds–recover from the rush of sugar, salt and fat it just received. If you don’t intervene soon, your body will continue to demand more sugar, salt and fat.
This plan works if you work for it!
STEP 1: Take a Deep Breath and Forgive Yourself
No harm was done! Dust yourself off and walk on over to step two.
STEP 2: Take a Walk
A 10-minute (or longer if you feel inspired) walk outside right afterwards will help cleanse your body and mind. This isn’t for exercise or to “punish” yourself for overeating. It’s part of loving self-care.
Step 3: Lemonize
Drink a 16 oz. glass of water with a tablespoon of lemon juice mixed in to flush out the gunk. Not only is lemon Mother Nature’s detoxifier, it also stimulates the digestive tract to keep things moving. After lemon water, make sure you drink at least 48-ounces of water over the next 24 hours.
Step 4: Take a 24-Hour Vacation from Processed Foods and Sugar
Make a decision to take a 24-hour vacation from processed food and added sugar beginning that moment.
In order for this step to work, you must loosen the grip of the pie by approaching it with an attitude of free will—meaning, you give yourself 100% permission to eat the pie, but are choosing to give your body a break instead. This shift in mindset makes all the difference in the world.
Step 5: Amp Up Your Veggies
Give your body a little extra love by eating more veggies and greens tomorrow!
Check out this sample menu for inspiration.
- Breakfast: A smoothie made with unsweetened coconut milk, frozen berries, a handful of fresh or frozen spinach, a slice of avocado and a scoop of plant-based protein powder.
- Lunch: A plate of leafy greens with chopped raw veggies from yesterday’s veggie tray. Top with a sprinkle of nuts or seeds, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
- Dinner: Leftovers done right! Fill a good portion of your plate with leftover non-starchy vegetables, like Brussels sprouts and green beans, then add a small amount of protein.
If you follow the plan as outlined above, you will be right back on track. Remember, your body craves what you feed it most. The sooner you turn that ship around, the better.