Make sure to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and at least one snack (absolutely no skipping meals!) and ensure they consist of whole, real foods only. Eating consistently throughout the day will help you lay the foundation for ongoing healthy eating. I’m talking loads of veggies, lean protein such as grass-fed steak, chicken, fish, eggs and healthy fats from nuts, seeds or olives, avocado or coconut.
Drink water to lose water! Cocktails are abundant over the holidays, as well as salty nosh and nibbles—all of which can leave you dehydrated and bloated. Alcohol and salt throw off the effect of antidiuretic hormone on the kidneys—the chemical that controls how much you urinate. As a result, you pee frequently and body holds on to what little water is left; that’s why you feel bloated. Start replenishing your body asap with a large pitcher of water with sliced whole lemons and oranges for natural detoxifying benefits. Citrus fruits are rich in the antioxidant de-limonene, a powerful compound found in the peel that stimulates liver enzymes to help flush toxins from the body and gives sluggish bowels a kick, according to the World Health Organization. That’s why it’s also one of our 8 Easy Strategies for Rapid Weight Loss.
Fasting indeed has a long-standing spiritual tradition. "Almost every religion has some type of fasting ritual -- Lent, Ramadan, Yom Kippur ... the Hindus and Buddhists fast, too," says James Dillard, MD, assistant clinical professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. He's author of Alternative Medicinefor Dummies.
This easy a.m. ritual works on two levels. First, a recent study found that exposure to UV rays, even on a cloudy day, between the hours of 8 am and noon reduces your risk of weight gain regardless of activity level, caloric intake, or age. Researchers speculate that the morning light synchronizes your metabolism and undercuts your fat genes. And burning calories before you eat means you’re exercising in a fasted state—the energy you burn comes right from your fat stores instead of the glucose still in your system. According to some studies, exercising in a fasted state can burn almost 20 percent more fat compared to exercising with fuel in the tank.
Raw nuts and seeds provide healthy fats and protein. Dried beans and legumes, such as lentils and chickpeas, provide protein and phytonutrients. Brown rice, quinoa, teff and millet are whole grains that you can find in the bulk bins at health-food stores and in some grocery chains. The fiber in the whole grains and produce will help keep you full and helps regulate your digestive tract.
Fasting gives rest to your digestive organs though the normal functions such as the production of digestive secretions continue at reduced rates. This helps in maintaining the balance of fluids in the body. Breakdown of food takes place at a steady rate. Energy is also released in a gradual pattern. The production of acids in the stomach, however, continues uninterrupted during fasting. However, patients with peptic ulcer should take medical advice before resorting to fasting.
If you’re still feeling gassy and sorry for yourself, the worst thing you can do is probably exactly what you want to do most: spread out on the couch and take a nap. A study in the appropriately-titled journal Gut found that being upright was much more effective in reducing intestinal gas retention than lying down on the back. Posture, the researchers say, has a big influence on the movement of gas through the system. Another study found walking at a leisurely pace on a treadmill after eating a large meal helped food move through the stomach much more quickly than an espresso or alcoholic digestif, so take another leisurely walk around the neighborhood.
White tea is dried naturally, often in sunlight, making it the least processed and richest source of antioxidants among teas (as much as three times as many polyphenols as green tea!). A study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism showed that white tea can simultaneously boost lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and block adipogenesis (the formation of fat cells) due to high levels of ingredients thought to be active on human fat cells. If there’s such a thing as diet tea, this is it. And keep your waistline toned and tight—in record time—with these essential 29 Best-Ever Proteins for Rapid Weight Loss.
This weight-loss tea may be mild tasting, but it sure doesn’t act that way when it comes to your fat. In a study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism in 2009, white tea extract was found to help break down fat cells and prevent accumulation of fatty tissue. The reason? Scientists say it’s the high antioxidant content of the tea, particularly one called ECGC. (Here’s what else you should know about using white tea as a weight-loss tea.)
However, the actual removal of toxins can cause discomfort and foul mood making you want to quit the cleansing process mid-way. That is why you need to have an understanding of what symptoms to expect during the detox procedure so you can be prepared. Be sure to drink the salt water mixture and laxative tea to fast-track the removal of those toxins.
Have you ever wondered why your doctor asks you to fast before a blood test? While fasting, your body can lower its glucose and insulin levels, improve its blood pressure and rate, and improve lipid levels [*]. Fasting has been shown to slow or prevent the onset of many diseases, from cardiovascular to respiratory. For example, in one study individuals with asthma who experimented with intermittent fasting not only lost weight, but showed improved symptoms of their asthma[*].
"The term 'detox' has become a buzzword that is often misused by the media and consumers," says Jackie Armstrong, MPH, RDN, EP-C. Jackie is a Performance & Wellness Nutritionist at Stanford University and the founder of Well-Fueled.com. She says that detox diets are often misunderstood. "Our organs and tissues are constantly in a state of detoxification — getting rid of unwanted substances produced by the body or from our environment." She goes on to explain that research is lacking to support the effectiveness of most detox diets.