Arguably one of the best parts of the holiday season (other than time with family and friends) is all of the good food. One popular tradition is the Christmas cookie, which has expanded into so many varieties that it’s hard to keep count. (You can forget about just having one!)
Now that the holidays are winding down and you’ve had your fair share of cookies, cakes, pies, and hot chocolate, you might be experiencing a lack of energy, restless sleep, or guilt over consuming too much food. These things are normal, as sugar (and overeating) can have that effect on the body.
Sugar is a major culprit of mood changes, weight gain, and a contributor to a number of other diseases. Don’t worry, a few Christmas cookies won’t push you over the edge. But continuing this eating behavior year round may.
If you follow these easy suggestions for a few days, you can help cleanse your body of the extra sugar and get back on track for the New Year.
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1. Drink Plenty of Water
Before eating anything, start your day with a cup of water with lemon. This helps wake up your body. Green tea is another good option.
Throughout the day, drink more water to help boost your energy.
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2. Make Small Diet Changes
Consuming sugar makes your body crave sugar, so it’s normal to want to continue your holiday eating habits. In the days following a sugar binge, it’s a good idea to give your body a break from foods containing a lot of processed sugar. Try replacing those items in your diet with fresh foods.
Focus on adding more of the following to your diet:
- Fruit or veggie smoothies
- Romaine lettuce or kale
- Raw or grilled vegetables
- Lean proteins
- Quinoa salad
- Trail mix
Jump starting your metabolism by exercising is a great way of removing the toxins in your body and providing an energy boost. Try to work out for 30-60 minutes at a pace that causes you to sweat.
A connection exists with sugar intake and a number of health concerns. If you find yourself craving sweets consider continuing these tips for few days. Avoiding sweets and even refined carbs altogether will help break the cycle and get your body back on track.
The UPMC Department of Endocrinology stands as a national leader in research of diabetes and endocrine conditions. We partner with the University of Pittsburgh Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism for research and clinical trials. We treat diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, hormonal disorders, and thyroid disorders at several locations across western Pennsylvania. We also have specialized Diabetes Centers to help you manage your disease. U.S. News & World Report ranks UPMC Presbyterian among the top hospitals in the country for endocrinology and diabetes care.