On the first day of Christmas, the buffet gave to you: four slices of turkey, three servings of stuffing, two glasses of champagne and a whole Christmas pudding. And that was just for starters. It’s not uncommon for the average Brit to consume “their entire recommended daily calorie intake by 2.08pm on Christmas day, before they even start tucking into lunch”, says Myranda Prynne from The Telegraph – yikes! To reverse the effects of your Christmas binge, health experts at Marie Claire magazine recommend eating regular, but small portions of food. The ‘little and often’ approach to eating should stave off the hunger pangs, making you less likely to reach for the biscuit cupboard between meals.
Spring clean your cupboards
The next simple trick for a successful body blitz is to rid your kitchen of any left-over, tempting foods. From the remnants of cheesecake to the last dregs of champagne, get rid of the left-overs from your festive feast and replace those tempting treats with healthier foods. Indeed, “on 1 January you’ll feel better psychologically if you fill your fridge with healthy, low-fat, low-GI foods”, advises diet and fitness expert Rosemary Conley. Sweet potatoes, oats, apples, lentils and basmati rice are all great low-fat, low-GI food options.
Stock up on celery
There are no words to describe that bloated and uncomfortable feeling after consuming all of the delicious delights on offer at Christmas time, but there is a sound: “Ugh!” If this is you, try drinking celery juice. It sounds strange, but naturopath Jane Scrivner swears by it. Simply juice “six or seven sticks [of celery] – and drink”, Scrivner advises. This helps “to balance the acid in your stomach and body”. Super cheap and easy, too!
Whip up a detoxifying drink
Not fond of the celery idea? Another nifty trick for fast relief from overindulgence: a ginger, fennel and peppermint drink. Peel and chop a “2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger and simmer it with one tablespoon of fennel seeds for ten to 15 minutes”, advises nutritionist Penny Povey. Next, “add a teaspoon of dried peppermint or a peppermint tea bag and infuse for ten minutes”, Povey continues. Finally, strain the leaves and drink up for fast relief. Cheers to no more aching, bloated stomachs!
Brush away toxins
If the Christmas binge has left your skin looking dry and dull, GP and spa consultant Dr Susan Horsewood-Lee advises ten minutes of body brushing. This will “help clear away dead skin cells and open up the pores, so toxins can escape. Use a natural brush or exfoliating mitt and work all over your body in long sweeping strokes. Brush legs [and] arms, front and back, always working towards your heart”, advises Horsewood-Lee. Repeat this routine daily to rid your skin from toxins, cellulite and dry skin.
Good news! Blasting off the post-Christmas fat doesn’t mean embarking upon a crazy exercise regime. In fact “healthier exercise patterns involve not such extreme duration or intensity," Dr James O’Keefe tells Web MD. As much as extreme exercising may help you to feel less guilty about that extra serving of turkey, a few pulled muscles and an abnormally achy body later and you won’t be able to exercise at all. Instead, get back on track with a sensible exercise routine. According to Louise Chang from Web MD, “good health really comes with 30 minutes of activity, at least 3-5 times a week”.
From carotenoids to beta-carotene, most antioxidant-rich foods are full of fancy-named ingredients that work wonders for your body. In fact, “when your body needs to put up its best defence, […] antioxidants are crucial to your health”, says Jeanie Davis from Web MD. Flush out that post-Christmas toxin build-up with some tasty antioxidant foods such as blueberries, cherries, watermelon and avocado. Your poor over-indulged body will thank you for it!