Chromium picolinate. Image via Wikipedia
It’s January first and you can barely pull yourself out of bed. You feel irritable, foggy, bloated. Your head hurts.
No, you didn’t take one too many trips to the boxed wine; you likely overindulged in carbohydrates after a fairly pristine run of healthy eating, and now you’re paying for it.
So how can you get back on track with less pain (and little gain)?
1. Drink plenty of water. Flushing out the toxins from the gluten gluttony is a must; and since the act of moving back into ketosis acts as a diuretic and you’re likely dehydrated from the previous evening’s festivities, getting plenty of the wet stuff in your body especially for the next two to three days isn’t a bad idea.
Tip: Don’t like water? Try decaffeinated iced tea instead.
2. Exercise. Little gets you right back in the saddle like moving around. Whether you’re power lifting or power walking, strolling or bowling, exercise ensures your body burns those carbs for fuel now, putting you back into your state of lipolysis with greater speed.
Tip: Don’t overdo it. Even working the large twitch muscles by taking a sustained, comfortably paced walk is enough to rev up your metabolism.
3. Take your supplements. Chromium picolinate, glutamine and carnitine all are craving blockers for sugars and other carbs, something you come to appreciate when your blood sugar drops like a ton of bricks and your body is ready for round two of whatever you had last night. Fast acting and helpful, these vitamins can be found at most major retailers for a reasonable price.
Tip: Check labels for carby, unwanted fillers, follow label instructions and ask your doctor if you have any questions.
4. Load up on fats and proteins. Fueling your body with healthy, filling, satisfying choices will ensure that when the cravings set in, you’re much less likely to cave to the pressure. Not only are fats and proteins somewhat more self limiting, these foods stay in your stomach longer to nourish and replenish your body– unlike empty carbohydrates, which tend to short-circuit out of the small intestines and right into the bloodstream.
Tip: Not sure how to incorporate more fat or protein? For each pound of hamburger in a recipe, add one whole egg for a richer, more delectable product.
5. Hang tough. Know that even though you’re doing everything right, there are likely going to be some cravings within the next 12-48 hours as your body tries to convince you it wants to burn anything but your fat stores for food. You might experience the same feelings you did the last time you went into ketosis, from brain fog to headaches to lethargy. The key is to stick with your program, expect these symptoms, and use the experience as a valuable lesson in understanding how nutrition affects your overall well being.
Tip: Save those off plan indulgences to a small, controlled meal with a time limit rather than a day-long splurge.
What are some of your tried and true ways of staving off carbohydrate hangover? Share your ideas below!