What is a Sugar Binge and How to Help Recover?
Sugar binges can happen from time to time, especially if you are a caregiver that may work with clients that may enjoy their sugary treats and candy.
After a long day, we may reach for comfort food or candy to cope with the feeling of exhaustion. Although they should be avoided, sugar binges happen and can be corrected. It is important to know that a sugar binge does not have to define your eating habits for the rest of the day, week or your life.
Sugar Binge Recovery
There are several ways that you can recover from a sugar binge. It is important to know that excessive sugar binging should be brought to the attention of your medical professionals. If you or your loved one experience a sugar binge more than once or twice a week, please seek out professional help through your doctor. If you happen to have a normal ‘slip up’ from time to time, here are ways you can get back on track after a sugar binge:
- Recognize and understand that it is not a life shattering event. If you attend a birthday party and have too much cake or have a few too many ‘fun sized’ treats during Halloween, know that you can improve! Recognizing that you may have overindulged a bit can help give you closure to the experience and the situation, giving you a new burst of energy to regain your control again!
- The second step, and arguably the most important step, is to get rid of any of the sugar that you have in your possession. If you brought home some cake from the restaurant or you’re only half way through the bag of candy, remember to throw it out! Getting rid of the temptation can allow you to focus on bouncing back from your sugar binge, without the enticement from the leftovers calling your name. It is recommended that you throw them in a trash can that is out of sight and out of mind.
- Drink lots of water. Drinking a lot of water can help you flush out the toxins that are in your body. You should be aiming for at least 8 cups of water a day, but after a sugar binge you may consider upping your water intake. This will allow your kidneys to be flushed out from the excess glucose in your body. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that when you urinate, it is more of a clear color than a deep or dark yellow.
- Do not punish your mind or body after a sugar binge. After a sugar binge, it can be easy to beat yourself up and feel bad about yourself. As previously mentioned, recognizing that it can be changed and corrected will allow you to get ahead of these feelings. Post sugar binge avoid starving yourself to make up for the empty calories that you consumed during the bender. Instead, carry on with healthy eating habits that will fuel your body and your mind during the rest of your day.
- When the crash hits, give yourself time to adjust. The inevitable crash can leave someone feeling tired, jittery, anxious and agitated. Remember that this feeling is temporary and can be avoided in the past. Try to take a nap if you can or drink more water to flush the glucose out of your system faster.
If you are a diabetic, it is incredibly important to note that your sugar levels need to be closely monitored. Please consult with your medical practitioners to get a clear understanding of the amount of sugar that you should consume Diabetes is a health condition that allows a person to enjoy certain types of sugars, but as regulated by their doctor and in moderation. Too much sugar in diabetics can cause a blood sugar spike, which can be detrimental to a diabetic, and possibly lead to death. It is important to note that a few sugar benders will not cause diabetes in a perfectly healthy human being, but if you have concerns about your sugar levels, you should consult a doctor.
How Can I Avoid Sugar Binges in the Future?
Avoiding sugar benders can be challenging, especially when your environment is conducive of consuming sugar casually and often. As a caregiver, it can be especially challenging if your client enjoys sweets and has them frequently in their house, or if they offer them to you repeatedly. If your client has diabetes If you know that you are going to be in a position where a sugar binge may happen, consider taking the following precautions:
- Find healthy snacks that may satisfy your sweet tooth. Fruit is a great alternative to candy and can help keep your sugar cravings to a minimum. Having fresh fruit in the house or bringing some food with you (if your client allows it) can help you make better decisions in the future. Watermelon, bananas and strawberries are all great options that may taste like a treat, without the processed sugar!
- Redirect your mind to more positive things. If you are at a birthday party where everyone is focusing on the cakes, cupcakes and cookies, try focusing on something else. Taking the time to recognize the temptation and redirect your energy elsewhere can lend itself well when you are feeling curious about the sugary treats.
- If you are in control of the menu or the treats that are surrounding you, perhaps at your own birthday party or at a holiday party, know that you can swap out the sweets for something else! Under no circumstances do you have to succumb to the pressure of your friends, family or the environment that you are in. Try opting for a fruit plate instead of dessert or provide the guests with sugar free candies.
Sugar binging does not have to be the end-all-be-all to your healthy lifestyle and eating habits. If you happen to slip up from time to time, please remember that you are human, and mistakes happen. Moving on with the help of these tips and tricks can allow you to land on your feet and get back to a healthy mindset and eating pattern. Remember that you do not have to succumb to your surroundings and although sugar benders do happen from time to time, they do not have to be a part of your weekly or even monthly routine. Remember that a healthy body means a healthy mind and heart!