Weighing In: Post Turkey-Day Detox

Each week, our own fitness fanatics Leah Polakoff and Caitlyn Kronket will explore the latest workout crazes, diet fads and dish out tips for healthy living. Managing your schoolwork is tough enough- let us take care of your health.

At Valley, we’re big believers that the holidays are not a time to worry about calories. In fact, we encourage you to enjoy that delicious spread of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie – YOLO, right?

Nonetheless, don’t let the carefree spirit of the holidays throw you off track completely.  To avoid total diet derailment, we’ve come up with three tips to help you detox after devouring.

1. Have something – anything – for breakfast

Even if you wake up feeling full from the night before, do not (we repeat, do not) skip breakfast. For many people, eliminating their morning meal seems like an easy way to offset excess calories from Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately, this tactic does more damage than good.

For one thing, breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, meaning that those calories consumed later in the day can be used (and burned!) more efficiently. Additionally, a healthy breakfast helps manage hunger throughout the rest of the day; so if you skip it, you’re simply setting yourself up to overeat later.

Finally, let’s not forget breakfast’s most obvious purpose – fuel! For some much-needed energy, stick with foods high in fiber such as whole-grain cereal, oatmeal or fruit. You’ll feel not only energized but satisfied for hours to come.

Breakfast: It doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be something.

2. Get moving

As glorious as it is, Thanksgiving tends to leave many of us feeling tired and sluggish the next day.  To combat the post-Turkey-Day slump, try squeezing in some exercise. We know, we know, sweating it out is the last thing you want to do after a heavy meal the night before. No worries – slow and steady is perfectly acceptable.

Ease back into your routine by simply going for a walk. Not only will such moderate exercise help ease physical discomfort, but the fresh air will work wonders on your mood.

Not feeling a stroll? Consider breaking out the Christmas decorations or do what everyone else is doing: go shopping! The chaos of Black Friday will have you tuck-jumping over crazed shoppers and lunging to reach the last Keurig or iPhone. So get up, get out and good luck.

3. Drink water

Water wears many hats.  Obviously, its main purpose is to prevent dehydration, but there are many other important reasons to make sure you’re staying hydrated – especially after holiday indulging.
Some studies suggest that H2O also helps rid the body of free radicals (“bad,” reactive molecules that we incur naturally through the metabolic process or via environmental toxins) and strengthens the immune system.

Whether or not water actually “flushes” out toxins is debatable, though it does play a large role in metabolic and overall body functioning. Without water, your body’s natural detoxifying ability can’t reach its full potential.

Pour yourself a refreshing glass or enjoy a cup of warm tea (it’s essentially water). Either way, make sure to drink up.

The holidays only come around once a year so by all means – enjoy them! And if you find yourself repeatedly giving into the temptations of holiday treats, well, that’s why there’s a little thing called a New Year’s resolution.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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