Let’s be honest: at one point or another, we’ve all fallen prey to a dreadful sugar binge and ended up feeling horrible, both physically and mentally.
Now, after you’ve overindulged your sweet tooth, you might be searching for a helpful answer as to what to do after a sugar binge. While you go on to read the smart tactics to reverse the effects of the binge, remember it’s okay to let yourself indulge in sweets sometimes. “In fact, if you deprive yourself of seasonal treats you’re more likely to binge later,” says Amanda Imperiale, a clinical registered dietitian at Henry Ford Health.
What To Do After A Sugar Binge
If you’ve happened to have your occasional “slip up,” we’ve got some tips to help you get back on track.
Eat More Protein And Fibre
Since you already have excess sugar that needs to be burnt, focus on eliminating carbs — like pancakes, orange juice, and toast — from your breakfast or replace them with low-carb whole foods to stabilize your sugar levels. Start including healthy fats, proteins, and fibers in your diet. For example, you can load up on fruits, vegetables or even whole grains like quinoa.
Additionally, you can drink a veggie-rich smoothie to satiate fiber. An appropriate recipe would be to mix two parts vegetables to one part fruit with a spoonful of protein (like nut butter). Give it a delicious (and healthy) finish by replacing the juice base with unsweetened almond milk.
Drink A Lot of Water
Drinking a lot of water will assist you in flushing out the toxins entered through the extra carb intake. Typically, you should aim for 2 liters per day, but you might consider upping this up after a sugar binge. Although you won’t be directly eliminating sugar, you’ll push your blood to pump through the kidneys faster, allowing them to flush out the excess glucose in your body much more swiftly. It will also combat suppressed leptin levels and allow sugar-related irritability to pass easily.
A sugar binge can also cause severe fluctuations in blood sugar levels, triggering a headache. Research proves that drinking adequate amounts of water can soothe such pains.
Plan Out Your Meals In Advance
Curate a plan and stick to it. Impulsive eating decisions often lead to unhealthy meals that wreak havoc on your diet plans. This explains why people who plan out their meals are more likely to control their temptations and intake nourishing options. A good rule of thumb is to fill your plate with as much protein and fiber as possible, so you can feel full and avoid giving in to temptations.
Your meal plans should also consider the holiday sweets you’ll be having. You can pick one or two favorites and leave the rest in the candy bowl or opt for options you don’t personally like so you can reduce the urge to binge eat.
Incorporate Probiotic-Rich Foods In Your Diet
Probiotics break down the natural sugars in the food you’ve consumed to ensure your sugar intake doesn’t affect your body negatively. They play a significant role in modulating blood sugar levels, balancing mood, reducing inflammation, and consequently lowering sugar cravings to save you from a second binge. Incorporating foods like yogurt, soft cheeses, sour pickles, buttermilk, and sauerkraut can do the job.
Sugar Withdrawl Symptoms
When undergoing a sugar detox, you might experience some sugar withdrawal symptoms. While the severity and nature of the symptoms vary according to the glucose one has been consuming, the most common signs include:
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Intense cravings
- Lack of concentration
- Depressed mood
These sugar withdrawal symptoms — that last from a few days up to a few weeks — can be unpleasant and sometimes lead to binge eating. However, if temptations are controlled, a sugar detox will decrease your sweet tooth cravings, and you can expect dramatic results, like losing weight and improving oral health.
How Long Does It Take To Detox From Sugar?
The lack of clinical studies makes it difficult to set a precise recommendation for how long you should detox. However, most nutritionists suggest continuing it for 21 days up to a month for a full sugar detox. If this seems like a difficult challenge where you might give up just in the first week, give these useful tips a try:
- Start Small: A teaspoon or two per day won’t harm you. This will help eliminate sugar gradually.
- Eat A Healthy Breakfast: A breakfast rich in proteins, fibers, and fats can help regulate your blood sugar levels.
- Consume Healthy Fats: Fats found in foods like nuts and fatty fish help reduce sugar cravings.
- Change Drinks: Substitute sodas and juices with water and unsweetened tea.
- Rethink Dessert: Eat a dessert only if you're truly hungry, and opt for healthy options like Greek yogurt with berries or macadamia nuts.
How Can I Avoid Sugar Binges In The Future?
Once you’ve fully completed your sugar detox, it’s time to take steps to avoid a sugar binge in the future.
- Eat Protein: Proteins slow the rate at which sugars are dumped into your bloodstream. Adequate protein levels in your meals can help avoid crashes and peaks that lead to a sugar binge.
- Have Regular Meals: Your blood sugar levels will drop if you go without eating for too long. So to avoid a crazy craving for sweets and carbs, don’t over-starve yourself.
- Eat A Fruit: A piece of fruit can satisfy sugar cravings.
- Alter Your Groceries: Eliminate unhealthy sweets from your regular grocery trips and see how controlling temptations becomes much easier.
Does A Sugar Binge Affect Your Skin?
Sugar breaks down elastic and collagen (the proteins that give your skin firmness, structure, and shape). As such, a sugar binge has visible effects on your skin — after all, your body’s largest organ is a prominent reflection of what goes on underneath it. This may increase the risk of acne breakouts and result in dry, wrinkled, and saggy skin. “Further damage your cells. As a result, the molecules in your skin that keep your complexion looking tight and young—namely, collagen and elastin—are no longer able to do their jobs.”, says New York-based dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe.
How long does a sugar binge last?
The answer to this question depends on the number of carbohydrates you eat, but typically, a sugar binge (which feels like a short sugar rush) lasts around 10-20 minutes.
How do you compensate after eating sugar?
Start by forgiving yourself rather than going harsh on your body. Follow this with a balanced meal that will stabilize your blood sugar level. To add healthy fats, proteins, and fiber to your diet, options like a hard-boiled egg, nut butter, pistachios, veggies, and hummus will work.
Is sugar hangover a thing?
Yes. When your body attempts to handle a sharp spike in blood sugar levels after a sugar binge, it may overreact, which causes a brief state of low blood sugar. This may result in symptoms like shakiness, sweating, lightheadedness, and anxiety.
Remember, no matter how far you’ve moved away from a healthy eating schedule, you can always get back and start feeling amazing about yourself — even if it’s after several sugar binges. Be kind to your body, look up what to do after a sugar binge and start incorporating the changes into your lifestyle and daily routine to regain control!