Low vibrational leftovers are in the fridge, trash bins are full of bottles of dranks you know you weren’t supposed to have; it’s the day after & all your mind can think about is how to purge the last 24hours of food, alcohol, and questionable decisions back out of your system. Welcome to the day after Thanksgiving, otherwise known in the Body Altering Aesthetics industry as the day of swell hell, sodium bloating, noticeable sluggishness, and a dash of “I shouldn’t have ate that” regret. We’ve all fallen victim to exclaiming “I can never eat again!” after Thanksgiving dinner but it’s different in the surgery world as our cells will forever respond to sodium influxes.
So it comes as no surprise that the Thanksgiving detox is a popular trend following the holiday. And they’re alllll catered to quick + fast + purge but unlike the rest of the world, Sx has taught that there’s no such thing as “quick + fast + AND SAFE” anything when it comes to health. In contrast to what you may WANT to do, impulsive detoxes are only marketing buzzwords and can be damaging more than helpful to the body. Not all cleanses and detoxes— but the ones to atone for foodie sins and the mentality to “get it all back out” are harmful to the body. When in all actuality, you don’t need to “detox” after overeating. Why? Because the body repairs itself and these fast crash detoxes done to have an immediate cleansing effect actually slow down or may stop the body from responding to the foodie trauma. In other words— your body doesn’t need your help; well, not in the way you may think.
Why you don’t need a Thanksgiving detox
The body repairs itself. No matter how many calories you ate (or how many servings of deviled eggs you inhaled), the body processes and digests all of it. Everything from the saliva in your mouth to the enzymes in your stomach is meant to digest food, get the nourishment it needs from that food, and then get rid of excess through waste (ick, but true). Yes, this is anatomy 101, but it’s important to keep in mind that the body is built to repair itself. Your body will digest all the mashed potatoes and crab mac-n-cheese on its own, whether or not you try to help it the next day. So, you don’t need organic all natural purifying supplemental (trying to find all of the buzzwords marketing companies have indoctrinated us with) juice cleanses to “flush out toxins;” that’s the body’s job to do. The liver, colon, and kidney have got you covered.
A healthy diet includes indulgences to. After plastic surgery, we want to walk the path of straight & narrow, disciplined and determined. But that’s not realistic to maintain at all times and maybe you needed permission to be normal again so! Here it is. Indulges are going to happen. You are going to eat stuff that isn’t the best for maintaining a sleek physique. That’s normal human behavior— you can’t beat yourself up for being— normal. The key is in moderation.
Nutrition is more than just what’s on your plate
If you believe the false narrative that the body needs a detox to help it get back to “healthy” after one meal, you should also know that nutrition is not just about food (nor can you wreck it from just one day, I’m sorry but you aren’t a Vixen Destruction Super Villain). Yes, fruits and vegetables nourish the body, but so do:
👯♀️The people we spend our time with.
🎶 The music we listen to.
📱 What we see when we scroll through Instagram.
🎤The shows and football games we watch.
🌬️The air we breathe filled with holiday scents and aromas.
Leafy greens and lean proteins are important, but how we spend our time and who we make time for feed us too. How much does spending time with those you love nourish you? If you’re not also focused on the ways you’re being nourished besides the food on your plate, you’re missing clutch pieces of the puzzle. Keep your stress levels down, occasionally indulge in activities you love, and surround yourself with people who make you happy, and your body will respond accordingly.
Since you aren’t perfect, don’t expect your diet to be at all times. But how to get back on track once you fall off?
How to care for your body instead:
1. Listen to your body after the meal.
Instead of attempting to “atone for your sins” after a mindless binge on Thanksgiving Day, keep up healthy habits and listen to your body so you don’t feel regret at all.
After Thanksgiving, make intentionally smarter decisions for the next 7 days. Pay attention to portion sizes, keep colors on your plate (nutrients the body needs to self detox are in foods rich in colors like purple, red, and green). Check in with yourself to identify what your body really wants. Maybe you’re not hungry, but you would enjoy every bite of a slice of apple pie because it’s your favorite holiday leftover, but usually? You’re probably just dehydrated. Or maybe you realize your digestion is feeling off and you haven’t had enough veggies with your meal. Also, notice when you start feeling satisfied and are no longer enjoying each bite to know when to stop instead of mindlessly eating until you’re uncomfortably stuffed— the leftovers can always be froze to thaw out and enjoy again later in the year, fyi. Aiming for a balance of holiday foods and nutrients will make your body feel good, and allow it to follow along its cleansing journey without being starved or havoc being wreaked to purge.
