For many people, the holidays are just as hard on the body as they are on the credit cards. Your plate’s piled high with fabulous food and your glass keeps getting filled – it’s a recipe for excess.
You don’t really have a choice when it comes to paying credit card bills, but do we really need to do penance for eating and drinking more than usual? I say no – no to that guilty feeling, and no to diets and detox treatments designed to repair the so-called damage.
Sure, it’s tempting to believe we can clean our insides and shed toxins, not to mention a few pounds. But that’s nothing but a fad. Detoxification is a great big myth.
Yes, the liver filters waste from the body, but that image is simplistic. The liver’s not a filter like the one in your dryer that collects clothing lint. The liver has a job: to process and eliminate the by-products of digestion. Since waste doesn’t build up in the liver, we don’t need to get rid of it.
But you can rebalance the way you eat without sacrificing your health… or your good humour!
Here are three habits that won’t make sensational headlines, but will benefit your body and may even help you lose a little weight if you need to. Make them part of your daily routine and over the long term, they’ll be a lot more effective and a lot less frustrating than doing a detox.
Drink water. Good old plain water. No need to add lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to “alkalinize” your body or melt fat away. That’s another myth. Water needs no additives to do you good. It’s meant to do just one thing: hydrate your body.
Eat water. Cucumbers are 97% water, tomatoes 92% and peaches 87%. And that’s just for starters. Nearly all fruit and vegetables have a high water content. Water found in food stays longer in your stomach and is much more satisfying than just drinking water straight up. Drinking a glass of water may fool your hunger, but fruit and vegetables really calm your tummy. They’re fibre-rich as well, so they give you a feeling of fullness. Food with high water and fibre content comes in relatively low in terms of calories. When you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, you can still enjoy a full meal and a full belly. What diet can give you that?
Eat before you feel ravenous. Many people try to stay in control by only eating at mealtimes. But what happens if there’s four or five hours or even longer between meals? You get hungry – and not just a little, we mean HUNGry. So then what happens? You eat. You devour everything in sight. By trying to stay in control, you’re running the risk of losing it. Hunger can’t really be controlled. It’s there and you can feel it, and you can choose to tame your tummy or not. If you have a little snack as soon as you feel slightly peckish, your hunger pangs will be bearable – which is really the best way to stay in control.
What you do year round, between New Year’s Day and December 24, affects your health much more than what you do between December 24 and New Year’s Day. Let’s look back happily on all the great meals we enjoyed over the holidays, and then go onward and upwards into the new year!
Thanks to our collaborator
A graduate in nutrition and sports nutrition, Stéphanie Côté has worked with media for more than 15 years. Her goal? Convince people that eating well is good and not so complicated!Visit her website