I love Easter almost as much as Christmas, and traditionally we’ve always enjoyed a few days off from our normal work routine. We tend to use those days to ‘retox’, in other words: eat, drink and be merry!!
The English dictionary describes the verb ‘retox’ as embarking on a binge of drink, drugs, or unhealthy food after a period of abstinence. Now our form of ‘retox’ does not quite live up to the name; we certainly indulge, rather than binge, on drink and unhealthy food and I suppose there are a few drugs involved – a couple of paracetamol before bed works every-time to keep the hangover at bay!
It’s great throwing caution to the wind and we don’t really need an excuse, but by day 3 our bodies are not happy and it feels like we’ve collected a layer of blubber around our frame; we are sluggish; a bit groggy and out of sorts. One look in the mirror and, yes, the skin and eyes tell you what you’ve been up to – there’s that gentle bloated look.
We just kind of know that it’s time to ‘detox’ and get back that ‘bouncy’ feeling and drop a bit of body fat. To do that, we need to give our body a rest, not a physical rest, but a rest from eating and drinking. The sluggish, bloated feeling is usually due to our liver working overtime and our bodies being a bit acidic and toxic. Re-hauling our diet, exercise, movement (lots of it) and hitting the hot yoga room are all part of the process.
If you are feeling a bit sluggish after a few good weeks of Easter hols, we’d recommend a 3 day detox to reset the hormones, blood sugars, rid the body of a few pounds, clear up the skin, get the digestion back on track and boost your immune system. You are probably suffering from dehydration, water retention and acidic overload, to name just a few :)
Firstly try to drink around 3 litres of water a day, including coconut water for magnesium, salt and electrolytes. This one thing can help with weight-loss and getting the body back to a state of equilibrium. Most people are walking around in a state of dehydration after a big weekend, so the body starts retaining any water it has to protect itself – this in turn increases bloating!
Stick to as many vegetables and fruit as possible –all good water-based stuff. Your body kind of craves it after a while.
Pop some applecider vinegar (1 cap) in a glass of water every morning and afternoon: helps metabolise food and great for gut health.
Cut back on dairy, bread and starch (pasta, chips and rice) and make it easy for yourself with store-bought fresh soups made from natural ingredients.
Choose lean protein such as white fish with salad
Eat eggs and bulk up on salad and vegetables, rather than store bought sauces, pasta and rice.
Use only olive oil, fresh herbs, lemon or orange juice, salt and pepper on your foods: no mayo, salad dressings or sauces.
Eat three meals a day and no snacks, with 4 hours between each meal minimum. A hard one, but your body starts using up all that stored energy in your muscles, plus potentially breaking down some fat to use for energy. If you’ve been eating and drinking all weekend, there’s heaps of stored energy for use.
Our body runs predominately on glucose, and all food is broken down into glucose eventually, to be used by our body for fuel: our brain uses up a huge amount for all its activities. Apparently when our body is running at an optimum level then our brain will be alerted after 4 hours that food is required, because it has usually used up most of the stored energy and needs more. Unfortunately after a weekend of eating and drinking, all signals are haywire and cravings for salty and sugary things is what are leading your eating habits, not a rumbling tummy.
A bit of a fast is also a good idea, 14 hours works for us, as it gives our bodies a rest and allows it to repair and renew cells and other essential things to keep us up and running.
If you want to read more about the science of fasting, we would highly recommend reading this blog http://www.thefeelgoodlifestyle.com/fasting-for-fast-weight-loss-superior-fitness-and-better-health.html
or watch Dr Michael Mosely on BBC Horizon: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01lxyzc.
Without having to deal with any food/drink, your body can concentrate on boosting your immune system and giving you back a bit of energy. We do this mostly while we are sleeping: eating our last meal at 830/9pm and eating again at between 12 and 1pm. Just once a week, a fast can make a huge difference to your ability to fight infection and improve your overall wellbeing. It’s also mentally challenging, allows you to get stuff done without constantly eating and sorting food and gives you a sense of achievement. The weight loss and feeling of lightness is an added bonus.
A couple of 90 min hot yoga classes will do more than just make you feel mentally good, they will aid your detox even more as multiple studies have shown that heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and mercury are found in sweat after exercise (and saunas), plus there are some fat-soluble toxins in the sweat as well. Just like you can absorb toxins through the skin, you can also pass them back through it. And if you want to sweat, our hot box is designed for it. I also think that once you’ve completed a hot yoga class, you don’t want to fill your body with junk, rather the opposite, it’s like an internal shower and you want to keep that feeling for as long as possible.
We love exercise, but we also know you can’t ‘run off’ a bad diet, well you can try, but you’ll be running all day! Feel better quicker, drop a few pounds and get your energy back on track by focusing on your food and water intake over a three day period, long enough to make a difference and short enough not to get too boring.