Feeling terrible from a night of drinking and binge eating? Neither of these things is particularly healthy nor does it contribute to a longer and healthier lifespan, so it could be very helpful if you could ‘reset’ your body to the way it was before your big pig-out. Thankfully, it’s totally possible to get back on your dietary feet with a one-day detox that will soon have you on the road to good health.
A 24-hour detox cleanse with the right food and activity can help with digestion, provide energy and make you feel better after an unhealthy night. It’s also a great model that you can use for healthier everyday living. Reset any time!
Here’s my one-day body cleanse plan from the moment you wake up to the moment you hit the hay!
1. Start your Day with Lemon Water
I’ve talked about lemon water and its health benefits before. Lemon water can give you a burst of essential vitamin C, hydrate you, help with your body’s absorption of nutrients, regulate your blood sugar and keep your skin young and healthy. If that isn’t a great way to start the day, I don’t know what is!
2. Have a Satisfying Breakfast
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While this statement doesn’t have much scientific basis regarding weight loss, I still believe the kind of meal you eat is paramount when you want to feel great for the rest of the day and can counter the bloated feeling from a night of binge eating.
Eat foods with plenty of fiber, like dark leafy greens and fruits, and load up on protein too. For example, try an eggs-and-veggies combo. If you’re vegan, substitute eggs with a tofu scramble. For a quick and easily digestible breakfast that combines these essential nutrients, you can also try my personal favorite, the protein powder green smoothie, which is an excellent way to start any cleanse.
Avoid packaged commercial cereal, as these can be loaded with sugar and will have you retain water, keeping that bloated feeling rather than getting rid of it.
3. Cleansing Workout
Before or after breakfast, have a mild workout to get your blood pumping and boost your metabolism. This will energize you and give you a nice boost to your mood that can last all day. You can take a short walk outside, which will also give you a nice dose of sunlight that can trigger the release of calming hormones in your brain, boost your vitamin D and help you sleep better at night. Alternatively, you can do a light yoga session to build strength and flexibility.
4. Drink Tea
Tea’s benefits have been known since ancient times, and it’s the perfect companion to any one-day health cleanse. Skip the coffee and go for green tea, which can provide a boost to metabolism, and is rich in antioxidants. You can also try out Chinese tea for similar benefits.
5. Light Lunch
Stick to a light lunch, so you continue to have energy for the day without being weighed down. Stock up on salads and fruits to get your dose of fiber. Then, load up on protein with lean meats like wild caught fish and organic chicken, which are easier to digest than fatty cuts. Avoid oily foods and fats in general. Finally, don’t load up on high glycemic index carbs like white bread and rice – these are low-fiber, easily-broken-down foods that will drain you and make you sleepy after you eat them.
6. Complete Dinner
Your whole day up to this point has been one great big 24-hour cleanse, and you’re almost at the end, so don’t let yourself down at dinnertime! Relax with a protein and fiber-rich fruit, vegetable, fish and lean meat dinner, all without fats and oils, and add a rich, dense soup to go with it. You can opt to have the more carb-heavy foods here, but don’t overdo it! You’re still in a cleanse, after all. When I crave carbs in the evening, I go for shirataki noodles (see image below) that look and feel like rice noodles, but have zero carb, calories and fat. Surprisingly, they are also highly nutritious!
7. Sleep Well and on Time
Research shows that you need around seven hours of sleep every day. A lot of factors prevent people from reaching these hours, including daily diets that can leave them feeling tired, restless, or sluggish throughout the day. Following this one-day detox plan will avoid those feelings and have you all ready to go to bed when you need to.
About an hour before it’s time to sleep, move your electronic devices away from your bed – the blue light from computer screens and phones tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime and will prevent the release of melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep well. Instead, try reading a book or writing in a journal to round off your activities for the night. If you absolutely must use your device, consider an app like Twilight which adds a red filter to your phone’s display at night, reducing the blue light output. Alternatively, invest in a pair of blue blocking goggles, which block out the blue light and help keep circadian rhythms on track. I always put mine on when I use electronic devices after dinner time.
At the end of this one-day cleanse, you’ll be de-bloated from your previous night’s unhealthy affairs, and ready to return to a healthy lifestyle.