Who doesn’t love a holiday full of candy and chocolate? Especially when it involves dressing up and behaving like a fool.
I believe very strongly in enjoying life and occasions, and a key component of many of our holidays is excessive food consumption. Halloween is no exception. While I do love the overabundance of bite-sized chocolates everywhere (and I do mean everywhere), if you are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, they can prevent you from reaching your healthy behaviour goals.
One of the (many) reasons people overeat is that they simply have no concept of what they are putting into their bodies. Sure, that bite-sized Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup looks harmless enough, but what you may not know is that it has close to a 100 Calories in it! Recall that a typical woman needs approximately 2000 Calories a day and a man needs 2500 (depending on weight, height, age and activity level). Well, if you are going to eat one small chocolate/candy packet, that’s harmless enough—-but let’s be honest: do you? If you are even remotely like me, you probably consume quite a few during the Halloween season. I actually recall as a child sitting in my room and secretly binge eating Halloween treats until they were pretty much gone (unless my brother got to them first). Those Calories can add up quickly and before you even notice!
Most Halloween treats pack anywhere from 50-100 Calories per package. So just be aware that if you are eating 5 of those, you have just packed on 250-500 Calories (without giving your body many of the essential nutrients it needs). I am not saying you should totally avoid them (even I’m not that unrealistic) but remember the key dietary concept of moderation and don’t lie to yourself about what you’re eating.
Here’s a few tips for eating less:
1) Don’t leave your treats where you can see them. Leaving them on your table/desk is a strong visual cue to consume. Put them away or get a family member to hide them on you if you know that the temptation will be too strong.
2) Keep track of how many you have eaten in a day. A good way to do this is to leave the wrappers in front of you. This provides some strong feedback as to your consumption patterns.
3) If you know you can’t resist having treats around the house: just don’t buy them. Why make it hard on yourself if you don’t have to?
So enjoy Halloween (and life for that matter), have a blast, and eat a chocolate/candy or two. But try to approach it with the right attitude and knowledge so you don’t throw off your commitment to healthy eating.
And, well, if you do, remember that tomorrow’s another day and don’t beat yourself up about it too much. Just start fresh again and remember why you have decided to adopt healthy behaviours in the first place. Then remind yourself again, and again, and again…..