Story by: Nick Picht on August 30, 2023
Eventually, the sun will set on a warm-weather vacation, leaving beaches and other activities in the rearview mirror. For many, re-acclimating into day-to-day diet and exercise routines may bring up thoughts of detoxing after vacation.
“Slowly getting back to it is the best detox,” said Marisa Faibish, M.S., R.D., CSSD, LDN, lead performance dietitian at Norton Sports Health Performance & Wellness Center. “It’s like the worst word you can probably say to me is, ‘Oh, I’m just going to do a quick detox.’ No. You have a liver for that. You’re fine.”
According to Marisa, it’s important for people to be mindful of what they eat and drink after returning home from any vacation. She encourages her clients to drink plenty of water after a long trip, because of how dehydrating high-sodium diets, alcohol and commercial flights can be.
She also encourages them to gradually return to their normal diet and exercise habits, as opposed to a quick fad diet or cleanse.
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“You should not beat yourself up over it,” Marisa said. “Just giving yourself grace, and having a good time and coming back and just slowly getting back to it is totally fine.”
If you’ve maintained a healthy fitness routine over the months before your vacation, according to Marisa a week or two off is no big deal. Your muscles will remember where you left off, and a small vacation may, in the long run, be better for your long-term performance.
“Sometimes the body needs a little shake, right?” Marisa said. “Sometimes doing the plan and being monotonous and doing the same thing for a long period of time can get the body used to it, and sometimes it may slow down. It needs that little jerk of something different in your life to get back on track.”
Perhaps the most important piece of returning to post-vacation normalcy is returning to a traditional sleep schedule.
Marisa instructs her clients to pursue a decompressing activity near the end of the day, to stimulate a natural winding-down of the brain. Activities like nighttime yoga or evening journaling can work to prepare your body for sleep, according to Marisa.
“We only get energy from two places — food and sleep,” Marisa said. “If one’s off, the other one’s off. If we’re not eating as much, we’re probably more tired. If we’re not sleeping as much, we’re probably hungrier.”
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