You gotta love Halloween! The costumes, the decoration, the pumpkins. …and all that candy calling to you from bowls set out weeks before the 31st. This year, don’t let the candy win. Trick your treats this Halloween!
It’s all good until you realize this year’s candy has messed up your diet, your gut, your mood, and your energy …again.
You try to get back on track, but before you know it you are off the wagon ’til Thanksgiving, and with Christmas around the corner it will be 3 months before you get back on. Ugh. There’s always New Years.
Hold on, before you get all mopey and give up all semblance of health for the season, we’re there to help. We’ve got a couple of simple and easy tips to help you trick your treats this Halloween, instead of the other way around.
1. Buy candy the day before Halloween.
This article may be coming a bit late, since some of my friends started eating their Halloween candy a month ago.
They’ve already had to restock.
You booby trap your house every time you stock foods that don’t support your health, but you have the choice and control over when to stock. The day before, or a month before.
What if you spent the weeks before Halloween focused on the activities, the decorations, the intricacies of pumpkin carving, and only leave the candy for the day of the 31st? Wouldn’t that be kinder to your gut, your mood, your energy levels?
2. No candy on an empty stomach, OK?
It’s easy to grab some candy that’s just sitting on the counter, but most of our clients share that doing that can interfere with appetite patterns and leaves them wanting way more than the original “just one piece”. There’s nothing wrong with having some sweet food in addition to the whole nourishing food you are already eating, so make sure you just save that for last.
You could even take it further and make Halloween a lower carb day. Start your day with some scrambled eggs and sausage, have a piece of fish with some steamed veggies for lunch, a hard boiled egg or two for your afternoon snack and then eat a normal dinner. THEN have some candy – you will have plenty of room for it.
It will still fit within what’s a reasonable amount of carbohydrate in a day, and the chances of being miserable the day after will be lower.
3. Give the candy away November 1st
Your body can handle a bit more sugar once in a while. Give it many days in a row and it takes longer to restore your biochemistry to pre holiday levels.
We also know how powerful the effect of environment is on making choices and changing habits – if you are aware that candy is tempting, consider giving it all away on the 1st.
Give it away, offer it friends, neighbors and coworkers. They might thank you!
4. On the Halloween, dress up in a way that will make it hard to eat
You know, Dracula teeth, heavy lipstick…the type of costume where you can’t be chewing all the time.
Another cool tip is to dress up as a giant packet of bubble gum and to feel obligated as part of your trick to be blowing bubbles the whole time. Chewing gum will keep you occupied.
If your costume is Cookie Monster, well you are in trouble my friend, and I hope you just ran a marathon.
Ok, I kid, I kid…
5. Respect other people’s candy
That includes your kids.
Convince yourself that it’s wrong to take other people’s candy. This limits you to what YOU choose to reach for. Then you can really eat what you enjoy, not just because it’s THERE or your kid’s CAN’T finish it and they need mommy’s help.
They don’t, and it’s not helping anybody.
6. Only eat candy you like more than an 8 on a scale of 1-10
That means you rate each candy for how much you like it on a scale of 1 to 10. If it’s over and 8 – have it and enjoy it.
And before you ask, yes, portion control matters, so stick to 250-300 calories of candy this Halloween and wake up fit and healthy on Nov 1st!
7. Make the office NO-candy land
If you have a costume party, stick to offering candy there, but keep it off the desks and counters, as seeing it will make it easier to eat a ton of it.
In his book Mindless Eating, Brian Wansink shows us how just being able to see candy raises your chances of eating it!
If you must have it at the office, hide it away till the party.
8. Make space by moving
Blood sugar is best regulated through movement, so plan for longer walks, workouts and movement sessions.
That will set you up for success and allow that candy somewhere to go. This is especially true if you are currently on a plan to reduce or maintain your weight.
9. Can you eat just one?
If you are a person who eats some candy and then has days and days of intense cravings, blood sugar crashes and addictive behaviors, you may want to look deeper into what’s causing your actions. While not that common, sugar can be very addictive to some people and create waves of food behaviors that stand in the way of eating whole and nourishing meals.
Whether it’s talking to a nutritionist or a coach, or it’s taking some extra amino-acids, have a plan to beat the cravings before they get to you!
What are your best tips for Tricking Your Treats this Halloween?
When you do eat candy, what is your favorite?
How do you avoid overeating it?
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