woman leaning on wall while sitting on bed
Rule #1 of bouncin back: Relax and take it easy! You don't have to take over the world every day. Photo by Kinga Cichewicz

How to bounce back from that post – wedding post-graduation weekend hangover

In my last DAOFitlife update I talk wed about going to a wedding this past weekend. When we checked into the hotel, I noticed that there were lots of people clearly going to weddings and graduations… and of course, it’s the season! But this season is unlike any other because we are all like lions being let of our COVID cage. And as I discovered , I was ravenous for life – and food. And it was EVERYWHERE.

The wedding cake story

Per my own advice, I decided to bring my own snack bag of almonds, turkey jerky, olives, and a few pouches of hardboiled eggs from the hotel breakfast bar. Totally consistent with my post on how tI crush fitness while traveling riiiight?

You can check out my food log to see what I ended up consuming. The day went pretty well and according to plan, now that I think about it. Until the evening of that day that started at 7am (I was a bridesmaid).

4-layered fondant cake on table
Can there be a wedding cake store that just sells by the piece? I would be the first in line! Photo by Jason Leung

I decided my “20” would definitely be dessert – I was going to have a piece of wedding cake. BUT, I didn’t know there would be three kinds, though, and my FOMO made me choose a piece of each kind – chocolate, coconut vanilla, and salted caramel. There is something about wedding cake that is my ultimate drug because of the frosting and the special way it’s made. I’m always the person who asks for the corner piece. The stress of the day, standing outside in 90 degree heat, and the fatigue I felt from all the running around weakened my judgement big time. While I shared each slice with the hubs I pretty much demolished the top layer of icing for each piece. (He likes the cake, I like the frosting, therefore we are #soulmates).

I woke up on Sunday with a pounding headache and upset stomach, completely hungover. I was dehydrated , cranky from not enough sleep and swollen from all the heat, salty food and sugar. A food hangover is just as real as an alcohol hangover- and you may be dealing with a combination of both.

How to bounce back from a hangover

Here is what I learned for how to bounce back from a hangover:

1. Be prepared ! Like I always say. Hydrate the day before, preferably with alkaline water so your electrolytes stay balanced . Get a lot of protein . One of my favorite fitness gurus, Mike Matthews, says in his book that it’s advisable to lower your carb intake if you plan on having a drink, and the same applies for having cakes and similar foods. Keep key supplies by where you will be sleeping like ibuprofen, a large bottle of water, and eye drops. I also like these metal facial cooling globes from Sephora for when I get less sleep and have puffy eyes. Keep them in the fridge and then on your eyes while the coffee is brewing!

woman in black crew neck shirt
Be nice to you – even if you feel like this inside! Photo by Harold Wainwright

2. Stop hating yourself. One of my fellow bridesmaids is a dietician, and she and I had a lot of great conversation as we say around all day waiting for the next duty to call. She talked about what we may consider a “binge” is not really that. Even if you overeat, an extra piece of cake or a few extra cookies isn’t a binge . Even if it you drank when you intended not to or had three drinks instead of two, don’t beat yourself up. Most of the discomfort the next day is probably just from dehydration and fatigue – which leads to my next tip.

women's black brassiere
Photo by Boxed Water Is Better

3. Hydrate !!!!! Water is the ultimate “detox” and will help move the insoluble food through your system .lots of these events are going to be outside due to pandemic culture or just by their design (like graduation). Being outside for hours in hot weather is definitely stressful on your body. If there are ice buckets of water on hand, take two! Hydrate as much during the day of the event as you can and front load it in the morning especially if you plan on drinking alcohol . And the day after, make sure to drink at least 2 big glasses of water before any coffee. Also, fruit, in addition to giving your body important nutrients you may have missed, is very hydration. Especially at this time of year watermelon is very hydrating AND filling.

sliced watermelon on green surface
There is never a bad time for watermelon in the summer. Photo by Sahand Babali

4. Don’t starve yourself or do some crazy cleanse to “compensate” for overeating or overdrinking- that’s one of the fastest ways to get to actual bingeing – by punishing yourself by food deprivation. As we discussed in my article about alcohol it’s totally possible to get a lot of calories and still be malnourished. So feeding my body with good healthy food is a better way than my previous behavior, which was to skip breakfast , probably not eat more than a salad for lunch and dinner . That sends a message to myself that I’ve done something terrible when all I really did was go to a party and have a good time . The next day, I focused on eating healthy foods that made my body feel good. I wasn’t as hungry, but it’s totally ok to eat a little lighter the next day. Listen to your body and it’s probably demanding some good wholesome foods and lots of water – so on to the next topic!

woman in black shorts holding a microphone
A short jog or walk could release your feel good hormones, but the hungover day after is not one for a 10 mile run! Photo by Harold Wainwright

5. Don’t punish yourself by over exercising. This usually compliments eating restrictions the day after. If you feel energized like working out, great- . But if you feel dizzy, tired , and nauseated the last thing you should do is pour your body in the gym in order to detox. Your body is perfectly capable of doing that on its own; plus, exercise naturally depletes hydration. If exercise will help you feel better emotionally, go for it, but keep it more towards joyful movement. Rather than decide to do a boot camp class or 6 mile run, consider a long stroll, dance or yoga class. That way you will have some movement without it feeling like a punishment for deviant behaviors. A cardio class may help because you just have to show up and listen to someone else rather than motivate yourself when your brain may not be as clear.

6. Prioritize rest and sleep – you probably stayed up late dancing to crowd favorites like staying alive and were out of your comfort zone of being able to decompress at home. If it was a family graduation or wedding, you probably spent a lot of energy on making sure every little fire was put out. Plus reintegrating socially is mentally and physically taxing. If your day allows it, sleep in and don’t cram in errands , grocery shopping or doing work. Go to bed an hour earlier than usual and if there is stuff that needs to get done make a list and/or delegate as much as possible. This is a good week for Instac art or Really simple salads (see my dao of pimping salads for some tips !)

7. Plan on a challenging workout Monday am to start week on a positive note . For example I lined up a pretty intense day of training for Monday including weightlifting and HIIT. I felt refreshed and ready to rock the week!

Key Takeaway

The bottom line is that we are living our lives again. While preparation and smart choices are good we can’t live in a bubble of zero deviation from a food plan. The key is not to repent but to reset.

Leave a Reply