Christmas has come and gone and I’m already thinking about how I can get back on track once the season of sweets is over. If I haven’t totally gone off the edge, I’m definitely standing on it! (Who was I to think I could resist the homemade haystacks, baklava, samoas, and payday bars!? Rum balls anyone?)
If you go through a detox, be aware that you can’t jump right back into a normal diet–and, hopefully, you won’t want to. Here are a few tips for coming off a detox and getting back to life as usual while retaining remnants of a healthy lifestyle.
Tips For Transition
Don’t go cold turkey. The mistake a lot of people can make is to run back to their beloved sugary foods immediately after detoxing. Even with a mild detox, this can make you feel really terrible. Have a donut if you really want it–you deserve it! But know that you will probably be tens times more aware of the negative effects it has on you: bad breath, brain fog, general sick feeling, a sugar high followed by a crash, etc. If you are planning on going back to foods like this, make sure you wean off slowly and gradually integrate your favorite foods back into your diet. Do this by only having one or two small desserts a day.
Maybe don’t even go straight for the pure sugar treats just yet. If you really want to try and sustain the good feelings you’ve created with your detox, don’t even go for the donut just yet. Instead, wean yourself off your detox with healthier alternatives like dark chocolate, naturally sweetened snacks, or homemade ice cream. The downside to this is that you may not be as conscious of the negative effects with a more gradual transition.
Tips For Continuing Your New Healthy Habit
Keep your fridge stocked. Hopefully after all your hard work, you aren’t eager to go back to the typical American diet. If so, one way you can continue to make healthy choices happen is to keep your fridge and pantry stocked with whole foods: fresh produce, whole grains, frozen fish fillets and other easy to prepare lean meats, nuts and seeds, the works! It is so much easier to choose a salad for lunch if you know you have a draw in your fridge well-stocked with options for changing up your toppings. If you are having to dig through the back of your fridge to find something fresh or that looks appealing then you are going to absolutely go for the ramen noodles every time.
On that note, avoid bringing less nutritious food back into the house in the first place. If you really want to empower yourself to continue making wise choices, don’t let yourself bring ramen noodles and other processed and sugary food back into the house! If you have a choice between a fresh pear and a chocolate chip cookie, you probably won’t have the willpower to choose the pear–it takes more work to eat, it’s not as satisfying in the short term, and, gosh darn it, cookies are just so dang delicious! If you DO have the willpower, please write a book and tell us how it’s done!
Be mindful as you eat. If you pay close attention to what you are eating after detoxing, you will notice the effects, as I already mentioned. If you start to find yourself backsliding to where you were before, remember how great you were feeling eating lots of fresh, whole foods. Use that memory as motivation to stay on the straight and narrow. Often, slowing down and just paying attention to what your body is telling you will empower you to choose better.