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.
A daring dieting infusion comes to life with this benevolent blueberry detox drink. The masterful concoction features a delicious core of mandarin oranges. The wedges permeate moisture with ample healing properties, and the slight sourness is decadently delightful. At the same time, a stash of ripened blueberries brings extra antioxidants. These superfoods are notoriously packed with vitamin C and fiber. Each berry gains its navy coloration through the presence of detoxifying pigments. These compounds are known as anthocyanins, and their inclusion in a health regimen can prevent the presence of free radicals and ulcers. To intensify taste, simply squish berries and twist oranges.
Cardiovascular disease risk factors, which usually improve with weight loss, were similar in both groups, with two exceptions: "Bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) levels were significantly higher in the fasters after a year. But, Varady says, "we did have a subgroup of people who had pre-diabetes, and they saw bigger improvements in insulin resistance, inflammatory factors and triglyceride levels with alternate-day fasting."
Secondly, another concern that people have about fasting is the hunger that one might experience. Interestingly, when comparing intermittent fasting versus calorie restriction, is has been noted that the hunger response is more pronounced when on a calorically restricted diet than in fasting (5). In a 10-week study done on alternate day fasting for weight loss, it was found that after 2 weeks, the hunger response decreased significantly and continued to stay low (2).
David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., professor at Harvard Medical School and author of Always Hungry?, says that the sugar in juice is digested super fast because there are no other nutrients (like fat or protein) to slow it down. That leads to a giant blood-sugar spike and subsequent crash that leaves you craving sugar and carbs, says Ludwig. And since we drink juice even when we’re not hungry, all those calories go straight to storage, he says.
Side effects of fasting may include headaches, weakness, muscle aches, nausea, lightheadedness, irritability, racing heart, exacerbation of joint symptoms, mild abdominal discomfort, and hunger. However, everyone reacts differently to detoxing. While one person may feel energized and revitalized, another may feel sluggish. Generally it is reported that hunger disappear after the first day.
Whether a regimen calls for two fasting days a week or eating your meals in a smaller "window" of time in the day, all plans share a near-freedom from calorie counting, a big plus for weary food diarists. Once you have planned your fasting-period menu—say, a 500-calorie day of chicken and veggies—you're set. And in your nonfasting periods, you eat normal, healthy meals (even that steak!) without worrying about every bite.
The caffeine content in Sambazon’s drink line comes from green tea and guaraná, a a native plant from Brazil with roughly twice the concentration of caffeine found in coffee seeds, and—bonus!—the ability to fight fat and lower cholesterol. A recent study found daily supplementation with guaraná could reduce LDL cholesterol levels in healthy adults by as much as 27 percent! And a second animal study published in Clinical Nutrition found guaraná extract supplementation could increase fat metabolism.
If you are aiming for weight loss, you don’t have to fast for days at a stretch to get metabolic or weight loss benefits. Skipping a meal every other day is enough to cause moderate weight loss. Fasting for as little as 20 hours at a time can improve insulin sensitivity and other metabolic functions. It is not advisable to fast for more than 36 hours.
While booze shouldn’t be part of your daily weight loss diet, downing a drink every now and again won’t throw you far off track — so long as you order smart. Every Mad Men fan knows that Don Draper favors the Old Fashioned. And just so long as you don’t sip them to his level of excess, the 119-calorie low-sugar drink can keep you on the track toward your better body goal. Not a fan of whiskey? Check out these other delicious, low-calorie cocktails.
The alternate-day diet in this study called for participants to take in 25 percent of their needed calories on fast days and 125 percent on feast days. It's a type of intermittent fasting that involves drastically reducing your calorie intake on some days or during certain hours and eating whatever you like on others. The theory is that it is easier to focus on reducing calorie intake only some of the time and that the eating pattern improves cardiovascular risk factors — such as blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin levels — more than daily calorie-cutting does.
Rooibos tea is made from the leaves of the “red bush” plant, grown exclusively in the small Cederberg region of South Africa, near Cape Town. What makes rooibos tea particularly good for your belly is a unique and powerful flavonoid called Aspalathin. Research shows this compound can reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage and are linked to hypertension, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Yup, sometimes the kettle can be as effective as the kettlebell.
The Drinking Detox. If you're not ready to change what you eat, you might start by changing what you drink. Many experts (and smart dieters) will tell you that the easiest way to lose weight is to give up alcohol either permanently or for a short time. Booze provides no significant nutritional benefits, it's full of calories and it may cause you to eat more junk food. For many dieters, simply saying no to alcohol is the best way to detox the body, sleep better at night, boost energy levels, and slim down.