Halloween parties, potlucks, and trick-or-treating can break even the most disciplined of dieters. Here are my top 10 tips to survive this annual sugar fest that I shared with KRON 4 Morning News Weekend anchor, Marty Gonzalez.
The Top 10 Tricks
1. Buy trick-or-treat candy you don’t like. Buy a candy that won’t tempt you.
2. Buy candy the DAY OF Halloween. There will ALWAYS be candy left in the stores — unless of course, you’ll looking for your favorite candy! You may also save some money (thanks to clearance sales) as well as save on calories.
3. Eat dark chocolate — 85% or more of cacao.
- Milk chocolate contains more added sugar and fat. Due to their antioxidant content, deep dark chocolate can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by nearly 40 percent, and reduce the risk of dementia.
- Per a 2004 study published in the Journal of American College of Nutrition, dark chocolate improved blood flow in arteries.
- Eat in moderation as it still packs plenty of calories. Limit to 1/2 to 1 ounce.
Note: White chocolate is highly processed which means it’s lost most or all of its antioxidants.
4. Keep the wrappers. Keep evidence of what you eat in front of you. It’s easy to forget how many times you’ve dipped into the candy bowl.
- Two studies showed that people tend to rely on visual cues, such as the number of chicken bones on their plates, to decide whether they’re full or still hungry.
5. Avoid the candy dish. The candy dish encourages eating mindlessly — i.e., “grab-and-go syndrome”.
- Scientists believe you make hundreds of unconscious food decisions daily, but seeing food pushes you to consciously decide whether to eat it. Seeing it more often increases the likelihood you’ll choose to eat the food.
- A handful (1.5 oz; about 1/4 cup or 1 shot glass) of M & M’s can pack on 210 calories. To burn off just one handful, the average size person would need to do 1,400 jumping jacks which would take about 24 minutes (1 jumping jack per second)!
6. Stay on track and meet your fitness goals on the 31st. Don’t let the occasion be an excuse to give up on your goals.
7. Do you really WANT it? Or are you eating it just because it’s there…. or because it’s an opportunity to load up on Halloween treats. Remember, there is no scarcity. Halloween candy is not a prized treat — it’s available all year around.
8. Don’t “treat” yourself for “being good”. This practice makes food a reward and promotes emotional eating cycles. If you’re not “good”, then you’re “bad” (negative feelings).
9. Drink lemon water. Hunger and food cravings can be a sign of dehydration. Instead of candy, reach for a glass of water with a squeeze of fresh citrus. Lemons and limes aid in healthy skin and tissue repair.
10. Enjoy pumpkin. They’re packed with anti-aging nutrition and are extremely versatile. Enjoy the taste of pumpkin in your typical dishes — marinara sauce, waffles, quick breads, smoothies, soup, and more.
Fit Tip: Allow yourself to enjoy the holiday. Provide healthy alternatives — a healthy diet can still include fun foods.