You spent an active summer working out, losing weight, and getting in shape. But here comes Halloween: the gateway holiday that kicks off a flood of holiday events that leave little time for working out coupled with a two-month binge of overeating. From the bowls of candy on every desk and bank teller’s station to the Halloween party treats and trick or treating treasure the kids haul home, temptation hits from every direction putting an end to your healthy diet–at least until after New Years. Whether you want to lose weight or are simply struggling to maintain, there are strategies to make Halloween manageable. Make “moderation” your mantra and remember to carve out time for consistent workouts. The arrival of Halloween and the ensuing holidays do not have to be the end of the trim physique you cultivated over the summer.
Nothing is Wrong With Non-Edible Treats
Stocking the house with assorted sweets is not the best way to lose weight or stick to your diet. Unless you love torturing yourself, why not give out something other than candy? There is no law that says you have to hand out sweets on Halloween. Everyday Health suggests hitting the dollar store to stock up on non-edible treats for trick-or-treaters such as stickers, carnival toys, or temporary tattoos.
Opt For Healthy
If you feel obligated to give out eat-ables on Halloween, take the neighborhood with you on your healthy diet. Instead of bags of candy corn and miniature candy bars, hand out snack-sized packages of nuts, raisins, or trail mix. Who cares what the neighborhood kids think? They’re the ones begging from you. Besides, having those types of snacks on hand means not having to deal with the guilt when you inevitably have to eat the leftovers. (They’re not going to eat themselves!)
Wait Until the Last Minute
If you decide to go ahead with traditional Halloween handouts, do not start stocking up when the stores put the Halloween candy on display in September. Reader’s Digest recommends waiting until the day before or even the day of Halloween to buy candy and, when you do buy, get the type of candy you don’t care for so it won’t be as tempting. Already amassed bags and bags of Halloween treats? Put them on the back of the bottom shelf in the pantry to keep them out of sight, out of mind, and off your mid-section.
OK, so you bought the good stuff, and it is just sitting there in the plastic jack-o-lantern waiting for the neighborhood kids to start knocking on your door. Don’t berate yourself if the temptation is too hard to handle. Web MD says it’s fine to indulge just a little because denying yourself treats will only make you crave them all the more. However, do set and stick to a limit. If you really want a mini Kit Kat and a couple of snack-size Mounds bars, you can always plan to give up a snack or other treat the next day. For example, forego your Starbuck’s Caffé Mocha. You’ll save 360 calories, enough to make up for a couple of “fun-size” candy bars.
Eat Your Meals as Scheduled
If you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Halloween, you won’t be ravenous for sweets when it’s time to start handing them out. Make dinner something really good, too, delicious food that satisfies instead of a skimpy salad that will leave you hungry in a couple of hours and eyeing the contents of the candy dish like it was, well, candy. Then, when you do allow yourself an after-dinner treat, you should know that those “fun” sized sweets are far easier on your calorie count than their full or king-sized counterparts. Woman’s Day reveals that most are under 100 calories each, and some, such as mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and snack-sized Kit Kats (10 g size) are under 50 calories each. Gummy bears have about 8.7 calories each, and bonus for candy corn lovers: each sweet kernel has less than 8 calories apiece.
The holiday parties and events that start happening toward the end of October put a strain on already stretched-to-the-limit schedules. That’s why everyone, including people who have successfully kept to an exercise regimen up until now, start slacking off right about this time of year. Rather than falling off the wagon, see Halloween as an opportunity to make an early resolution rather than putting it off until New Years. Set your mind on scheduling a workout in wherever you can fit it–mornings, lunch breaks, or early evenings before the parties and gatherings begin. We’re not trying to candy-coat it–it will be difficult for the next two months but, when you come out on the other side without the extra baggage, you will be happy you stuck with it.