From Memorial Day Weekend and onward, it feels like all the weekends of summer bur into one sun-soaked stretch. Sporting events, yard work, fun on the water; these activities keep us plenty busy, and with hectic schedules typically come poor dietary choices. In the glow of summertime, we tend to lose track of our fitness and health goals, and partake in eating and drinking things we normally wouldn’t cave in to during the week.
Come Monday morning, I hear from friends and patients who regret some of the choices they made over the weekend because they’re feeling sluggish, fatigued or heavier than they did on Friday. So, how do we bounce back? Here are some tips to help your mind and body detox the excess of fat, sugar, alcohol and salt:
Hydrate! Your body is craving water, and lots of it, to flush everything out. You may not feel up to the task of drinking 70 + ounces of water, but trust me, it will work wonders on your digestive system and even your mood. You are likely experiencing mild to moderate dehydration if you were busy or indulging in alcohol, so drink water as often as you can. It’s best to even start with a warm cup of tea or water with lemon to kickstart your day: it will wake up your body and get things moving.
Eat nutrient-dense foods, AKA what you can’t get at most concession stands. Hit the grocery store (or open your own fridge) and look for whole foods like fresh meat, fish or chicken, dark leafy veggies and complex carbohydrates. Whip up some simple but oh-so-satisfying meals to keep your body full and energized. Processed carbs (likely part of your weekend binge) are responsible for that fogginess in your brain right now, so eliminate them at all costs. Don’t give into those packaged snacks or sweet treats — and this will be difficult because your body was used to these choices all weekend!
Rest. Our bodies need time to recover from time spent in the sun and on the go. Summer is downright busy, so for your first few weeknights back in the swing of things, get extra sleep. You’ll wake up extra refreshed and ready to make better choices the next day. When we’re sleepy, we crave things like extra caffeine and processed carbs or sugar in hopes for an energy kick, but when our bodies are functioning optimally, our cravings are kept at bay.
Be active. Get back into your exercise routine and stick to it. Exercise boosts energy levels, enhances mood, and keeps your body functioning normally. Plus, the circulation will help you start to feel lighter again, and not so bogged down by the choices you made starting at happy hour on Friday night. Lastly, a little sweating will help your body rid itself of toxins even quicker — a definite bonus.
Reset. This is a tip that I give anyone at any time throughout the weekend. A lot of people assume (incorrectly) that if they slip up once or twice on their diet over the weekend, the whole day is ruined, so they may as well eat whatever they want. This is very far from the truth. In reality, if you indulge in something not normally in your diet, hit the “reset” button at your next meal or snack! Don’t keep indulging over and over, but stop and think about how your body is feeling and why, then go right back to the choices you know keep you satisfied and energized. Plus, keeping this mentality of being able to reset your choices gives you the control over your cravings.
We all indulge in the summertime, but it’s how we treat our bodies in response to these choices that dictates whether or not we will “bounce back.” If you are curious about a lifestyle that will work for your specific health needs and goals, reach out to me at Lifestyle Chiropractic for a consultation!
Best of health,
Dr. Chad M. Hoffman