There are key times of the year that present huge challenges and temptations for my weight loss clients and in recent years Halloween is a big one!! This past decade has seen Halloween go from dunking for apples to full on organised house & street parties. Its right up there with birthday parties and Christmas as there are lots of sweet treats lying around the house to tempt and entice despite your best intentions.
There are ways to ease the damage and I have some tricks of my own for sticking to a skinnier Halloween!
Buy the goodies for the tricks or treats and Halloween party on the day of Halloween. This minimises the number of days the food is in your house as research shows that just looking at the food triggers the circuitry that makes us imagine eating it.
Keep the food out of sight in the house. In previous years in our house we pre pack little bags of sweets and treats for the house callers. We keep them at the front door to hand over as soon as the kids call. This means that there is no loose sweets lying around that you can easily pop into your mouth!
Make sure that the day after Halloween that all the sweets are gone or at least given to the trick or treaters on Halloween night. Its usually in the days after halloween that you can find yourself gorging or constantly nibbling on leftover jelly sweets, mini chocolate bars and Haribo! Before you know it you have consumed 1000’s of calories from junk food.
Make sure you eat proper meals before Halloween celebrations begin. Whether you’re manning the trick or treat bowl at your own house or taking your kids out trick-or-treating, it almost goes without saying that going out hungry is a recipe for a Halloween sugar hangover. Make sure you follow a regular day of eating (typical breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner) and don’t “save up” calories for all the junk food. This makes you much more likely to binge and overdo it, especially since sweets are typically low in protein and fibre, the two ingredients that help make you feel satisfied and full.
Walking around for an hour or so does burn calories! So as long as you have a good, safe place to do it, don’t drive your kids around to satisfy their sweet tooth. Take advantage of the many health benefits you’ll reap from a leisurely neighbourhood stroll.
If, despite your best efforts, you still wake up in with a sugar-triggered Halloween hangover, don’t beat yourself up over it. Have a filling breakfast with fibre and protein to help steady your blood sugar (try porridge with some berries and nuts) and go for a nice, normal, healthy workout at your usual time. Don’t use exercise as a punishment, but rather as a way to recharge your energy levels and confidence after a not-the-best eating day. Bring healthy snacks from home so you can avoid temptation at the office leftover halloween bowl.