How to Clean Up Your Diet After the Holidays

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You still have tempting leftovers in your fridge and you're not sure how to clean up your diet after the excess of the holidays? Get rid of them, then start eating quality foods!

OK, it’s January, but you don’t have to go crazy about losing all of the weight you gained right this instant! After all of those satisfying and delicious meals you had, have a little patience! Give your body and mind some time to get used to the idea that you’ll provide them both with healthy food for the next time.

In my personal experience, every January we feel pressured to go on severe diets or, in a better case scenario, to make and keep food resolutions. You may be feeling ready for a major diet detox right now, but, hey, don't move so fast! A sudden transition away from fatty and sugary foods can cause symptoms similar to those seen during a drug withdrawal. So, take it easy and learn how to clean up your diet smoothly, without drastic changes.

Starting a severe diet isn't a good idea these days! Take it easy and clean up your diet in a smooth way!

How to clean up your diet and prepare yourself for the ‘Healthy Eating Era’

One of the worst things to deal with after the holidays is all the leftovers! They just sit there, in your refrigerator, tempting you. If you can’t seem to throw the leftovers out, then donate them to a neighbor or someone who really needs them. 

After you get rid of all that unhealthy food, start each morning with a big glass of water. Then, drink some water every hour if you can, even if it’s not a full glass. Stay hydrated during the entire day. You can drink water, green tea, and white tea, which can stimulate the breakdown of fat in the body while blocking the formation of new fat cells.

A simple trick for drinking more water is to make it taste better by adding fresh fruit and vegetables.

Choose quality foods that help your body recover

Starting this week, eat more quality food! Try to have one balanced meal every three hours. Balanced meals contain carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. If you eat balanced meals, you’ll keep your energy levels up. That way, you’ll prevent the drops in blood sugar that can lead to unhealthy cravings.

From here, the next step is obvious - go shopping! Fill your basket with fruits and vegetables, but try to avoid the starchy ones like bananas, sweet potatoes, corn, peas, and pumpkins because they have a high sugar content. Other great additions to your shopping list are whole grains because they have a high fiber content which keeps your hunger levels to a minimum, and lean meat because it's low in saturated fats. Opt for fish, shellfish, turkey, chicken, lean veal, and beef instead.

If you want to know how to clean up your diet, then choose foods that can help your body recover from the excess of the holidays. Eat more sardines, asparagus (which is a natural diuretic), beets (which regenerate cells in the liver, your body’s primary detox organ), collard greens, avocado, bananas, grapefruit (which enhance the breakdown of fat while reducing appetite), kiwi, and turmeric.

Last but not least, cut added sugar and salt from your diet. Sweets, as well as processed foods, are the main culprits for not losing weight quickly after the holidays.

I’m Raluca and I just peeled a peach before eating it, and I swear it tasted like the nectar of the gods. When it comes to cooking, I only have one rule: do whatever it takes to turn the whole thing into an enjoyable experience. When I was a little girl, I dreamed of cooking for sailors. Not because I loved food, but because I was madly in love with my godfather, who worked on a ship. But, as they say, love lasts three years, and I took a different path: I became a journalist who enjoys food, traveling, and hiking in nature. I usually cook for myself and my daughter, but my favorite meal is the one I'm having on a mountain peak, even if it's just a sandwich and a piece of chocolate.