Does your liver need a break? Here’s your guide for a post-party plan. These five steps will help get you back on track.
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We are half way through the year (and it is 'dry July') so it is a great time to take stock of your health and take a step back from overindulging on food and drink.
Dr Cris Beer says the key is to effectively ‘detox’ your system following a big night so that it doesn’t start to affect your health and waistline. Of course, we all know ideally we shouldn’t be overindulging at all, particularly on a regular basis.
But if you have had to much to eat or drink over the weekend then she advises following these simple tips for at least forty-eight hours following a party to help your body and liver recover and get back on track.
Step 1: Reduce toxic fats
The trans fats found in processed and packaged foods, as well as an excessive intake of saturated fats found in animal products (such as fatty cuts of meat), can overwhelm the liver’s normal functioning. These can contribute to fatty liver disease as described previously.
If your liver is already overwhelmed by party food containing these fats, then for the next forty-eight hours avoid these processed and packaged foods (which is really a good habit for life anyway). Stick to good fats such as avocado, nuts and seeds, oily fish such as salmon and eggs. Avoid frying food in fats that can be converted to toxic fats as previously explained, choose instead macadamia oil, rice bran, grapeseed or a small amount of coconut oil.
Step 2: Stay hydrated
Provide your liver with the fluid it needs to eliminate and detoxify. Avoid further dehydrating you body by reducing tea and coffee intake to no more than 2-3 cups per day. Aim for 2-3L of filtered water per day for the next two days.
Step 3: Avoid alcohol
Ideally we consume alcohol in moderation, even at parties. In reality though, on occasion, alcohol consumption will be in excess. It is important to avoid all alcohol in the days following a big drinking session to give our liver a break from having to process this toxin.
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Step 4: Cut back on sugar
Fructose, found in table sugar as well as fruit, can overwhelm the liver if eaten in excess. The result is fatty liver disease as well as insulin resistance. Since the body uses alcohol as a source of fuel in preference to other food sources while alcohol is still floating around in the system, it will store anything else you eat during this time as body fat. This effect can last for several days following a drinking session. So to reduce alcohol- related weight gain and the danger of contributing to fatty liver disease, keep your intake of sugar to a minimum following a drinking session. This means limiting processed foods, desserts and treats, which often contain large amounts of hidden sugars.
Step 5: Avoid Paracetamol
This medication is also processed by the liver. It is often taken for various conditions such as body aches and pains as well as headaches, including hangover headaches. If you have had a large drinking session and overindulged in party foods, my suggestion would be to avoid taking paracetamol for the next forty-eight hours following this as you may exacerbate liver overload.
Step 6: Stay regular
A healthy liver requires a healthy digestive system as the two are intrinsically linked. Staying regular helps to aid the liver in its detoxification process and to help the bowel expel this waste. Keep your fibre intake high in the days following a party by including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and seeds. Adding psyllium husks to your breakfast may help to increase the fibre content of your meals without adding bulk.
Following the above tips will help to offset some of the effects of party overindulgence. The key is not to overindulge too often! Still attend parties but keep in mind an important principle of good health, which is moderation.
Are you taking part in ‘Dry July’? Let us know in the comments section below.