How to Avoid the Perils of Halloween Candy
October is a great month to get out and exercise, but there is no doubt that Halloween can totally throw off your weight loss and exercise routine IF you let it. Consider these (very spooky) statistics:
Americans spend over $2 billion (yes that’s billion with a B!) dollars annually on Halloween candy.
Americans purchase over 600 million pounds of candy, which is equivalent to the weight of almost 6 Titanic ships!
The average person will consume nearly a pound and a quarter of candy during Halloween, equaling roughly 33 fun sized candy bars or around 5000 calories.
Most of us have no choice but to participate in the annual Halloween ritual; even if we don’t have children to take trick or treating, we still have parties to go to and candy to buy for all the trick or treaters in the neighborhood. And if we’re not careful, having all this candy on hand can throw our eating strategies totally out of whack.
The good news is that with some determination and deliberate steps, we can keep Halloween from turning us into pumpkin-shaped figures. Here are ten ways to avoid the perils of Halloween candy:
Get Leverage on Yourself
Before the big day approaches, it is important to decide that this holiday is not going to destroy your momentum and hinder you from your
weight loss goals. The best way to cement this decision into your subconscious is to get lots of leverage on yourself. In other words, associate lots of pain to eating Halloween candy and lots of pleasure to avoiding it. Start by making a list of all the things this candy will cost you, and all you will gain by avoiding it. Stack up the negatives of eating lots of candy — even exaggerate them if you want to – whatever it takes to give yourself the motivation you need to stay out of the candy bowl this Halloween. Then visualize yourself making the right choices and succeeding in not letting Halloween destroy your diet.
Many people are afraid to share their weight loss goals with family and friends for fear of failure. But sometimes just the fact that you don’t want to let someone else down is motivation enough to get you through a few difficult hours. Tell somebody – actually, tell as many people as you’re comfortable telling – about your goals for cultivating a new you and the program you are on at MRC. Ask them to help you stay away from the candy. You may be surprised how helpful and supportive your family and friends can be.
Procrastinate on Buying your Halloween Candy
In most areas of life, we are told not to procrastinate. Halloween is one of those few areas when it is good to break that rule. Sure, you may get a better deal if you buy your candy in advance, but if you know full well that the temptation to dip into it will be near impossible to resist, then there is no money in the world that can make it worthwhile. The best strategy is to wait until the day of (or maybe the day before) to buy your candy. This will give you far less opportunity to give into temptation.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Along these same lines, if you do happen to buy your candy in advance, stash it somewhere where it won’t be visible until you break it out on Halloween night. Also, during the week at work, find a way to avoid the candy bowl near your desk. And if it is too close for you to avoid, see #5.
Buy Candy you Don’t Like
This applies to both home and office. If there is a candy dish close to your desk at the office, offer to fill it with candy you don’t like. At home, buy only candy you don’t like (and won’t be tempted by) to hand out to the kids that come to your door.
Consider Fun Alternatives to Hand Out Instead of Candy
There’s no law that says you have to hand out candy on Halloween. There are lots of fun alternatives you can find at your local dollar store or even make yourself. If creativity is your thing, this may be just the solution you’re looking for to keep the candy out of your house completely.
Empty your Candy Bowl
Whatever you decide to give out (and especially if it is candy), make sure to get rid of it all. Even if you have several pieces left when that last trick or treater comes around, make their day by giving it all away. You will thank yourself the next day that you did the right thing.
Stay Full and Keep Hydrated
When you go out to your parties, the rule of thumb is to make sure you have already eaten (something healthy of course!) and drink plenty of water. Studies suggest that roughly half the time we feel hungry, it is just thirst and water would satisfy it. Shoot for drinking about half your weight in ounces of water daily if possible.
Be the Social Butterfly you Know you Are
One of the best ways to stay away from the food at parties is to socialize. The more people you talk to and mingle with, the less you will think about food. At the end of the night, you will feel more connected with your friends at the party, and you’ll feel good about yourself for avoiding the junk food and sticking to your diet.
When you are socializing with those at the party, it is helpful to have something healthy to drink in hand to keep your mind off of other (not so good) drinks and foods. One of our protein drinks is an excellent choice. A warm mug of MRC Creamy Hot Cocoa with a dusting of Pumpkin Pie Spice would be perfect.
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