by Joshua Butcher
We can overdose in many ways, including food and alcohol. A binge-drinking session doesn’t necessarily mean somebody is an addict or alcoholic (although sometimes it can be a sign). Most people who drink alcohol have over-indulged a few times in their life. Over-eating also doesn’t mean someone has an eating disorder such as Binge Eating Disorder (BED) or Night Eating Syndrome (NES) (though, again, it can be a sign). Most people have had a few too many second helpings at some point in their life, especially around the holidays or special occasions.
The terms “food coma” and even hangover really just mean that the body is overloaded and needs to detox. How can we do this for immediate relief, to help repair our body, especially when the last thing we want to do is anything beyond curling up in bed? Detoxing the body will require a little action, but the relief that comes with it is well worth it.
Here are a few natural and safe ways to detox when you’ve enjoyed yourself a little too much:
1. Drink water (but not too much). Technically, it’s possible to “dry drown” when you consume way too much water, but that’s pretty tough to do when you’re just responding to your body’s natural demands. A general rule on a daily basis is to consume water (in ounces) at half your weight (in pounds). For example, a 150-pound person should aim for about 75 ounces of water per day. However, when you need to detox, you may need a little more.
2. Try green tea. Water doesn’t need to solely come out of the tap. It can also be found in foods and healthy beverages. Green tea is a natural detoxifying option, and it has the added benefits of being soothing. Hot water can help encourage digestion for over-eating and may come with a myriad of additional perks such as fighting off arthritis.
3. Try for a little cardio. It might not sound like the most appealing thing to do when you’re hungover or in a food coma, but raising the heart rate naturally helps with digestion. Do so outdoors if possible, such as a brisk stroll around the neighborhood, and get the added benefits of fresh air. Sometimes moving and getting outdoors is enough to break through a food coma.
4. Keep an eye on your bathroom activities and act accordingly. The color of your urine, as well as the quality of your stools, will tell you a lot about what your body needs. Urine should ideally be clear. If it’s bright yellow that’s a sign that you need to drink more water. If you’re constipated or have diarrhea, it’s your body’s reaction to over-indulging in foods that you’re not used to, and you may need to take action—for instance, coffee is a natural means of helping with constipation.
5. Snack on antioxidant-rich foods. Antioxidants stop or prevent cell damage, and are an important part of healing. If you’ve overeaten, many antioxidants are snack-able and won’t make you feel woozy or even more full. For example, there are blueberries, goji berries, pecans, dark chocolate, cranberries, and kidney beans.
6. Take a hot shower. Not only will a hot shower soothe your body, but it also opens up your sinuses. This is especially helpful if your hangover or overeating episode has led to sore muscles. Bathing is a natural healer, but when used as a recovery tool feel free to linger a little longer. Soothing aromatherapy, such as using lavender-scented soap, can help, too.
Although it’s common to say, “I’m never doing this again!” that’s probably not the case. Keep these tricks in mind the next time you need to detox and make sure you have all the necessary tools on hand if you see a night of debauchery coming up.
About the author:
Joshua is an ex-addict and founder of the Ohio Addiction Recovery Center. Since his recovery began, he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources, addiction awareness, and general health knowledge.