Celebrity nutritionist Cynthia Pasquella tells 24Life how to bounce back after a Halloween sugar overload.
Halloween is officially behind us, and we’ve got just a few weeks before the holiday season begins. Now’s the perfect time to wipe the slate clean and undo the damage from a night of too much Halloween candy.
24Life talked to Cynthia Pasquella, celebrity holistic nutritionist and author of “5 Toxic Emotions that Lead to Bad Food Choices,” to get the low-down on what you can do to feel better right away after a day of sweet indulgences.
But first, some science …
What sugar does to the body
According to Pasquella, the reason you can feel so “off” after too much sugar is because sugar disrupts your hormones and causes fluctuations in your mood and energy. In addition, because sugar is so addicting, the more you consume it, the more likely you are to crave it. It’s a vicious cycle.
And that sugar hangover you feel is a real thing — it happens due to the spike and fall in your blood sugar levels. Eventually, when you crash, you’ll get low blood sugar, feel hungry (even “hangry”) and then begin craving sugar again, feeling fatigue and maybe even getting a headache.
How much sugar is too much?
And it’s easy to get too much sugar. In fact, Pasquella cites the World Health Organization’s recommendation to limit your sugar intake to just 10 percent of your daily calories. For someone eating 2,000 calories a day, that’s less than 50 grams of sugar per day, and you can rack that up in a single candy bar. That’s why a Halloween candy binge is a recipe for disaster in your system — it’s way more than what you should be consuming in one sitting, or one day.
But you can repair the damage …
What to do the day after eating too much sugar
The number one thing you can do, according to Pasquella is drink water. Lots of water. Water will help flush your system and prevent future sugar cravings, so drink up.
Here are Pasquella’s five steps you can take to bounce back from that sugar hangover quickly …
- Stay hydrated. Try drinking water with freshly squeezed lemon.
- Increase your green vegetable consumption for a boost in vitamins and minerals.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol consumption can lead to increased sugar cravings.
- Eat regular meals including protein, healthy fat and a lot of veggies to balance your blood sugar.
- Move your body. Exercise will help you to feel energized and will boost your endorphins.
How to reduce your sugar intake in the future
It’s clear that sugar is harmful to how your body functions and how you feel physically and mentally. Moving forward, here are a few ways Pasquella suggests to reduce your daily sugar intake …
- Eat whole unprocessed foods. Cooking your own meals drastically reduces your sugar intake.
- Add flavor to your food with spices. Great flavoring options also include salsa, pesto, tahini sauce and balsamic vinegar.
- Avoid soft drinks and fruit juices. Instead have sparkling water with a squeeze of lime.
- Eat organic fresh fruits and vegetables instead of sugary packaged snacks.
- Find another way to treat yourself. For instance, listening to music, dancing, singing or getting a massage will give your brain the same pleasure center as sugar. Maybe even more!
Don’t beat yourself up if you went overboard for the holiday. Grab your reusable water bottle, fill it up and start fresh today!
Read more about Cynthia Pasquella here and here, and check out these 57 different terms for sugar, which could be hiding in the ingredients list of your food.
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