The Holidays aren’t only filled with fun and family. For many of us, the holidays are also a time of indulgence. Whether it’s enjoying traditional foods or stress eating to handle the difficulties of holiday celebrations, you may be tempted to switch to a detox diet after the holidays have passed.
Before you do, there are two important questions you should be asking yourself:
Do detox diets work?
Will a detox diet help you get back on track after holiday indulgence?
We’ll address both questions in this article, in addition to giving you some advice on how to get back on track. These tips will also help you stick to intermittent fasting and other dieting choices next holiday season.
Do Detox Diets Work?
This one is simple. Detox diets don’t work as advertised. Detox diets tend to be highly restricted. Depending on the detox, you’re likely to receive fewer nutrients and fewer calories. While that may seem like a good way to jump-start a new diet, detoxing doesn’t counter the additional calories and different nutritional choices made during the holidays.
Many detox diets not only fail to eliminate toxins, but they can also slow down your metabolism and sabotage your normal diet.
You’re better served with moderate dieting, like intermittent fasting, than you are by extreme fasts and heavily restricted dieting.
Will a Detox Diet Help You Get Back on Track?
While detox diets don’t work to reduce toxins or take off holiday weight, you may still be tempted to try to jump-start your return to intermittent fasting. Unfortunately, the long-term effects of a detox diet can slow down your routine long after you stop the detox.
Slowing down your metabolism is a natural response to calorie denial. Extreme calorie denial results in more significant metabolic slowdowns. Your metabolism takes much longer to speed up if it does speed up than it does to slow down.
How to Get Back on Track
The best thing you can do to maintain your weight goals is not to get off track in the holidays at all. Intermittent fasting doesn’t restrict the foods you can enjoy. So, instead of relaxing your diet through the holidays, maintain your intermittent fasting schedule and use portion control to prevent backsliding.
The first step is learning to say no to food. Start with serving yourself smaller portions, and have water or another low-calorie beverage between servings.
If you’re interested in a comparative review of many popular diet plans, including intermittent fasting, this study explores the effectiveness of each.
However, if you didn’t stick to your diet over the holidays, there are some things you can do to make returning to your diet easier.
Water is Your Best Friend:
One of the first things you should do is adding more water to your diet. Staying well hydrated will give you more energy and will help your body transition from eating when and how much you want to an intermittent fasting schedule and healthy nutrition.
While plain water is beneficial, you may want to add a little flavor to make it more enticing. Water with lemon is a good option. Water with a little apple cider vinegar contains some of the essential electrolytes you need.
This study on electrolyte and metal intake shows the importance of maintaining a proper balance of these key nutrients.
Other fruits, like berries, and even apples and pears, can also be used to add additional flavor to water without adding significant calories or sugar.
How to Return to Intermittent Fasting and Weight Loss:
In addition to starting with smaller portions and adding water and other low-calorie beverages to your diet, focusing on nutrient-dense foods will also help you return to intermittent fasting. Try to focus on whole vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and lean protein sources. Avoid processed foods, sugar, and low-nutrient high-calorie foods.
Here is a useful guide to good eating choices to help you get started.
Remember, next year, you can take more control of your diet through the holidays and avoid the worries about weight loss and returning to intermittent fasting entirely.