Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Get Back on Track

Ah...vacation...holidays!!  As much as we love them...Does this sound like you???

Q.  I recently went away on vacation and spent the entire time drinking and eating fatty foods.  Now I'm sluggish and "out of whack!"  Are there any healthy ways to quickly get myself back on track?

A.  As with all overindulgences, it takes time to return to equilibrium.  Getting plenty of rest, exercising regularly, being well-hydrated and abstaining from alcohol for several days will usually do the trick. 

You may have missed out on some sleep and incurred a sleep debt.  If this is so, it's impossible to predict how much sleep you'll need to make up the deficit.  Say you've been awake for 24 hrs straight due to traveling - you'll probably need to "catch up" on at least the 8 hrs you missed.  I would suggest increasing your sleep for 1-3 subsequent nights to make up the deficit.  Pay close attention to your body; if you are still tired when you wake up, you'll need more sleep.  If not, you're more than likely already caught up!

In terms of detoxifying your body, fatty foods are not toxic.  Periodic excess of high-calorie comfort dishes is unlikely to cause long-term effects such as weight gain or elevated cholesterol.  Alcohol, however, is toxic.  Once consumed, it metabolizes into a toxic substance called acetaldehyde - which is more harmful to the body than the ingested alcohol itself.

I recommend spending the next week paying special attention to eating lots of fruit and veggies, in addition to drinking a minimum of 8-10 glasses of water daily.  Give your body a rest.  Get your mind and body back on track through some light cardio, light exercises and/or yoga.  If days go by without a sing of improvement, see your Doctor or nutritionist to review your diet.  Overindulgences have an effect on your homeostasis, but continued overindulgences can have more serious and long-term consequences!

“A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.” - Robert Orben

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