Post-Party Survival Plan

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Too Many Carbs; Too Much Alcohol

Too many carbs

Whether you consumed an entire bag of M&M's or had three helpings of stuffing, the worst effects -- a sugar rush and/or an overwhelming urge to snooze -- will likely have passed by morning. (While fat takes at least eight hours to be broken down, the body breaks down carbohydrates within about four hours.) However, you may still feel groggy and sluggish, and -- because carbs cause the body to hold onto fluid -- parched, swollen, even stiff.

The solution: Hydrate with water and decaffeinated beverages such as herb tea. Eat light all day -- have some yogurt or cottage cheese for breakfast rather than a bagel. Be sure to include lean protein such as white-meat skinless chicken or turkey -- which will satisfy your hunger without overloading your system.

Avoid: Starting the day with sweets such as doughnuts or a Danish. Choose foods with more savory flavors instead to give your body a break, suggests Bonci.

Too much alcohol

Plain and simple, alcohol leaves you dehydrated.

The solution: Drink diluted fruit juice (half water, half juice) to replace lost fluids. Bland foods such as rice, dry toast or cereal, chicken noodle soup and bananas are easy for a queasy stomach to digest (bananas also supply the B vitamins that alcohol saps out of your body).

Avoid: Acetaminophen, which, according to Franca Alphin, R.D., clinical associate in the department of community and family medicine at Duke University Student Health Services, weighs heavily on your liver -- the same organ that's processing the alcohol from the night before. To treat a hangover, take ibuprofen instead. Caffeinated beverages may keep you alert, but will cause further dehydration.

Continued on page 3:  Get Back on Track With Exercise


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