But then there’s the unofficial start to the holiday feasting season: Halloween!
- Wait to purchase candy on Halloween.
- Purchase less candy.
- Purchase candy you don’t like or more healthy options or novelty items instead.
- Stay up-to-date on candy recalls.
- Plan or participate in a Halloween event: a party where you control the food choices, a haunted house, pumpkin picking, a corn maze, a charity 5-10K walk/run, a Halloween- or horror-movie night.
- Make a pact with someone for accountability: pieces per day, photographing all of your food, days to indulge, physical activities.
- Post your intentions publicly, and ask for support.
- Take your measurements in advance so that you can watch your progress.
- Maintain your healthy meals and exercise regime.
For both you and your children
- Eat a sensible meal before trick-or-treating.
- Turn trick-or-treating into a workout:
- Walk instead of drive through the neighborhoods.
- Track your progress with a pedometer.
- Make it a workout game: a house with a pumpkin, do 10 jumping jacks; a house with a witch, 10 alternating lunges; a house with spider webs, 10 squats.
- Select a more form-fitting costume to help show off your dedicated hard work to maintaining a healthy body.
- Chew gum to curb your sweet tooth, allow yourself one piece of candy every few blocks; or bring the sweet treats recommended by your weight management plan.
- Take water or a low-calorie drink.
- Leave the pillowcase at home. Use a smaller container for candy collection, and stop when it is full.
- If you’re in charge of handing out candy, let the last trick-or-treater take what’s left. Or if you are passing out novelty items, donate them to a local teacher.
- Sort and trade your loot according to what you like.
- Hide the candy jar.
- Limit the number of pieces daily you will allow yourself and your children to have.
- Pick your 10 favorite pieces and give the rest away.
- Set a candy dump date.
- Divvy out your candy into smaller bags, with a week’s worth of your daily allotment. Go through one bag per week.
- Freeze your candy. It will force you to eat the pieces more slowly. No one wants to crack a tooth.
- Savor your candy eating experience with a slow, mindful consumption.
- Know what 100 calories of candy looks like.
- Keep the wrappers out to keep track of how many pieces you’ve eaten.
- Participate in the 80-second rule: do 80 seconds of physical activity like wall push-ups or squats, eat your piece of candy, then do 80 seconds of physical activity 90 minutes later. The candy will convert to energy which your muscles will use right then. Walking breaks are also helpful.
- Replace the candy dish on your office desk with more healthy options, particularly if you are on a weight management plan that has its own recommended sweet treats.
- Ask colleagues to help by making their candy dishes less visible.
- Recover with your regular healthy meals and workout regime.
Since most of us do not exercise enough, the extra calories from sugar can sneak into not only a weight conundrum but also affect how our bodies process food for energy, and trigger our hormones for hunger, satiety, insulin production, and other metabolic processes.
Part of healthy Halloween snacking is acknowledging that we want to have some of those sweets. The plethora of candy placed in opportune locations throughout the stores makes it hard to resist. Then we have the specials we hear on the radio, see on tv, or posted at various restaurants. (Who isn’t interested in a pumpkin-spiced latte?)
Halloween themed snacks can tap into our creativity, help us manage our sweet temptations, and prepare us for the holiday season.
Contact the specialists at the Metabolic Medical Centers to strategize your weight management for the upcoming holiday feasting season.