Now is always the time that our typical holiday overconsumption guilt sets in. We start to question whether or not those few extra drinks were really necessary during that rousing New Year’s Eve party, and what damage we did to our bodies while eating all that turkey, ham or Chinese food during Christmas. Invariably, that means we turn to Google, where tons of companies are ready to take advantage of our guilt by offering quick fixes to ease the anxiety that comes along with downing that extra cocktail or late night cookies and wine binge, and no fix is currently more popular than a detox.
Detoxes have become all the rage in recent years for their promise to reset and restore our bodies. Whether it’s a juice cleanse, a mix of powders or even the old lemon water and hot sauce mix, these regimens are said to clear our body of the toxins we overconsumed during our days, and sometimes weeks, of merriment and reset us for a new year. That’s bogus.
The biggest issue when it comes to detoxing is that we already have organs in our body that do the exact job we’re turning to these products to achieve. Our liver and kidneys play a far more important role in ridding our bodies of the substances we’ve overconsumed than a juice cleanse ever would, so what’s really important is taking care of them, not starving yourself on liquids for the next week – sure you may lose a ton of weight, but you’re not actually providing any benefit for your body.
Taking care of your liver and kidneys means allowing them to reset, so don’t overdo it. It’s highly likely that these organs worked overtime during the holidays, so giving them a bit of a break is not such a bad thing. A break doesn’t mean swearing off booze for the next month – another practice that many people employ that also provides little benefit, as most people return to their binging the day their booze fast ends – but instead limiting yourself to one to two drinks a day (think: a glass of wine at dinner) and, of course, curbing the unhealthy diet (adding some extra greens into our diets is never a bad thing!). Trying to also get thirty minutes of exercise a day, taking a multivitamin and getting a good night’s sleep are additional ways to support these vital organs.
Our bodies typically need three months of healthy behavior to see any real changes, so trying to quickly crash your system with a cleanse or swearing off alcohol for the next four weeks – or spending four days of the week sober and binging on the weekends – won’t make a bit of difference in the long run. It’s better to just say no to that third drink on a Tuesday night.
And remember, booze isn’t all bad. In fact, in moderation, a glass or two of wine a night, or even a drink in the afternoon, can come with an immense amount of health benefits, so even if you overconsumed this holiday season, there’s no legitimate reason to punish yourself by drinking disgusting liquids that actually may do more harm than good – remember when you’re on these detoxes, you’re also denying your body nutrients you’d only get from eating solid food.
So unless you have a true alcohol and/or drug problem, just say no to the detox. Your body does a fine job of cleaning out all the toxins you put in it, you just need to take care of it a bit better in the new year.
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