Recovering from Halloween
SUMMARY: Though Halloween is over, the candy bars linger on for weeks. Discover how to break the sugar addiction and get back in a healthy routine!
Posted: November 4, 2013
With the pillow case of candy emptied onto the table, the wrappers piled high and your chin sticky with chocolate, you may be finally sick of treats. The sugar high is coming down after the long Halloween week, and your stomach and teeth may need a little boost to recover after such a drastic blow. Surely, there are still plenty of fun-sized packages waiting for you to relapse. So, how do you kick the trick-or-treat habit and get back in a healthy routine?
Drink lots of water
Water does more than replenish your body; it acts as a cleaning agent for your mouth. All those gummy bears and chocolate bars that you went to town on may stick in the grooves of your teeth and become a major culprit for cavities. By stimulating saliva production and neutralizing bacteria, it also helps get rid of bad breath.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that men drink roughly 3 liters, or 13 cups, a day, and women drink 2.2 liters, or nine cups, a day.
Knock the sugar addiction
Sugar affects the "feel-good" hormones in your brain, which leaves you craving more. That means a sugar detox is in order. Wean yourself off refined carbs and high fructose corn syrup. Replace the artificial flavors with nature's sweets: fruits. A ripe strawberry, apple or handful of raspberries can taste as delicious as any candy. Whenever you feel the urge to peel a candy bar wrapper, peel a banana instead. Switching to a healthier diet will offer your body much-needed nutrients following Halloween, and it will make you feel better.
Foods to energize
If you spent your holiday partying or dishing out candy to trick-or-treaters all night, you know that the sugar-coated holiday can cut back on your sleep time. Get back in the swing of things with fatigue-fighting foods. Curiously enough, our day-to-day energy is not only measured in how many hours of sleep we got last night, but also what sort of foods we consume.
"Food is truly our body's fuel," Cindy Moore, director of nutrition therapy for The Cleveland Clinic told WebMD.
Poor nutrition can slow us down and leave us feeling groggy. This couldn't be more timely after Halloween. Instead of reverting to a cup of coffee in the morning, which isn't great for your teeth, take on healthy options such as lean protein and whole grains to power through the day.
A lot of people skip out on breakfast, the most important meal of the day.
"Breakfast is an easy meal to forget," Mary Ellen Camire, professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Maine, explained to WebMD. "But if people are skipping breakfast and find they're tired by midmorning, then it's it's time to re-evaluate that habit."
Studies have shown that breakfast enhances concentration and alertness. Eating a morning meal can also reduce bad breath, since morning breath can stay with you until you eat a meal. It's always important to eat something when you rise and shine to kick-start your salivary glands in order to freshen your breath. Opt for a whole grain bagel with cheese, whole grain toast with peanut butter and fruit; scrambled eggs, toast and fruit; oatmeal with raisins or the classic cereal with fruit and yogurt.
Get adequate sleep
It is recommended that you get around seven to eight hours of sleep each night. During the week, make a point to hit the bed early. Once you get a chance on the weekends, it's not a bad idea to sack it in without an alarm to recover from sleep deprivation and a feeling of sluggishness. Don't forget to brush when you wake up to avoid cavities and morning breath!