2. Stretch and (gently) move the body.
Please do not attempt a two-hour HIIT class first thing Friday morning as a means to “erase” or “make up for” what you ate the night before. First of all, that’s not how the body works, but it’s also unnecessary. Go on a jog or work out if it makes you feel better and your body is craving movement, but if you’re feeling sluggish and lethargic like the rest of us after Thanksgiving, try going on a walk instead of dusting off your old Billy Blanks tapes. Doing some stretches to relax the body will generate circulation to move a lot of the waste matter out of tissue. Movement, no matter how low-impact, boosts energy, creates motivation, and improves mental health— which is especially important if you’re feeling that post-feast food guilt.
3. Drink a lot of water
Water seems to be the cure-all for everything, and with good reason. Staying hydrated improves energy levels, relieves digestive discomfort like constipation,and overall helps you feel your best. Especially if you’re feeling hungover (whether it’s a food hangover or a hunch punch hangover), drink lots of water to ensure your body stays hydrated so that it can do all that repairing you’re mentally manifesting it to do. If you want to be #extra like me, I always start the morning-of-regret off with warm water, fresh squeezed lemon, and a little ginger water (literally toss ginger + water in a blender; save in mason jar) whenever I eat a lot the night before and my digestive system feels off. An herbal tea like peppermint is also a good option to ease indigestion or swell hell bloating.
4. Add in extra veggies
A “detox” or “cleanse” implies that you’re subtracting and streamlining your diet. Instead of “what can I do to purge this back out of my body” change your mentality to “what can I consume to add more nutrients to give my body?” Answer: VEGETABLES. Vegetables are loaded with good-for-the-gut fiber and immune-boosting antioxidants that help your body stay healthy. No matter what you feel like eating for the next few days, focus on incorporating even more veggies with each meal— ideally the ones that haven’t been stewed in turkey neck bones for 8hrs. Opt for raw, blanched, and unsalted. Have a side salad or add spinach to your omelet, get all the steamed veggie sides when ordering out, and try a green juice or veggie-packed smoothie for an afternoon snack as an added boost.
5. Take a nap
Good news: The ultimate lazy-girl activity is healthy and a great way to help your body recover from Thanksgiving indulgences. As another example of the body repairing itself and DIY detoxing, sleep is a crucial time when the body can go to work to heal itself. “Sleep gives the body a chance to essentially reset itself,” explained Dr. M. Kara, MD, a longtime doctor at The Cleveland Clinic and founder of KaraMD. “By having the opportunity to slow down and refresh, the body can eliminate any toxic waste that has built up.”
Yes, this news is probably the best thing that happened to the day after Thanksgiving since the leftover turkey sandwich was invented. So if you’re feeling lethargic and don’t want to get off the couch all day, don’t force yourself to work out or be productive. Give the body time to restore and repair by getting a full 7-9 hours of sleep at night and taking naps throughout the day— #humancatmodeactivated.
6. Indulge in some self-care
Whether the way you best care for yourself looks more like 20 minutes of meditation, dry brushing before a steaming hot shower, self massage, or approximately five different face masks, spend some extra time making yourself feel pampered and cared for the day after Thanksgiving. Not only will a little extra TLC help you feel physically better from that food coma, but it can also help ease the stress from any food guilt. (You’re seriously the only one kicking your butt here, your body isn’t trippin’).
Remember that stress and guilt after eating are worse for your body than pumpkin pie or potato salad (the kind without the raisins) could ever be. Prioritize self love if you’re feeling any regret kick in. Try taking a bath, reading a book that makes you happy, DIYing a spa day, or staring in the mirror and giving compliments to remind yourself that one day of meals doesn’t change how amazing you are. If it affected your curves, give it a few days and they’ll come back out again. They’re… hibernating. And? It’s normal. Detox your thoughts, freeze the leftovers, love on all of you, drink water, and honestly go back to slow bopping your body goal journey— your body’s already got you covered.
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About the author
International massage therapist who’s career has evolved from sports massage, to oncology massage, to leading the industry in postOperative care and body contouring, specifically pertaining to plastic surgery. Tai is the owner of Taime out Massage Studios and a Tributo partner.