Halloween unofficially marks the beginning of the holiday season which means candies, parties and food, lots and lots of food. And if you are trying to lose weight and watch your caloric intake it can be a difficult time to fight off cravings.
“All it takes is an additional 100 calories a day or the equivalent of one snack-sized chocolate bar and most adults will experience weight creep before they even know it,” says Lona Sandon, MEd, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
Have no fear, there is a way to satisfy your sweet tooth with good for you goodies. Follow these tips that will get you through this Halloween.
Avoid Temptation at Work – Prepare for the dreaded candy bowl by keeping healthy snacks at your desk or nearby. Cut up some dark chocolate or if you have some dark chocolate chips throw them in a Ziploc. Slice a banana or some strawberries, throw it in with the chocolate pieces and shake till the fruit is covered in the chocolate, place the pieces on a tray in the freezer for 20 minutes, throw in a plastic bag, and store in your work freezer. These are great because they satisfy the sweet tooth, and because the slices are frozen, you will eat them slower. As with all candy, moderation is key.
If you’re already armed with healthy alternatives at work and still find yourself giving in, leave the empty wrappers on your desk. They will remind you that you had your treat for the day, how many extra calories you’ve consumed, and hopefully ward off future temptation.
Keep Candy Out of Your Home – If you’ve been procrastinating on buying sweets for the 31st, this is one of the few times that delaying works to your advantage. Put off buying candy until the last day (if you already bought it, store the bag in the closet). “Limit the amount of time that candy is in your house.
Chew gum – Sugarless gum can keep your mouth busy and gives your mouth a taste of sweetness without the high calories. If you already have something sweet in your mouth, you’ll be less likely to crave candy.
Freshen Up – This is an age-old tip to prevent mindless eating and overeating, but it really does work. Brushing your teeth frequently (or chewing a strong, minty gum) makes all sorts of foods—including candy—unpalatable. Just think about drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth in the morning…not tasty. When candy is around, arm yourself with minty fresh breath. It’s a lot easier to say no to treats when you don’t want to disrupt that fresh, clean flavor in your mouth. This trick can also work if you find yourself losing control of your cravings. For example, if you ate one or two pieces of candy and find yourself uncontrollably reaching for another, stop that cycle by brushing your teeth before you think about taking another bite.
Work it out – Don’t stop attending boot camp class. If you are going to indulge this holiday season, just remember to work hard to keep those pounds off. If you are struggling with cravings and motivation, talk to your trainer. If anyone understands what you are going through it’s them. They have the knowledge and will help you get through the holidays. The other campers will also support you, they are dealing with the same things.
Choose Wisely, Eat Mindfully – It’s not realistic to turn down every treat or temptation—and no one should have to! Holidays are fun and so are the foods that come with them. Sometimes, it’s best to just give in and enjoy a little fun. When you consciously choose to enjoy a treat, first, choose wisely. Pick your absolute favorite. Save your calories for the treat that will be most worthwhile to you. Don’t waste your calories on candies you don’t really love just because they’re around. When you’re ready to eat, do so without distraction. Focus on that treat. Notice how it feels in your mouth, its texture and its flavor. Eat slowly and mind fully. The more you can really focus on the treat of your choice, without distraction, the more satisfied you with feel, and the more in-control you will remain. When you take the time to really taste and enjoy something, you won’t feel the need to keep eating more, and you’ll kick those cravings to the curb before you’ve gone overboard.
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Keep reminding yourself that candy is always around and there is no reason to indulge.
Halloween candy does not have to be the end of a diet, but instead can be enjoyed along with everyone else. Temptations and cravings are two of the biggest offenders to throwing off a diet, so rather than fight them, it can help to compromise with them and allow a bit of extravagance during dieting. Practicing willpower, using moderation and making smart choices can go a long way in navigating the tempting treats often presented with during Halloween.