By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine
Hope everyone had a fun Halloween! We certainly did -- but now we're suffering from a bit of a Halloween hangover. We're starving yet nauseous, feel a bit cranky, have a vague headache and a rumbling, bloated belly. Sound familiar?
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We spoke to fitness and nutrition experts to get the low-down on how to recover from a major sugar binge. Check out their stellar advice for getting yourself back on a healthy track ASAP.
1. GET BACK TO YOUR HEALTHY HABITS, PRONTO
Don't skip meals to make up for your weekend sugar binge. According to registered dieticians Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh, contributing editors at SELF and co-founders of C&J Nutrition, this strategy will backfire because you will end up starving, which makes you more likely to choose unhealthy options (like leftover candy!).
2. START THE DAY WITH A MIX OF PROTEIN AND FIBER
Too much candy can cause you blood sugar to rise and fall quickly, according to Jarosh and Clarke. This leaves you feeling cranky and ravenous. To ease the crash, start the day with fiber and protein: Whole wheat toast with almond butter and a sliced apple, Greek yogurt with berries or an egg on a whole wheat English muffin with hummus and spinach.
3. SNACK SMART
Jarosh and Clarke recommend eating one or two veggie-packed snacks to keep you full so you're less likely to go diving into that bowl of leftover candy your co-workers brought in. Crunchy veggies such as baby carrots, celery sticks, grape tomatoes and cucumber slices will keep you most satisfied. For a little flavor flair, dip them in hummus.
4. TURN GUILT INTO INSPIRATION
Halloween kicks off the season of eating (up next: Turkey Day!). If, like us, you were a candy-eating machine over the weekend and feel less than proud of it today, use that as motivation to make smarter food and exercise choices over the next couple of months. Start now by making a pact with yourself to work out one extra day this week.
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5. SWEAT IT OUT
Try this 20-Minute Post-Halloween Fat Blaster from exercise physiologist Tom Holland, owner of Tom Holland's Athletic Club in New Canaan, Conn., and author of Beat the Gym: Personal Trainer Secrets Without the Personal Trainer Price Tag (available April 2011).
* 20 seconds of jumping jacks* 10 seconds of rest* 20 seconds of running in place* 10 seconds of rest. Repeat this four times. Then rest for 60 seconds before moving on to Circuit 2.
* 20 seconds of push-ups * 10 seconds of rest * 20 seconds of squats * 10 seconds of rest. Repeat this four times. Then rest for 60 seconds.
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Repeat Circuit 1, then rest 60 seconds.
* 20 seconds of bicycle crunches* 10 seconds of rest* 20 seconds of plank* 10 seconds of rest. Repeat this four times, then stretch for one minute.
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Photo Credit: Condé Nast Digital Studio