Feeling droopy after a major sugar-binge? Maybe you hit the chocolate bar clearance a little too hard or you didn't want that leftover pie to feel lonely. Even when you're on the healthy diet bandwagon, these things happen—especially if you're cutting loose with your friends or work stress has you foaming at the mouth for a bag of Oreos. Regardless of what triggered your binge-fest and subsequent sugar hangover, getting your bod back on track is a piece of cake (sorry not sorry).
Here are 7 easy ways to run post-binge damage control:
1. Don't starve yourself
The excess insulin swirling around in your bod after a sugar binge has this pesky habit of making you feel hungry—and usually, what you end up craving are more sugary foods. ("Me want cookie!") Do yourself a favor and resist the urge to hoover another pastry. Instead, turn to eating foods that your body will break down slowly, such as high-protein low-carb meals and snacks. This will help realign your blood sugar—and help you avoid another icky sugar hangover.
2. Plan ahead
Recognize what triggers you to buy out the bakery section: Late nights at the office? Fights with your beau? Netflix dates with your besties? If you know the specific times you'll be splurging on your diet, try and plan ahead by eating super-healthy beforehand or fitting in a light sweat sesh afterward. You got this.
3. Drink water
There's nothing more swoonworthy during a sugar hangover than a bucket of coffee, but the caffeine buzz will only get you so far. Instead, guzzle plenty of H20, which can help flush out some of the extra sugar you've eaten.
4. Makeover your midnight snacks
A recent study published in the journal Brain Imaging and Behavior found that midnight snacks aren't as satisfying as the snacks we munch on during the day. It turns out the brain's reward center is on sleep mode at night (you know, like we should be), making it easy to over-consume. If you just can't help yourself, swap out your usual midnight snacks with healthier eats.
When you don't get enough sleep, you're more likely to make bad decisions. This is especially true when it comes to our snacking habits, according to a 2013 study from UC Berkeley. It makes sense: When you feel a coma coming on, who has the energy to make a healthy meal? It's much easier to just go ahead and reward yourself with a gooey donut over steamed vegetables. As a preventative measure, stop a sugar hangover before it starts by scoring enough shuteye.
6. Ditch the guilt
The worst thing you can do is feel bad that you binged. In the grand scheme of things, it was just one meal. As long as the the ratio of healthy meals you eat far exceeds your moments of weakness, that's all that matters. As my dad always says, "Just do your best." The extra stress will only make you want more sugar.
7. Pick up where you left off
Eating healthy is hard work (take it from someone who totally sucks at it), and it's okay to slip up. Don't punish yourself—just pick up where you left off with those healthy meals of yours. Making your diet a strict regime will do nothing but make you crave junk food more, and make eating healthy a total suckfest. Just keep these techniques handy when you fall off the wagon, and soon you'll be all, "What sugar?"
What tricks do you use to survive a sugar hangover?
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