5 tips to get back on track after a week-long sugar binge

Today is the last day of birthday season. Between May 31st and June 10th there are three birthdays in my house. Three birthdays in just ten days.

get back on track

That means three birthday dinners (with wine pairings), three birthday cakes (with ice cream) and a variety of chocolatey gifts (from personal training clients!), loot bag treats (gummy worms and wine gums) and less-than-healthy nutritional choices. (And of course, three readings of Dr. Seuss’ Birthday book; our favourite family tradition!)

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that sugar is my trigger food. Once I start down ‘sugar mountain way’, my ability to resist it gradually weakens until ice cream for breakfast no longer sounds like a horrifying idea. (I haven’t gone there yet, but only because we’re out of ice cream; thank goodness).

Given that (a)Β the weather is finally warm enough to wear summer clothes, (b) I’m tired of the sugar-induced lethargy and (c) I’ll be seeing 300 fitness friends at a fitness bloggers conference in just over two weeks, it’s time to get back on track.

Want to know my 5 tips to get back on track after a week-long sugar binge?

  1. Eliminate all added sugar immediately. For me, cold turkey is the only way to kick the sugar habit. Sugar is a drug. It stimulates the pleasure centres in your brain. Your brain likes to be happy and does whatever it can to get more sugar.
  2. Drink like a fish. Water that is. Water not only helps to flush your system of toxins, it also keeps your mouth busy and your belly from feeling hungry. My 12 ounce sippy cup is my new BFF.
  3. Eat vegetables for breakfast. Re-training my palate not to expect sweet foods at each meal is critical to overcoming sugar cravings. Thankfully, our kitchen vegetable garden is overflowing with kale, chard, spinach and arugula, making it easy to green up my scrambled eggs and protein smoothies.
  4. Move a little bit more each day. In addition to my regular strength and cardio workouts, I’ll be aiming for 30 minutes of walking each and every day. The extra 2500-3000 steps are not only good for my overall health, it will help me burn an extra 200 to 300 calories per day.
  5. Get a solid 8 hours of sleep each night. When I’m well-rested, my body rarely craves sweet and starchy foods. Sleep is also key to reducing the fat-stimulating effects of cortisol (given that I have three school-age children about to be released for ten weeks of summer vacation, my ‘stress’ hormone level is high enough).

Thanks so much for all of your birthday wishes!

Now I need some good ‘get back on track’ juju. Help a girl out? I’d love it if you’d Tweet me and use the hashtag #nosugar! The more often I’m reminded, the easier it will be!

Do you have any special tricks for getting back to healthy eating after a week or two of indulgences?

Share your best ‘get back on track’ tip below!

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Comments

  1. Donna Smith says:

    Thank you for the post. I really needed it today. I had some cake a couple days ago so all weekend sugar is what I wanted. So I ate and ate more sugar. I need to get back on track so I will use your suggestions. Thank you.

  2. Donna Smith says:

    Thank you for the post. I really needed it today. I had a sugar binge this weekend and ate way to much sugar. I will use your suggestions to help. Thanks.

    • You’re so welcome Donna. Pop back in tomorrow and let me know how it’s going! #nosugar

      • Donna Smith says:

        Why is it so hard to get over the sugar monster? It seems so hard to stop eting it once you put it back in your body. I am trying. The water helps. I started to put cucumber and lemons in my water to give me some flavor.

  3. I know you can do this!! Sounds like you have a good plan to get off the sugar streak!!!
    My weakness is salty food – I have to make sure we don’t have any chips in the house to be successful at not eating them!!
    Kim recently posted…Old School Blogging FunMy Profile

    • Isn’t it funny how divided people tend to be along the sweet/salty gradient? I could care less about salt, but sugar…

  4. Love t Tamara!!! This time for you is like Sept – Dec. here with bdays & the holidays all at the same time!!! YIKES! πŸ™‚

    I pretty much only go crazy for myself so I don’t have the 2 weeks plus of sugar – just my weekend treats! πŸ˜‰ But you have your kids so it is different.. πŸ™‚

    I do what you do though if I have to – get right back to it with no excuses, drink my water, move a bit more OR up the intensity & just be back to what I know works for me. If I have to put on a pair of jeans to remind me they are too tight, I do that too! πŸ™‚

    You can do it!!! #NOSUGAR!!! πŸ˜‰
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted…NudeFood Review & OhYeah! Victory Protein Bar ReviewMy Profile

  5. I really needed this today! I was at a church retreat this weekend with a massive snack table! I ate way too many cookies. I felt the same way after the holidays and I want to reset. For me, cutting out processed foods is the best way for me to do so. Only natural sugars and whole wheat flowers. Also, same as you, tons of water and SLEEP!
    Katie @ Live Half Full recently posted…Meal Plan 6/9-6/15My Profile

    • Sleep is the hardest piece of the puzzle too. Got to get to bed earlier (of course, that means putting kids to bed earlier too…).
      You can do is Katie! #nosugar

  6. ok, how ’bout spending tomorrow knitting the whole day so your hands are too busy to even try and grab treats πŸ˜‰ on a more serious note, when you get back on track this way, do you just cut out refined sugar or fruit as well? I’d suggest some extra fruit may help your day go better, but wasn’t sure πŸ™‚ #NOSUGAR #staystrong πŸ™‚
    Kristine recently posted…instagram: the two used books I found at Powell’s – including the cookbook I put a giant pile of post-it’s from the library copy! wished i had picked up the other @yarnharlot but I wasn’t 100% sure if I had it or not.My Profile

    • Not the whole day; then I wouldn’t get my 10 000 steps in Kristine! And YES, I do keep fruit in my diet when I’m sugar detoxing; it doesn’t cause me to crave sweets or starchy carbs. And after a week without refined sugars, it’s amazing how SWEET fruit tastes!

