Now that Diwali is gone, I’m pretty sure a lot of you must be feeling sluggish and bloated from all the sweets and fried food you consumed in the festivities. The guilt of eating those decadent laddoos and the delicious kachoris is now tormenting you in the form of weight gain and an upset stomach. I know you’re afraid of stepping on the scale and probably Googling away prices of detox teas and weight loss smoothie recipes. So here I have curated the perfect detox food list for you that’s easy to access, that’s within your budget and will, in no time, help you come back on track to your healthy lifestyle.
1. Don’t feel guilty
Look, you only live once. So don’t get depressed because you ate more than you do or indulged in something unhealthy. We are all human and we are allowed to make mistakes. However, it’s important that once you’ve realized your mistake, you make efforts to amend it. That won’t happen if you are sad about getting off track and you feel like just giving up on your entire “stay healthy stay fit” propaganda. That’s not the way to go! It’s never too late to get back on track. Forgive yourself, think about how much you enjoyed all the indulgence, and now that you’ve had your fun, get back on your routine with renewed energy (from all those carbs!)
Avoid alcohol and processed foods
The last thing you want to do post your Diwali binge is to reach for those sweets and those tequilas again thinking “What harm can one more of these do when I’ve already had so many this week?” It doesn’t take time for one to turn into two, and then three, four and more. Stay firm and be a little more strict. Say no to processed foods (which also include pasta, breads, and cereal) and stick to a clean, wholesome diet of fruits, vegetables and lean meats to get your body back on track.
Load up on fiber and protein
You may think that following a Diwali binge, you may not want to eat anything because you’ve stuffed so much. The reality, however, is something very different. The day after a binge, you wake up even more ravenous than usual, craving the very foods that your body doesn’t want. Here’s the thing- when you eat a lot of fatty and sugary foods, your insulin levels spike up like the rate of US dollar, which causes you to feel hungry and have cravings. Fill up on protein-rich foods and fiber, as these provide you the highest level of satiety, regulate your insulin levels, make you eat less, are good for your digestive system and also help do away with your Diwali belly.
Drink your water
All the festival foods that you binged on are loaded with fat, sugar and tons of sodium. All these things cause your body to retain their water, which makes you bloated and is responsible for weight gain. Water may be tasteless and odorless and nutrition-less, but it’s extremely important for the normal functioning of your body processes. So make sure to drink at least 2-3 liters of water every day to flush out all the toxins from your system, keep your body hydrated and lose all that water weight from your belly and your body.
Sweat it out
Exercising is one of the best ways to feel lighter and fresher after a week of bingeing on festival foods. You can do include any form of exercise in your daily routine- cardio, HIIT, weight training– all the exercises have their own benefits. Exercising rids your body of toxins in the form of sweat, and it helps the release of the hormone serotonin, which lessens your stress levels. Also, all the calories burnt with exercising help you stay slim and fit. Win-win, isn’t it?
Eat your greens
Green leafy vegetables (the darker the better) are great to help your post-Diwali bloat shoo away. They are rich in antioxidants like folate and lutein and have tons of essential vitamins and minerals to get your body’s digestive system back on track. The fiber from these vegetables helps regulate your bowel movements and the water content in these vegetables keeps your body hydrated and rids it of toxins. So now that your fridge is emptied of sweets and samosas, fill the empty space with fresh green vegetables and start detoxing!
Drink some hot tea
Herbal teas like green tea, chamomile tea, peppermint tea, etc. calm your digestive system and are also a great way to hydrate if you’re bored of plain water. These teas, especially green tea, are loaded with antioxidants and their soothing warmth combined with the antioxidant punch just cleanses your system and gets you ready to go back to your healthy lifestyle. In fact, green tea has caffeine and catechins, which spike your body’s metabolism and help you lose some weight too. Another win-win for you!
Spice it up
Include spices like ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and cayenne pepper in your diet that are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances that help you get rid of all the inflammation caused by those succulent sweets and savory curries. You can use these spices in the foods you cook, or mix them up in a detox tea. One easy detox tea recipe is- take half a lemon, 1/4th of a teaspoon of turmeric, and a small 1-inch piece of ginger, and boil it all in a cup of water. Voila, instant refreshing Diwali detox tea is ready! (Note: you can add other anti-inflammatory spices to the above recipe, and some honey to make it taste better and add some minerals and fiber to it).
Don’t skip meals
Contrary to what you may want to do post a binge, do NOT skip meals to make up for eating more than usual. It will only make you hungrier and then binge even more. Eat clean and eat enough to nourish your body and give you the energy to keep up with the post-Diwali house cleaning.
Catch up on sleep
Sleep is extremely important for your body to recover, de-stress and function properly. It resets the hormones and helps your body break down the carbs and fats from the binge faster and help your body rejuvenate and reduce stress levels, which in turn will help you lose all that weight and all that belly bloat. So make sure you’re getting a minimum of 7 hours of good quality sleep. Adjust your busy schedule to ensure that you get much sleep every day without fail.
You don’t have to burn a hole in your wallet to lose that weight or get rid of your bloat. You don’t have to beat yourself up for indulging in unhealthy foods or eating too much. Forgive yourself and treat yourself to some health, and your body will also forgive you.