How to Recover from a Holiday Sugar Binge
Reflecting on my own eating history, I remember the anxiety that would accompany holiday gatherings. I’d feel so worried about what food was going to be available and wondered whether or not I’d be able to make it to the other side without having ruined my diet. Even with the best of intentions, I often found myself over-indulging in sugar by the end of the day and feeling frustrated afterwards.
Oy vey! What an incredible amount of energy invested in eating.
To give you a sense of how things have changed, here’s a snapshot of how things went down in the eating department this Thanksgiving:
I ate food that really appealed to my senses. This didn’t take a lot of time and was a simple balance between “What do I want?” and “How do I want to feel?”
In the end, this meal didn’t feel much different than any other meal aside from the more “traditional” Thanksgiving fare. Even then, I skipped the pie and went for my favorite dark chocolate anyway. No sense in settling
I share this to model the potential for eating liberation, especially if you tend to struggle with overeating sugar this time of year.
If you are nodding ‘yes,’ dear one, do not worry. I’ve got you covered.
Today I’m sharing 6 holistic strategies to help re-balance your body and your gut after the occasional bout of too much sugar. I’ll also be sharing 3 important TYPES of holiday sugar binges that are critical to understand before moving forward.
Our objective: Re-balance the body by gently using up excess glucose in the body, balance blood sugar, and keep the bowels moving. Also, offset the stress of sugar and minimize the physical discomfort that can often accompany higher amounts of sugar and wheat.
1.) Move your body.* After a large flux of sugar, your muscles can help gobble up glucose in your bloodstream. Go for a walk outside. If that is not possible, my recommendation: 30 squats, then 30 triceps presses on the floor or against a table or countertop.
2.) Take a dose of Vitamin B.* This will help take some of the strain off the adrenal glands which may be over-reacting to the onslaught of sugar.
3.) Add flaxseed to your next meal* to help speed up digestive transit time. A tablespoon sprinkled onto vegetables is simple enough. And of course, drink plenty of water. Sugar can dehydrate the body and lead to constipation.
* suggestions from functional nutrition and hormonal health expert Alisa Vitta
4.) At your next meal (and especially for breakfast the next morning), help re-balance your blood sugar with a protein-rich meal. Make a high-quality meal like scrambled eggs cooked in coconut oil with sautéed kale and a side of avocado or a tempeh vegetable stir-fry.
5.) Nourish your gut flora. This is a good long-term self-care practice in general. Incorporate raw, fermented vegetables like kim chi and sauerkraut into your diet. Drink warm homemade bone broth or pick some up locally to nourish and heal the intestinal lining. The body uses the collagen and other connective tissues in the broth to rebuild the damaged tissues.
6.) And last, finish with a clear understanding about what type of sugar binge it was. I cannot stress how important this is. There are a few types that I will offer:
a.) Holiday Binge – “I got excited about all the goodies and ate too many.”
b.) Chronic Dieting Binge – “I got flustered with all the “bad” foods around, had one treat, felt really guilty about it and proceeded to keep eating. I’ll get back on track tomorrow/Monday/after the New Year.”
c.) Compulsive/”Emotional Eating” Binge – “My eating feels out of control. It’s like another part of me takes over. What’s wrong with me?”
If you ran into simple holiday sugar over-eating, move on with your life. A celebratory feast every now and then is nothing to worry about. The human body is resilient when it is taken care of most of the time. Sometimes we eat too much, don’t’ feel so well, and simply course correct.
Then there are deeper systemic challenges around eating that require more care, attention, and support. These are the second two types of binges I’ve mentioned. Many that enter the holiday season stressed about eating, have been chronically moralizing food, feeling anxious about body weight, or running into emotional eating challenges FOR YEARS. If this is you, how much longer are you willing to act out the same eating patterns again and again?
Know that it is 100% possible to turn things around.
Ready for a change? Want support? Let’s talk.
As always, with love,
If you liked this post, you might also like: Sugar/Carb Attacks? 5 Important Questions to ask Yourself.