  7. for me it is ALLLLL WATER.
    when I crave sweet.
    when I need to wean from the sweet.
    HYDRATION is what my bod really needs.
    Miz recently posted…Of KΓΌbler-Ross and CARBS.My Profile

    • Yes! When my ‘back teeth are floating’ (an old phrase of my dad’s!), I don’t feel hungry for anything!

  8. I feel ya. It is a trigger for me as well. I also have to go cold turkey and this includes all sugars not just refined. Eventually I bring in fruit but for the first day or two I have to go hardcore on it. Hand in there. You can do it #nosugar
    Stephanie Robbins recently posted…Awesome content. Crappy Call to Action.My Profile

    • Interesting Stephanie. I have heard others say that fruit has to go too. For me, it’s not such an issue, but then again, I only tend to eat 2 servings of fruit each day to start with. I am rocking it (although there will be birthday cake tonight, so no promises…)

  9. I have SUCH a sweet tooth! Agreed on all counts, especially the breakfast bit. If I could, I would have something sugary for breakfast every day. Today, I had a piece of wheat toast with PB and two turkey links. My kids had pancakes. πŸ˜‰

    Good luck with your sugar kick. I have been on an elimination of my own – it AMAZES me how much extra sugar is in everything. Ive pretty much been sticking to vegees and lean meats, some cheese and nuts instead of my faves – SWEETS! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Tracey! I can still enjoy fruit in moderation when trying to kick sugar. It doesn’t seem to trigger the same craving that processed or refined sugars do. You really do have to read labels, though, don’t you? It’s EVERYWHERE!

  10. Your clients buy you CHOCOLATE? I find that quite odd actually… but great post and good to get back on the clean food train.

    Probably better that you get it all over at once!

    • I guess that I don’t find it odd, as I both preach and practice moderation (except for this past week…). My clients all know that I love dark chocolate and I guess they just wanted to give me something I enjoy for my birthday!

  11. Happy birthday to YOU and YOURS! πŸ™‚

    I’m the same way. A little sugar and I take a dive into the Crazy Town sugar pool. If I leave it alone, I have no problem at all. That’s why when someone says something dumb like “A little piece of cake won’t hurt you….” it makes me CRAY CRAY!

    Sarah
    http://www.thinfluenced.com
    Sarah recently posted…EPIC BURN!!!!! I Came. I Sweat. I Worked It Out!My Profile

    • Thanks you Sarah! We all had great birthday celebrations and thank goodness the cake is done with!
      And it’s not the little piece, it’s the 2 big pieces that follow…

  12. Yep! It’s my trigger too, and you nailed it. I have to cut it cold turkey otherwise it is such a slippery slope! Great post, Tamara!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…What’s Your Spark?My Profile

    • Thanks Laura. Cold turkey or not at all. It’s easy; I’ve done it a thousand times before! LOL!

  13. My birthday is June 26!! However, I don’t indulge in cakes, ice creams, etc… Instead if I go out to eat, the server will bring me out another fish entree with a candle stuck in it! AHHHH HA HA HA HA HA! πŸ˜‰
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted…Ab-tastic Abs by The Get In Shape GirlMy Profile

    • Happy birthday in advance! I’m also so impressed by your discipline when it comes to food Gigi! I could use a little more of that myself!

  14. Love the tip about having veggies for breakfast. What a great idea! Like you, eating sugar is definitely a slippery slope . . . once I get going, its hard to reel it back in.
    Michelle @ Eat Move Balance recently posted…Lemon Pepper Quinoa and AsparagusMy Profile

    • Exactly! Learning to get off the ledge before we start sliding is key, don’t you think?

  15. I am going to need this after this weekend. My kids birthday sleep over on friday and hubbys birthday on saturday. Back to clean eating on Sunday…oh scrap that, we’re having bacon on sunday. hmmm, back at it on monday.
    Tiffany recently posted…Chicks Dig TrucksMy Profile

  16. I hear ya girl…after a long weekend at the cabin its vegetables for me for breakfast, lunch and dinner tomorrow…time for the sugar cleanse! πŸ˜‰
    Kathy recently posted…Picture is worth a thousand words….My Profile

  17. Love these tips!! I am going to share them with my clean eating participants who keep asking me how to kill the cravings!

    I agree with your post today too about no one exercise being the best or the worst!
    Amanda @runtothefinish recently posted…Running Weekend Clinic – Efficiency and Form TrainingMy Profile

  18. Great tips, thanks! I’m trying to do a month without sugar because I realized I am way too addicted. πŸ™‚

  19. I love it. I too ate too much carbs/sugar today. Hey, question for you my blogger friend. I’ve been doing posts on the sugar/fat connection. Would you be interested in doing a guest post on my blog about cortisol and belly fat in 40 something women. I think you wrote an article on that if I remember correctly.

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  1. […] the beach is enjoying a sweet frozen treat? (If you do overindulge, follow my friend Tamara’s 5 tips for getting back on track after a sugar binge. Excellent advice that I need to incorporate into my life this […]