Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Thanksgiving Hangover

            If you’re like me, you woke up yesterday with what I like to call a “Thanksgiving hangover.” No, it’s not from the wine or a late night out: it’s from the absurd amount of food consumed in the span of a few hours. But it actually feels like a hangover. You’re tired, groggy, sluggish, and the worst part? Despite the fact that you ate enough calories for a week’s worth of meals, you’re still hungry. Yes, leftovers are great, but they can also lead down the path to the holiday pounds.
            That’s why post-Thanksgiving, my sister and I attempted a daylong cleanse (attempted being the operative word in that sentence). Though we were hungry enough by the end of the day to warrant a dinner out, we both did feel better. Plus, when I finally got a solid meal, I couldn’t even finish it. In that span of less than a day, my body felt better than when I’d crawled into bed after the holiday festivities and my stomach was just the tiniest bit smaller. Need some ways to recover after a holiday with the family? Though I’m no doctor, here are some great ways I’ve found work for me.

Drink lots of water

            We all know the rule: eight glasses of water per day. But did you also know that drinking water cannot only stave off the post-gorge hunger, but can actually speed up your metabolism? And the best time to drink it is as soon as you get up. According to Men’s Health, if you drink 16 ounces of water as soon as you wake up, your metabolism is boosted by 24% for 90 minutes. That could probably burn off that extra helping of gravy from your Thanksgiving banquet without any additional effort.

Tea, tea, tea

            I really do swear by the power of tea with a little honey and lemon. Though I can’t say it does much to necessarily cleanse the body, it keeps the inevitable hunger away for just a little while longer. Studies have also suggested that tea contains compounds that can decrease your body’s absorption of fat. Just don’t add milk! Dr. Devajit Borthakir of the Tea Research Association told the Sunday Telegraph that when you mix milk with tea, the chemical reaction means “we don’t get the health benefit from these compounds.” So just a little honey and lemon works great for me.

To cleanse or not to cleanse?

            I tried the cleanse, I really did. I’ve heard so many great things about it. Dietician Stephanie Middleburg told Health Magazine in an interview that juicing can eliminate toxins from your body and help you feel better in a short period of time. “A benefit of juicing is that it gives your digestion system a break from working so hard to process a large meal,” she said in the article. But does that mean you have to cleanse all day? Instead, my sister and I started the day with two fruit smoothies, helped ourselves to some green juice mid-day, but finished off Friday with a real meal. Even a short break for your digestion is good, right?