The holidays have come and gone, and I can still smell the warm cookies, pies and cakes. Every holiday promises sweets, as well as the guilt of eating something you’ve been avoiding all year—sugar, refined carbs, gluten, dairy.
I know about this firsthand after indulging on some fabulous cake and wine at a friend’s birthday two weeks ago. Until then, I had been so good about staying away from sugar and alcohol. But, these momentary slips in clean eating aren’t the end of the world. So don’t dread holiday parties and get togethers for fear of ruining all your hard work. Instead, I’ll give you my guide on how to recover from a sugar binge, so you don’t get too far off track as you get back into your routine after the holiday season.
How To Recover from a Sugar Binge
Eat Regular Meals
Your blood sugar is already high, so there’s no need to give it more stress. Eating regular meals helps to keep your blood-sugar levels balanced and stave off sugar cravings. Going too long between meals makes it more likely that you will reach for something sugary when you start to get tired and hungry. Just make those meals heavy on the vegetables and good sources of fat. Adding some wild Omega-3 Fish will help with inflammation too!
Give one of these filling recipes a shot:
- Wedding Chicken from Bon Appetit
- My recipe for Salmon Cakes
- Red Lentil and Coconut Soup, dairy free and full of vegetarian protein
- Sheet Pan Salmon and Asparagus from Nom Nom Paleo
Skip the Carbs in the AM
A low-sugar, balanced breakfast is really helpful the day after a sugar overload. Since you have excess glucose in your body that needs to get burned up, avoid refined carbohydrates, like toast, pancakes and orange juice. Instead, load up on proteins and fats such as bacon and eggs. The protein and fat keep you full, and fewer carbs encourages your body to use up stored glucose (sugar).
Here are a few refined carbohydrate-free recipes to try out:
- Poached Eggs With Tomato, Swiss Chard, and Chickpeas from Pop Sugar
- My recipe for a Dairy Free Vegetable Frittata
- Breakfast Egg Muffins with Bacon and Spinach from Julia’s Album
- Chicken and Sweet Potato Hashbrown Fritters – these little patties make an easy, high protein breakfast. White sweet potatoes have less carbs that a white potato and lots of resistant starch (which is good for regulating blood sugar).
Add Cinnamon to your Food
If you have a sweet craving, eat an apple sprinkled with cinnamon. Certain spices like cinnamon and vanilla taste sweet without actually being sweet. So they trick your tastebuds into thinking you are having sugar, and satisfy a sweet craving. Cinnamon also help to reduce sugar cravings by controlling blood glucose levels. Add a pinch into your coffee or tea, or even in a green smoothie.
Move and Exercise
A night of overindulgence may bring up all kinds of emotions—regret at eating too much chocolate or feeling bad that you didn’t stick to your diet. Getting out for a walk will help clear your mind, and get your body moving again! Moving and taking deep breaths will help to move the excess glucose from your blood and move out anything you need to detox. You can also schedule time to take a yoga class or do some gentle stretching.
If you can’t get outside, try one of these quick indoor options:
- Feel Good Stretching Workout – Calming Evening or Morning Stretch Routine (15min)
- Deskercise: 9 Easy Stretches You Can Do at Your Desk (10min)
- Beginner Morning Yoga Sequence (17min)
Drink Some Extra Water
All of these tips are super important, but please don’t forget this simple one….drink more water than you are used to. Your body may be a little dehydrated from the sugary indulgences especially if you have been drinking more peppermint mochas and alcohol lately. Getting properly hydrated helps to get your blood and lymph moving more freely. It will help those headaches pass and any sugar-related irritability.
Even if you had an off day, and ate too much or too many things on your “bad foods” list, it was only a day! Think of how many days you made choices that you were proud of. Not to mention, stressing yourself out will only hurt your body even more. Give yourself a break and get back on track as soon as you can.