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The Ultimate Recipe for Curing the Holiday Hangover

Jan 23, 2014

If you’re coming off the holiday high feeling tired, lethargic, bloated and unfit, it’s time to pull out all the stops by using a tried and true recipe for curing the holiday hangover.

The following four steps will help you cook up a healthy and fit lifestyle for 2014 that you’ll want to share with all of your friends, family and loved ones.

Start With a Will

Where there’s a will, there’s a way to shaking off the malaise that you’re commonly left with after indulging in your favorite foods, skipping your fitness routines and squeezing your energy levels during the holidays. Sometimes, you just have to dig through layers of guilt and apprehension to uncover your desire to re-engage healthier and fit lifestyle choices.

“It comes down to the effort you put into it,” says Gwen Beckcom, personal trainer and studio owner at Fitness Together Mission Hills. “If you really want it, you’re going to really get results. If you kind of want it, then you’re going to kind of get results.”

As you find yourself in full swing for the new year, you might be kicking yourself for taking a hiatus from fitness during the holidays and you might be finding it hard to get started again with eating healthy and exercising regularly. If you overdid it during the holidays, try not to be too hard on yourself. Rather, focus your attention on getting your foot back in the door and taking one step at a time toward kicking the holiday hangover to the curb and welcoming healthy habits back into your lifestyle.

Mix in a Pinch of Positive Attitude to Reset Your Mind and Body

While negative feelings of regret and remorse are normal responses to a holiday hangover, you will find great difficulty in achieving your health and fitness goals this year if you don’t turn your perspective and attitude into a more positive outlook. Make it a point to monitor your progress along the way so you not only feel the results of your hard work and dedication, but you see that you are moving forward in the right direction.

“People are usually really hard on themselves this time of year,” explains Erin Jackson, personal trainer at Fitness Together Virginia Beach. “We’re all human and everyone has their ups and downs. The most important thing to realize is it’s a new day and you can start over. Think positively again and just get refocused. Make the most out of your time and just stay active so you aren’t exactly starting over, but just starting again.”

Blend Regular Exercise and Good Nutrition Until You Reach a Healthy Consistency

Re-establishing healthy exercise and food habits is one of the most crucial steps to curing the holiday hangover. To get the best results, you really can’t do one and not the other. It takes a two-pronged approach of eating clean every day and exercising regularly -- twice-a-week strength training and doing at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise (walking, running, biking, swimming, etc.) four to five times per week.

If you need help getting started toward living a healthier 2014, hiring a personal trainer can be the special ingredient you need to get on course with a customized nutrition and exercise program that meets your individual needs and goals. Trainers also can help keep you accountable to not only eating healthy and completing your workouts, but also to keeping a positive attitude throughout your journey.

“Nutrition can be the best medicine or the worst poison for your body so choose healthy foods to feed your body the nutrition it needs,” says Beckcom. “Good food is going to make you feel better so you will be more likely to go out and find time to exercise. You will feel better about yourself and more energized anytime you do something active in your day. Something is better than nothing so make the time for 30 minutes per day to exercise and do something for yourself. I’m sure some people spend more time than that on Facebook every day.”

If you’re thinking about resetting your mind and body with a cleanse like many do this time of year, Beckcom and Jackson advise that you take a healthy approach. A healthy cleanse should include eating clean and organic foods, drinking plenty of water and staying away from sugar, alcohol and processed foods. A cleanse shouldn’t include starving yourself or stripping your digestive track of the healthy bacteria and digestive enzymes you need.

A cleanse also shouldn’t last more than two days, Jackson says. She recommends doing a cleanse to kick start your mind and body over the weekend and on your day off from the gym, as cleansing while exercising isn’t always a healthy combo.

“Sometimes you just need to reset your body. But you want to use a cleanse that will replenish good bacteria while you’re cleaning the toxins out of your body,” advises Beckcom.

Top It Off with Sleeping Well and Drinking Enough Water

After many late nights of holiday celebration and cheer, your mind and body may feel deprived of the basic needs of healthy rest and fluids. If you don’t have the proper sleep and hydration to support an active and fit lifestyle, then you aren’t going to have the energy you need to get over the holiday hangover hump and continue going strong throughout the New Year.

Get yourself back on track by refueling your engines with healthy sleep habits of six to eight hours of shut-eye each night and drinking enough water consistently throughout the day.

“There is a prescription to get you where you want to be,” says Jackson. “It includes a mix of eating clean and working out regularly, as well as sleeping well and drinking enough water. If you don’t have the sleep and hydration to support your exercise program, then you aren’t going to have the fuel to keep you going.”

We hope this recipe for curing the holiday hangover offers you a bit of hope, inspiration and easy-to-follow guidelines to kick out the old habits that may have formed during the last month and help you conquer the new year feeling energized, alive and healthy in mind, body and spirit!


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