Halloween Treats: How Your
Diet Can Survive This Scary Holiday By Stephanie
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Halloween. A holiday that puts joy into the
hearts of children and terror into the hearts of dieters. Is it the result of
the tiny little costumes we are supposed to be wearing or the abundance of junk
food that infiltrates our lives? Perhaps a little of each. Also, it might be
that Halloween is the gateway holiday to dieting disaster. For many of us, it
begins with trick-or-treat, and finally ends with a New Year's Day hangover and
five extra pounds. Since avoiding sugary goodness for three months is virtually
impossible, how can you approach the weeks of mini candy bars, Halloween
parties, and alcohol-abounding punch? Here are some "tricks" that might
actually keep Halloween Horror in the movies, and off of your thighs.
Make wise choices.
We've already established that you will probably not
avoid all contact with candy this holiday, so know exactly what you are
choosing when you reach into that jack-o'-lantern. One mini candy bar has
around 80 calories in it, between 3 and 5 grams of fat, and is so small that
just one would not satisfy 99 percent of the population. Some wiser choices,
for around 50 calories, include:
- Two Hershey's
- Two Dum-Dum® lollipops
- Three Mini Tootsie
- One Nerds® mini box
- Ten pieces of candy corn
- Two small Laffy
- Two Jolly Ranchers®
- One Junior Mints® mini
- One Mike-n-Ike® mini
- One small York® Peppermint
realize that the difference between 50 to 80 calories seems rather negligible,
but as most of us might indulge in more than one serving over the holiday,
those calories can really add up.
Eat before attending a party.
This is an age-old dieting trick, but one that is
extremely effective. It is tempting to indulge in sweet treats when faced with
a table full of them. It is even worse when you haven't eaten since lunch and
your workout has left you completely depleted. Consuming a healthy meal, snack,
or even a meal replacement like
Shakeology® can keep hunger at bay and your hands off
the devil's food cake.
Choose a costume that shows off your
accomplishments. There is a belief that Halloween is
an excuse for women to dress inappropriately, and for men to show off their
muscles. And why not? This is in no way a suggestion that you attend an event
in a Speedo or bikini, but something a little sexy, in a safe environment, that
shows off all of your hours with P90X® can be the perfect
motivation to avoid overeating. Most of us respond better to short-term,
tangible goals, and wearing the Spider-Man costume without the built-in abs is
certainly attainable. So be a little daring one night, and save the costume for
Work out before attending an
event. Many studies have been done that conclude we
tend to eat less—and absorb less of the bad stuff when we do—after
a good workout. Also, the rush of endorphins tends to make us a bit happier,
which means we don't seek joy in Reese's Peanut Butter Cups®. A really
workout just before the big party might save you countless more to undo the
Avoid the punch bowl.
For some reason, there is always a bowl of
sherbet-stuffed punch around at Halloween. Perhaps it is the festive orange
color, or the fact it mixes nicely with vodka? Regardless, run in the opposite
direction. One serving can equal a couple hundred calories and send your blood
sugar levels through the roof. Always stick to beverages that you can determine
a calorie count for, and preferably, those that have few or no calories.
Try the "two-to-one" theory.
When out on the town, my friends and I used to employ
the strategy that for every alcoholic beverage we consumed, we had to follow it
up with two glasses of water. Why not try this for sugary snacks at parties?
For every mini candy bar you consume, follow it up with two veggies off of the
crudités tray. All of the fiber will help fill you up fast, and
following up a Milky Way with broccoli is really not so appealing. It could
help you eat less, or maybe just stick to the broccoli.
Host your own event.
If you simply can't say no to Halloween goodies at a
party, host your own and take control of what is on the table. Low-fat
brownies, cookies, and even cakes taste incredibly similar to the full-fat
version, but will leave less residual damage. Choose from the selection of
candies we suggested above, serve air-popped popcorn, and make a light punch
with diet sherbet that everyone will enjoy. And don't forget the fruit and
veggie platters. Also, taking the focus off food with a scary movie or some fun
games can often make the party much more enjoyable. After all, we stand around,
talk to people, and eat every day. Why not try to make your event a little bit
Get rid of the evidence.
For those of you who hate to waste, this might be a
difficult one. But, however you do it, get rid of ALL of the trick-or-treat
candy the following day. If you work in an office, set it out in the lunchroom.
If you work from home, anonymously mail it to your high school enemy. It is too
hard to say no to a bowl of Snickers® bars, especially after a rough day,
if they are sitting in a cabinet calling your name. Most of us will not get in
a car to go buy candy, but if it is there, we will eat it. Just get it out of
the house as quickly as you can.
Don't forget the parents.
When you're handing out treats on trick-or-treat
night, it's a great time to treat some of the parents in your neighborhood with
a packet of Shakeology or a
Peak Performance Protein Bar to give them the energy for a long night of
going door to door with their little goblins. Then, you can wish them a Happy
Halloween is only one night, so don't make it your gateway
to a gluttonous holiday season. Instead, use it as a motivator for looking
great! Holidays can be the very best time of the year, even on a diet and
fitness plan. Just remember how it will feel when, at that Christmas party,
everyone comments on how great you look. That will make any holiday seem a lot