We’ve all been there. A well deserved vacation full of decadent meals. A weekend with extended family. Moving house. An endless string of holiday parties. An extra busy week where you’re only home for a few hours to sleep. Whatever the reason, we’ve all had those times where our healthy habits get derailed. While you may have enjoyed some tasty treats (or let’s face it, ALL THE TREATS), when the dust settles you’re left with a bloated belly, sluggish digestion, an extra pound or 5, and no clue how to get back on track.
Don’t worry, friend. I’ve been there and back too.
I recently confessed to you all that I got a bit off track myself during the whole process of moving house. While I didn’t eat any meat or dairy, I did have a lot more processed foods and take out than I normally care to have. My body was NOT happy with me, to say the least. Today I am going to share the tips and tricks I used to get back on the healthy track lickity-split, without ANY dieting or calorie restriction. We want to nourish our body, not deprive it.
- Water, Water Everywhere: Make drinking water your top priority. You need to flush that excess sodium out of your system and get things moving in the intestinal region, if you catch my drift. Add some fresh lemon to your water for some immune-boosting vitamin C and extra detoxification. Chia seeds are also fantastic for flushing the system because of their gelatinous texture when they are placed in liquid. Check out my Vitamin Water recipe for a delicious, detoxifying thirst-quencher.
- Get in those Greens: Have a green juice or smoothie for breakfast, a large salad for lunch, and some dark leafy greens with dinner. Not only are greens great for detoxification, but they will also replenish your cells with iron, which will increase your energy. When we eat poorly, a lot of our energy tends to be syphoned by our digestive system that is trying to deal with unfamiliar and hard to digest foods. Greens will help combat all that and the fiber will get things moving again.
- Fiber is your Friend: Put down the Ex-Lax and pick up some lentils. Lentils are 63% fiber and also packed with iron. They will help move out the sludge in your colon without the cramping and other unpleasant side effects of commercial laxatives. Might I suggest some Lentil Sloppy Joes and a big green salad for dinner?
- Eat the Rainbow: Processed foods, fast food, and take out are sorely lacking in fresh produce. Replenish the vitamins and minerals in your body by focusing on getting in lots of colorful, fresh, produce at each meal and snack.
- Easy on the Salt: When your body has been assaulted by bloat-inducing sodium from processed foods, give it a break by putting the saltshaker down. Use other seasonings such as freshly ground pepper, chili powder, or a salt-free all seasoning blend to give your food flavor without the salt.
- Move Your Body: Gentle exercise such as walking, bike riding, or yoga will not only help you sweat out toxins and excess fluid retention, but it will encourage your digestive system to move things along. Slimmer tummy, here we come! Anecdotally, I find that when I exercise regularly, I naturally crave healthier foods and find junk foods completely unappealing.
- Catch some Zzz’s: Extra rest will help rebalance the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin in your body so that you find it easier to get back to and stick with your healthy habits. More quality sleep will also reduce the levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) that can often lead to cravings for high fat, high protein, and sugary foods.
So there you have it; my 7 steps for getting back on track and beating the bloat when I’ve indulged a little too much. I usually find after 2 or 3 days of really watching my habits, the bloated belly is gone, my digestion is smooth, and I no longer desire any processed or junk foods.
Do you have any tips to add to my list? Share them in the comments below!
*all photos are royalty-free stock photography from pexels.com