By: Courtney LeVesque
Being so close to the end of Halloween, I can only imagine you’re somewhere between finding a place to stash the candy wrappers and convincing yourself you’ve had enough. The biggest downside about this much anticipated time of year is that it signifies the beginning of the food party parade, which doesn’t slow down until it pulls you in and throws an extra 10 pounds into your favorite jeans. Okay, okay — that’s a worst-case scenario, and this year you’re on a mission to do it differently. So, what can you do right now to come back from the candy binge and reset the plotline?
There is one simple and effective way of cutting yourself off from the candy jar and initiating the system reset.
Throw it out.
Coming from someone who hates waste more than just about anything, I know the thought of throwing things out can be hard. But, here’s the truth, if it’s not in front of you or ‘hidden’ somewhere in the house, it can’t derail you. Make it an easy decision and throw it away.
Once the junk is out of the house, it’s time to start detoxing. There’s no need to do any extravagant detox protocols, or splurge on a juicier and spend a small fortune on bulk produce.
Start with these five things:
- Up your water intake.
You should aim to take in half your body weight in ounces of water daily and do so consistently. However, after a high intake of sugar or junk, increase it another 30- 40 ounces to flush out your system. Allow your body to flush out and prime it to recover. You can even add a squeeze of fresh lemon to give you some flavor and an antioxidant boost.
- Focus on protein and fiber.
You’ll likely see a plummet in mental and physical energy for a few days. Plan out your meals and focus on getting enough protein and fiber to keep you feeling full and moving toxins out of the intestines. Not sure how much protein you should be getting in daily? Check out this article, How to Avoid Skinny Fat, to determine your daily intake.
- Get your probiotics in.
Depending on how hard you went, your GI is probably not feeling so great and, no doubt, inflamed. Get some yogurt, kombucha, or take Wilderness Athlete Complete Probiotic and get your gut back in balance. Your gut is responsible for supporting so much of your body, from food cravings to our sleep cycle and happy hormone serotonin, don’t overlook it.
- Skip the sweeteners.
Many of us may want to replace to sweetness we’ve been having with something “guilt-free” made with artificial sweeteners. Use caution here as some artificial sweeteners have been shown to increase your blood sugar levels as much as table sugar, as well as keep you craving those sweet treats.
*also note it may take a while for your tastebuds to come back from the sugar too. It’s normal for food to taste bland for a few days since your tastebuds are desensitized.
- Move your body.
With the surplus of calories your body is processing, you have an increase of potentially usable energy – clear your mind of the binge and put those treats to work. Head to the gym, lace-up for a hike, or go out and try something new in the outdoors. Getting a sweat going will initiate the process of resetting, but don’t be too surprised if your overall strength or energy is low.
Remember, while you are trying to get back into balance, you may not be feeling your best. Be mindful of any lethargy, mental fog, headaches, depressive or self-destructive thoughts, or inflammation you experience. Being aware of how your body feels after a sugar splurge and acknowledging the discomfort can serve as a reminder down the road when the treats make their way back into sight.
Because the ‘Don’t Do’s’ are as important as the ‘To-Dos’ here are a few things to avoid:
- Don’t beat yourself up. Slip-ups happen, its a part of being human. Acknowledge the slip-up and move on.
- Skip the scale. Your unhelpful curiosity may entice the investigation of what the scale may say but avoid it. This information won’t undo or fix the binge.
- Eat real food. Your mind might say, “I don’t need to eat for a while now,” but you’re setting yourself up for another big slip up if you restrict your calories too much.
Coming back after the candy binge is the perfect time to sit down and outline your goals. Take the time to reflect honestly, dump out all the “I want to’s,” and move into the holidays with a solid outline for navigating these tasty temptations.