Your Emergency Post-Labor Day Detox Plan

Despite your best intentions for Labor Day, you partied your butt off, which means you downed more drinks and hot dogs than you can remember.

The ideal situation would have meant you nibbled on watermelon wedges and sipped club soda with a twist of lime all day, but it didn’t happen. So, instead of beating yourself up, let’s move forward, shall we?

I usually don’t like to use the word ‘detox’ because I feel it insinuates that your kidneys and liver need help to cleanse your body, which they don’t: they’ve been doing it since the beginning of time. After a few days, weeks or even years of filling your body with junk, however, sometimes you have to get a little strict with your diet and exercise to filter it out.

In order to bounce back from your BBQ indiscretions, you are going to have to start now, scale it back and keep reading.

Drink plenty of H2O. Salty foods and alcohol suck the water from your body, so drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. You need to rehydrate your body to keep it running efficiently and help your body naturally detoxify itself. For two days at least, just stick to water. Ditch carbonated and sugar-free drinks because the bubbles and artificial sweeteners will bloat you even more.

Don’t skip meals. You may think starving yourself for a few days will even out your Labor Day all-you-can-eat fest, but this is the worst thing you can do. The best thing you can do to get back to normal is to eat 5-6 small meals through out the day, avoiding processed carbohydrates and sugars. Eat to keep your metabolism going.

Toss the leftovers. It may seem rude to deny a foil-covered plate of leftovers, but Labor Day is over, which means so is the food. If you didn’t politely refuse to take home any leftovers, throw them out the second you get home. If they are in your house, you will eat them.

Eat clean, clean, clean. Just the essentials: fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins, with no extras. You can bring them back into your diet later, but for right now, your body needs to eat the things it was meant to eat.

Get movin’! Every little bit of exercise to help you burn those extra calories is going to help, but getting in a good, sweaty workout is the easiest way to instantly feel healthier and happier. Sulking on the couch in sweatpants isn’t going to help anything, so get up and exercise, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

There are always going to be holidays, and there are always going to be big meals with all the fixings. Sometimes you’ll be on your best behavior, and sometimes you’ll give in to temptation, but the most important thing is to learn from your choices and vow to make the next right one.

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