Do a detox this week

Do a detox this week


Do a detox this week

Your new year’s resolution may have been to have more fun. You let your hair down at the party that was thrown to make use of the leftover booze from the new year’s party. You downed beer, cocktails and shots through the night. But when the morning after brought along that intense hangover, it wasn’t so much fun, was it?

Even people who consider themselves average drinkers consume an excess of 2,000 calories per month, which is equivalent to 141 ice creams a year. Apart from this, excessive intake of alcohol leads to binge-eating. Also, thanks to the hangover that follows the night of partying, people tend to cancel exercise plans the next day and prefer to stay in bed, watching TV. All of this leads to weight gain that isn’t good for you.

Digesting the alcohol

The way our body metabolises alcohol is different from how it processes other foods and beverages. Alcohol is perceived as toxic and therefore, the liver takes charge of its digestion, instead of the gastrointestinal system. Hence, the calories that one consumes while drinking may not be properly metabolised and instead get directly stored somewhere in the body as fat cells.

How much one drinks on an average day and how often one has a ‘heavy drinking day’ matters. The more drinks you have on a normal day as compared to the heavy drinking days over a period of time, the greater the risk of developing alcohol-related disorders and numerous other health complications. If you’re in the mood for partying, make sure you limit your alcohol intake to four drinks a day, if you’re a man and three drinks a day if you’re a woman.

The detox diet

Following a detox plan after parties and celebration days can be a good way to get your body back on track. While it may not compensate for all the damage that the alcohol did, it can help in rejuvenating the body to a certain extent. Here is what you can do:

Upon waking: Start your day with a glass of hot water with freshly-squeezed lemon juice and honey. You may also opt for wheat grass juice, ginger tea, green tea, chamomile tea or carrot juice.  Enjoy your morning drink with a few dates.

Breakfast: You may follow it up with oatmeal, light porridge, egg whites and fruits. Bajra, palak or corn parathas are also good choices to consider. Have them with methi or mustard leaves subzi.

Lunch: Plan a meal with plenty of vegetables in the form of salad, including broccoli and cauliflower along with cereals and lean meat (chicken stew / grilled chicken), or mushroom pulao (use warming spices like garlic, ginger, cinnamon and pepper) or rasam and rice.

Evening snacks: Have fresh fruit juice or green tea with healthy chaat or a roll comprising sprouted methi seeds, Brussels sprouts, pomegranate, egg whites (boiled/scrambled) and cut fruits.

Dinner: Take lots of boiled vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and fennel in the form of salads, along with cereals (broken wheat/buckwheat) or lean meat (chicken stew/grilled chicken). Consider having freshly-prepared vegetable soups containing red bell peppers, ginger and turmeric. Broccoli soup is also a good option.

Other things you can do

Make sure you keep yourself hydrated all through the day by drinking water, tender coconut, buttermilk, citrus fruit juices, cucumber juice, etc. Avoid sugar intake in your diet.

Add fibre to you diet by including bran, flax seeds, oatmeal or buck wheat, dried beans, peas, methi seeds and legumes (both whole and sprouted).

Opt for some delicious food recipes packed with the goodness of protein, fibres and heart-healthy fats. Try including millets like ragi, jowar, bajra, maize along with whole wheat, soya products and rice bran in your diet.

Add antioxidant-rich foods like grape fruit (chakotha in Kannada), berries, grapes, carrots, mangos, pumpkin, peach, orange, papaya in your diet.

Salmon, oysters and sesame seeds, are good options to consider.

Avoid heavy exercises when you’re hungover. Doing light yoga and meditation is a good way to warm up the body.

Avoid fast food, fried food, caffeine, alcohol, red meat and sugary drinks. Including these while following a detox plan will further add to toxins in the body that you are trying to eliminate.

(The author is dietician executive, Columbia Asia Hospital, Yeshwanthpur, Bengaluru)