How to Make Up for Eating Too Much Halloween Candy

With bowls and bags of Halloween candy scattered around the office and home, it’s easy to eat way more sugar than you typically would.

For many people, eating episodes like this are considered a “food sin” and often lead to a make-up mentality that sounds something like this:

To make up for this, I will…

  • skip breakfast and lunch tomorrow.
  • work out extra hard all week.
  • not eat sugar for the next 30 days.
  • go on a detox diet for a week.

This penance approach frequently results in a vicious cycle of restricting and overeating. It’s ineffective, exhausting and demoralizing—and terribly unenjoyable.

The key to escaping this cycle is to stop believing you have to make up for your eating decisions—and stop making a fix-it plan.

Instead, when you feel like you’ve committed a “food transgression,” just go on with your life. Instead of feeling guilty and shifting into make-up mentality, resume doing what you always do.

And listen to your body. It will tell you what it needs.

For example, you may wake up and find your appetite is smaller than usual. So eat a smaller breakfast. Or, you may find you’re hungry for your usual breakfast. So have that.

Don't deny or punish your body because you feel you ate too much the day before. Doing so always backfires. 

By avoiding the make-up mentality, you’ll experience a greater sense of ease and peace with food and your body.

Do You Struggle With Sugar Cravings? Try This...

Do you constantly crave chocolate, cookies or cupcakes?

There are many reasons why you might crave sugar, from a dietary imbalance, chronic dehydration and sleep deprivation, to stress overload, suppressed emotions and a pleasure deficiency.

Your cravings could be driven by one thing, or many things.

One way to tame your sweet tooth is by adding more bitter veggies to your diet, such as:

  • Arugula
  • Broccoli rabe (rapini)
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Dandelion greens
  • Endive
  • Kale
  • Mizuna
  • Mustard greens
  • Radicchio
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnip greens
  • Watercress

Consumption of bitter foods can help reduce sugar cravings and balance blood sugar.

They also have numerous other health benefits, such as improving digestion and nutrient absorption, detoxifying the liver, reducing cancer risk, and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.

For more tips on understanding and reducing your sugar cravings, check out this, this and this. Oh yes, and this, too.

One Reason Why You Might Crave Sugar

Do you have a wicked sweet tooth?

There are many different reasons why you might crave sugar from a macronutrient imbalance, dehydration and sleep deprivation to caffeine consumption, suppressed emotions and a pleasure deficit.

After decades of binging on sugar, I rarely crave it these days. When I do have a physical craving (versus an emotional craving) for a sweet treat, it almost always follows a salty meal.

As I've mentioned before, cravings are messages from your body that something is out of balance. Craving sugar after a salty meal could be your body's attempt to restore balance.

Balancing Yin and Yang
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, salt possesses yang energetic qualities. It's contractive, warming, drying and compact.

Sugar possesses yin energetic qualities. It's expansive, cooling, moistening and light. Sugar ascends energy whereas salt descends energy.

When you have too much of one, your very wise body will crave the other to reestablish balance between yin and yang.

Slash the Salt
The next time you have a sugar craving, reflect on how much salt you've been consuming. If you suspect salt or other sources of sodium (e.g., monosodium glutamate/MSG, sodium citrate, sodium nitrate, etc.) might be driving your sweet tooth, experiment with reducing your consumption and notice what difference it makes.

Keep in mind, the majority of sodium in our diet comes from outside of the home, including processed, packaged items (e.g. bread, soup, snack foods), grocery store prepared foods (e.g., salad bar, deli), and restaurant fare.

To reduce your sodium intake, eat mostly home-cooked foods made with fresh, whole ingredients and seasoned with spices, herbs, citrus, vinegar, etc. instead of salt.

For more easy tips on diminishing your sugar cravings, click here.