Every festival comes with its own essence and flavor. Holi is a festival of colors and playful bonhomie, and one inevitably ends up in self- indulgence and overeating. Sweets and fried foods have always been an integral part of festivities. Sugary and fried foods always end up making you feel sluggish, tired and bloated. But none of this stops us from either playing Holi or binging on our favorite sweets.
So, what do people usually do?
The most common and popular solution is doing a detox plan. But, do you really need it? Let me bust a few myths about doing a detox first:
Myth 1: Your body needs help to detox
Fact: The body has an innate ability to not only assimilate nutrients, but also to limit the accumulation of potentially harmful toxins. It is naturally protected from toxins by natural barriers, which include the GI system, lungs and the skin. The toxins which somehow cross these barriers are shuttled to the body’s detoxification system (liver), which decreases the negative impact of toxins and finally removes them from the body via urine and feces. Thus, the body needs no external help to remove toxins as long as its vital organs are healthy and functioning normally.
Myth 2: A detox helps in restoring health in the long run
Fact: Our bodies are already equipped to handle occasional indulgences, but if you overindulge too often, even detox can’t repair it. Excess fat and sugar gets stored as fat in the liver, leading to a condition called fatty liver. This condition gradually deteriorates its functioning. To restore health, switching to a sustainable diet with lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables will give you all the benefits.
Myth 3: Detox is always safe
Fact: If done for a longer duration, it can be dangerous, as it can lead to electrolyte imbalance, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, diarrhea, other stomach problems and extreme fatigue.
Myth 4: Detox aids in permanent weight loss
Fact: Due to loss of fluids and muscle mass, detox might trigger weight loss, but it’s neither healthy nor sustainable. On resuming normal eating, you will regain the lost weight.
The right way to DETOX:
- Never use detox as a weight loss method.
- Do a detox plan (like fasting, full day liquid or raw fruit and vegetable diet etc.) only for a day or maximum two days, just to help the body ease off its digestive system and remove excess bloating.
- The best time to do a detox plan is right after a party, festival or a holiday that involves a lot of binge eating and no exercise.
- Always get an appropriate detox plan in consultation with a nutritionist to avoid possible after effects.
But external detox is and will always be a quick fix. For a more permanent solution, follow the rule of “RELAX”, and help your body detox and rejuvenate naturally
- ‘R’est well
To help your body rejuvenate quickly, give it adequate rest. Sound sleep helps relax the nervous system, reduces stress hormones and replenishes other hormones that enable the body to recharge faster.
2. ‘E’at healthy food
Simple homemade food with balanced nutrients will naturally support the body’s own detoxification process. Do not miss any meal just to compensate for all the junk you’ve eaten. Have nourishing light meals that include healthy carbs, lean protein and vegetables like veg khichdi or veg pulao with homemade curd.
3. Have enough ‘L’iquids
Hydrate yourself thoroughly. Drink loads of non-alcoholic and non-sugary fluids. Sugar and alcohol lead to dehydration, inducing frequent urination. This causes loss of electrolytes, leading to fatigue and tiredness. To replenish, drink lots of fluids like fresh coconut water, lemon water, soups, infused water or simply plain water.
4. ‘A’dd pre and probiotics to your meals
Due to binge eating, the digestive system goes for a toss. Adding natural pre and probiotics to your meals like home set curd, fermented pickles, fermented rice water, kanji (fermented carrot water), raw veggies (salads) will aid your gut’s digestive abilities. This will help relieve indigestion issues like gas, flatulence and bloating.
5. ‘X’ercise regularly
Don’t miss your workouts. Exercise will help burn extra calories and will enable the heart to pump faster, ensuring good oxygen and nutrition supply to body cells. This will instantly energize your body. Exercise helps the body release its happy hormones called endorphins that will help uplift your mood, post festive binging and fatigue.
Therefore, post Holi do not stress and go for random detox plans. Rather, just RELAX and rejuvenate the right way.