While Halloween may be the spookiest of nights, overindulging on sugar can make the day after Halloween particularly frightful.
Overindulgence, however, can be hard to avoid on a holiday that’s centered around candy, and if you’re like the millions of Americans who consume too much sugar on All Hollow’s Eve, you’re probably familiar with the headache, fatigue, and irritability that can follow a night of trick-or-treating.
Eating (or drinking) too much of anything is never a good idea, and consuming large amounts of sugar and other carbohydrates is linked to a high number of negative health effects. Binging on food or drinks that are high in sugar at any time of the year can also throw off your clean-eating habits longer term.
But if you can’t resist the pull of more treats than tricks this Halloween, don’t be afraid! Here are five tips for a post-Halloween cleanse to help you recover and get back on track.
5 Tips for a Post-Halloween Cleanse
The after-effects of a candy binge can be similar to consuming too much alcohol. That’s because both involve high sugar consumption, which can quickly deplete electrolytes and leave you dehydrated.
One of the best things you can do to offset the ill-effects of too much sugar is to make sure you stay hydrated, even before you eat your first piece of candy. Continuing to drink water throughout the evening will help you stay hydrated, and when you wake up in the morning, drink a large glass (at least 20 oz or 600ml) of water, which has been found to offset the effects of mild dehydration.
While it may not completely scare away your post-Halloween haze, drinking plenty of fluids, as well as eating fruits and vegetables with high water content (e.g. berries, melons, and carrots), will help you lift your spirits and get back to feeling better.
Take Care of Your Skin
Drinking water is a great way to start the recovery process, but making sure you’re hydrating on the outside is also important, as too much sugar can leave your skin looking —and feeling—like a zombie’s.
Rinse away your ghoulish appearance with a refreshing shower and these face washing tips, geared specifically to combat the puffy, bloated skin that comes from high sugar consumption.
- Wash your face using this mixture of lemon and water. Lemon has powerful skin-cleaning properties that fight bacteria, remove dead skin cells, and eliminate oils.
- Fight back against inflammation and blemishes with a depuffing face mask. While washing your face will leave it feeling clean, an all-over face mask will decrease inflammation and provide additional benefits for your skin.
- Focus on breakouts and blemishes caused by sugary excess with these helpful emergency tips. Tea oil, aloe vera, and micropatches are just a few of the options available if you need help in a pinch.
Multi-use facial moisturizers and other skin care products can also help you decompress after a sugary night out. For a look at more DIY remedies, check out this homemade honey face wash, or these ideas for any skin type.
Eat Gut-friendly, Nourishing Foods
While the temptation to skip a meal may be particularly strong after a night filled with sugar, the best way to get back to your healthy habits is to eat clean, gut-friendly foods when it’s time for a meal.
Limit caffeine, dairy, or anything else that might be hard on your digestive system. Eat nourishing foods that are high in protein and healthy fats, including grass-fed meat, fresh fish, and pasture-raised eggs.
Some other things to focus on in your post-Halloween meals include:
- Antioxidants: Berries and leafy greens, which are packed with antioxidants that can help your body respond to the inflammation and discomfort associated with high sugar intake.
- Anti-inflammatory foods: Avocado, salmon, tomatoes, and almonds can provide an extra dose of anti-inflammatory goodness.
- High-fiber veggies: Asparagus, broccoli, and sweet potatoes are just a few high-fiber veggies that will provide a balanced energy boost after a sugary spike.
These foods will also help you feed beneficial gut bacteria and regulate your blood sugar, both of which can get spooked by a sudden influx of sugar.
Skip the Weights and Opt for a Walk
If you’re locked into a consistent routine at the gym, waking up after eating (or drinking) too much sugar may send you bolting for the weight room. While the urge might be strong to burn off the extra carbs and calories you consumed, high-intensity exercise isn’t always the best thing to do when you’re recovering.
For starters, you can quickly dehydrate yourself again, as your body is still trying to replenish from the previous loss of electrolytes, and other nutrients that are diminished as part of your workout will be felt even more so as your body works hard to get back to normal.
Instead of an intense workout, take a brisk, 30-minute walk, which will help you burn calories while also providing a beneficial mental break.
Get Back on Track
Mental space is indeed important when you’re trying to get back on track after a sugary slip-up.
Practicing mindfulness can be helpful as you move past the overindulgence, allowing yourself to process without dwelling too much. Check out this article for some helpful tips.
Taking action is also important, and you can roll up your sleeves with meal planning and meal prep for the days or weeks ahead.
Finally, make sure you get a good night’s rest. After a day of recovery, your body is not only tired, it needs sleep to continue recovering. Getting a solid 7+ hours of sleep will help you feel refreshed and replenished when you wake up.
Enjoy Responsibly and Have a Happy Halloween!
No matter how spooky your Halloween gets this year, make sure you enjoy it responsibly.
The tips above will hopefully help as you partake in this year’s festivities. Have a Happy Halloween!