Post Thanksgiving Detox Tips

family laughing and walking

By Alyssa Bialowas

My favorite meal of the year is fast approaching, and this year I have a plan to recover from the overindulgence and the ensuing lethargy that follows. Wine, turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, roasted vegetables, gravy, pumpkin pie and so much more, there’s no holding back at Thanksgiving and you deserve to treat yourself.

Here are 5 helpful detox tips after overindulging this week –

1. Eat a fiber-rich breakfast the morning after.

almondsThe last thing you want to do when you’re recovering from overindulging is to repeat the mistakes you made the night prior with a massive brunch filled with carbohydrates, sugar, and fat.

In addition to the Greek yogurt parfait, chai oatmeal is a fiber-rich option for breakfast that will get your digestive system running. For the chai oatmeal recipe, the key ingredients are organic oats, apple cider, pear, cranberries, cinnamon, vanilla, and low-fat milk.

Adding pear and cranberries boosts the antioxidant content of your breakfast, and the high water content will aid in further rehydration

Related Article: The Best Way to Prevent Gut Rot During Your Workout

2. Target your alcohol hangover with water and Greek yogurt parfaits!

greek yogurtWhen you’re feeling bloated, overstuffed and lethargic after you’ve broken a new personal record in a number of helpings the night prior, it’s important to rehydrate with water. Water will ease your food and alcohol hangover by rehydrating your body.

Ingesting fructose will help your body burn lingering alcohol, so make sure you add honey to your Greek yogurt parfait, as well as nuts for protein to boost your energy. Adding nuts like pistachios have high vitamin B6 levels, which is said to ease hangover symptoms.


3. Get outside

couple biking If the thought of a workout the day after you overindulged seems overwhelming, I’m right there with you.

Give yourself a break with your regular workout schedule on days like this. Stay active and move your body to get that blood flowing. Go for a brisk walk, soak up some rays, and grab your bike to grab a coffee and head to the park. You’ll be surprised how accomplished and fresh you feel after even a short amount of time outside.

Something as simple as taking the stairs can also make a huge difference. Stair climbing has been shown to not only improve fitness but also to decrease cholesterol levels and body fat (Borehams, Wallace & Nevill, 2000; Allison, Martin, MacInnis, Gurd & Gibala, 2016; Ilmarinen, Ilmarinen, Koskela, et al., 1979).

A 2017 study conducted on 31 sedentary women found a 7% increase in VO2max following 6 weeks of stair climbing training. This indicates that stair climbing is a good way to improve cardiorespiratory function (Allison, Baglole, Martin, Macinnis, Gurd & Gibala, 2017).

Not only does stair climbing burn calories (0.11kcal/step) but it also helps tone and strengthens the lower body (Teh & Aziz, 2002; Loy, Conley, Sacco, et al., 1994). A more recent study suggests that stair climbing can reduce the risk of cardiometabolic diseases – such as type 2 diabetes and obesity – by reducing peak postprandial glucose levels (Moore, Bartholomae, Ward, Johnson, & Kressler, 2018).

4. Stretch

mature athlete stretchingWhen you get in from your walk, stretch it out. Do this on your own, with family, with a friend, start a little yoga session, as there are many poses in yoga that aid the digestive process.

After a meal like Thanksgiving dinner, the high fat content of the food, coupled with the alcohol intake, are very taxing on your liver as it is processing everything you consume.

Yoga poses that are said to aid liver function and aid the digestive process: downward facing dog, cobra pose, cow pose and cat pose.

Downward Facing Dog

  • Begin on your hands and knees. Align your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Point your middle fingers directly to the top edge of your mat.
  • Spread your fingers wide and press firmly through your palms and knuckles. Distribute your weight evenly across your hands.
  • Exhale as you tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor. Reach your pelvis up toward the ceiling, then draw your sit bones toward the wall behind you. Gently begin to straighten your legs, but do not lock your knees. Bring your body into the shape of an “A.” Imagine your hips and thighs being pulled back from the top of your thighs.
  • Press the floor away from you as you lift through your pelvis. Now press down equally through your heels and the palms of your hands.
  • Firm the outer muscles of your arms and press your index fingers into the floor. Lift from the inner muscles of your arms to the top of both shoulders. Draw your shoulder blades into your upper back ribs and toward your tailbone. Broaden across your collarbones.
  • Rotate your arms externally so your elbow creases face your thumbs.
  • Draw your chest toward your thighs as you continue to press the mat away from you, lengthening and decompressing your spine.
  • Align your ears with your upper arms. Relax your head, but do not let it dangle. Gaze between your legs or toward your navel.
  • Hold for as long as is comfortable for you.
  • To release, gently come back to your hands and knees.

Related Article: How Will Turkey Dinner Impact Your HIIT Workout?

Cobra Pose

  • Begin by lying face-down on the floor with your legs extended behind you, spread a few inches apart. The tops of your feet should rest on the mat — do not tuck your toes.
  • Place your hands under your shoulders with your fingers pointing toward the top of the mat. Hug your elbows into the sides of your body.
  • Press down through the tops of your feet and your pubic bone. Spread your toes.
  • Inhale as you gently lift your head and chest off the floor. Keep your lower ribs on the floor.
  • Draw your shoulders back and your heart forward, but do not crunch your neck. Keep your shoulders dropped away from your ears. (Beginners and those with neck pain should keep their gaze toward the floor. Those with more flexibility can bring their gaze to the sky.)
  • Begin to straighten your arms, lifting your chest off the floor. Press the tops of your thighs down firmly into the floor. This is Low Cobra.
  • Do not push yourself away from the floor, forcing the backbend. Instead, allow the lift to come as a natural extension of your spine. There should be almost no weight on your hands — you should be able to lift your palms off the mat for a moment while in the pose.
  • Only straighten your arms as much as your body allows. Deepen the stretch as your practice advances, but avoid straining to achieve a deeper backbend. If your flexibility permits, you can straighten your arms all the way while maintaining the connection of the front of your pelvis and legs with the floor. This is High Cobra.
  • Actively press your shoulder blades into your upper back. Keep your elbows hugged into your sides. Broaden across your collarbones and lift your heart. Glide the tops of your shoulders away from your ears. Distribute the length of the backbend evenly through your entire spine.
  • Hold the pose for up to 30 seconds. To release, exhale as you slowly lower your chest and forehead to the mat. Turn your head to the right, resting your left ear on the mat. Relax your arms alongside your body.

Cat/Cow Pose

  • Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees directly under your hips. Point your fingertips to the top of your mat. Place your shins and knees hip-width apart. Center your head in a neutral position and soften your gaze downward.
  • Begin by moving into Cow Pose: Inhale as you drop your belly towards the mat. Lift your chin and chest, and gaze up toward the ceiling.
  • Broaden across your shoulder blades and draw your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Next, move into Cat Pose: As you exhale, draw your belly to your spine and round your back toward the ceiling. The pose should look like a cat stretching its back.
  • Release the crown of your head toward the floor, but don’t force your chin to your chest.
  • Inhale, coming back into Cow Pose, and then exhale as you return to Cat Pose.

5. Eat foods that are high in potassium and salt!

chiliReplenish your salt and potassium levels after a night of drinking with a recipe that is also low in fat. High-fat foods sit in your stomach for a longer period of time, so refrain from eating meats that are high in fat such as pork and beef. 

Black bean hearty vegetarian chilly is a great option, and the spice you add can be the key to reducing inflammation and pain you’re feeling. The key ingredients are black beans, vegetable broth, chili powder, and one medium winter squash.

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