It’s inevitable. You will be called to indulge — a little or a lot — when Halloween treats are everywhere. Here’s a plan for how to deal with the day after so you aren’t feeling like the Day of the Dead on Nov. 1.
A Candy Hangover Is Real
Just ask any elementary school teacher. And, whether it’s fun-size or full-size treats (respect), adults feel the effects of a candy free-for-all even more than school kids. Consuming large amounts of sugar in a short amount of time can cause rapid changes in blood glucose levels. This can lead to headaches, nausea, dizziness, fuzzy thinking, general malaise and mood swings.
Here are five simple things you can do to help ease your candy hangover.
1. Plan ahead.
Knowing is half the battle. Once you’ve identified a particular candy or snack as a weakness, you can create a plan for dealing with the after-effects. Overdoing it because you told yourself you couldn’t have any candy but gave in to your craving halfway through the day isn’t the best strategy. Instead, why not allow yourself to enjoy some treats but set a limit on how much you can have ahead of time? This will remind you to be mindful of what you are eating and let you savor the treat.
2. Drink tons of water.
Start Halloween morning off with a big glass of water and continue to drink plenty more throughout the day. Studies show that drinking plenty of water helps glucose flush out of the blood. The average person should aim for half their body weight in ounces of water per day. Drinking plenty of water while you are indulging your sweet tooth — and throughout the day after — will help your body get back to normal.
3. Sweat it out.
Exercise forces your body to use glucose energy to feed the muscles. This is a great way to burn up some of that extra sugar. Don’t feel like running a marathon? Simple walking or some gentle yoga will do. If you can muster a little more energy, some sweat equity will go a long way to torching all of the candy corns swimming around in your system.
4. Go for protein.
The best thing you can do to get off of the sugar-coaster is to go low-carb for the day. Think protein and low glycemic veggies instead of carbs. Start your morning off with poached eggs over a bed of spinach. Limit grains to three half-cup servings of whole grains only.
5. Be sure to get to bed on time Nov. 1.
Wonky blood sugar — coupled with caffeine from any chocolate you might have consumed — can mess with your sleep on Oct. 31. Plan to go to bed at your regular time on Nov. 1 and aim for at least eight hours of shut-eye. This way, you can wake up the next day feeling like Halloween never happened. (Related: “Exhausted? Scrimping on Sleep Is Hazardous to Your Health.”)
Bonus: What About All the Leftover Candy?
Sometimes you don’t get as many trick-or-treaters as you predict, whether it’s because the weather chases them off or because you turn off all the lights. Sometimes your kids bring home an astounding haul because they’ve figured out which neighborhoods give out the good stuff. What do you do with all that extra candy? You can freeze it for a rainy day — even Gummies if that’s your thing. LifeSavvy has a handy guide to how long you can keep chocolate and candy in the freezer. You can use it in baked goods, too. (Is this the year you finally find time to decorate a gingerbread house?)
To make all that candy disappear fast, though, take it to the office (somebody else’s office) or, better yet, donate it to a local charity or your local dentist. (It’s a thing: My dentist buys back candy for $1 a pound and donates the candy to overseas troops.)
— Joan Feldman