Hacks For A Happy And Healthy Halloween
It’s time for a game of Halloween multiple choice!
Which one scares you the most:
A. The bowl of candy on Halloween night
B. The bags of candy in the breakroom the morning after
C. The aisle of post-Halloween candy (discounted 50% or more)
D. All of the above
Did you choose D? We did too!
Have no fear.
We can help you enjoy all the tricks and treats without frightening your waistline!
Recognize the sweet temptation
For many, Halloween is the start of holiday over-indulging.
So it’s important to be mindful of the temptations that may be hiding in plain sight:
You may notice an abundance of sweets magically appear at work or at school. Many people will use the scariest night of the year as an excuse to indulge in candy, cookies, cakes, salty snacks dipped in chocolate and ice cream.
But sweets aren’t limited to candy and cookies. Some of us are more likely to consume alcohol or sugary beverages, like apple cider or mixed drinks, as part of the celebration.
Just remember, these simple carbs can cause your blood sugar level to spike. While you may feel a burst of energy, you’ll crash and crave more. Do your best to sample the sweets or sip your drink. Be sure to set a limit for yourself and indulge mindfully so you really taste and savor each sweet treat.
Indulge but practice restraint
What do you do when you’re surrounded by ALL the candy?
Indulge but practice restraint.
One piece of candy or glass of witch’s brew won't break the calorie bank—but an entire bag or pitcher might!
That being said, don’t demonize (pun intended) candy and other fright night treats. Depriving yourself not only creates a poor relationship with food but it may lead to overeating that same food later.
Eat well during the day
Heading to a costume or neighborhood party?
The trick is to eat well during the day and grab a snack or light meal before heading out for the night. When you fill-up on foods that are high in fiber or protein, you’ll reduce your hunger, help keep the cravings at bay, and not be tempted to overindulge. (Don’t forget to consult your GenoPalate personalized food list!)
As part of your preparation for the evening, think through your limits and remind yourself of the foods, sweets or drinks you have difficulty resisting.
Let’s say you can’t ignore the classic chocolate and peanut butter candy combination. Notice what happens if you give yourself full permission to indulge and savor a piece. That simple action might take the power away from that food. When you encounter it again, you’ll be able to tune into your body and ask yourself if you really want it. After practicing this a few times, you'll be surprised at how much more control you feel and how much more you enjoy the occasional indulgence.
You can also bring fruit and vegetable-based dishes that play on Halloween themes like fruit kabobs and veggie monsters. A simple Google search for “Healthy Halloween” brings up a bunch of fun and healthy things to bring!
Encourage others to bring healthy treats. There is strength, and solidarity, in numbers. In fact, a study by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that people tend to conform to eating norms in social settings.
The other guests might even be relieved and grateful that you have taken the lead in incorporating healthier options into the festivities!
Don't invite guilt to the party
It’s okay to participate in celebrations and enjoy sweet treats.
The next time you indulge, try stopping at the point of diminishing returns. This is the exact moment when food, sweets or cocktails don’t taste as good as the first bite or sip.
Here’s how to practice it: Take a bite and savor how good it tastes. Then take another. Does it taste just as good? By the third bite, it might not taste as good as the first bite. That's the point of diminishing returns and it's your signal to stop eating. (Be sure to eat mindfully or you’ll miss it!)
The reality of healthful eating
Part of taking control of your health and wellness means eating a well-balanced variety of healthful foods while also allowing for treats when you're craving them.
But in order for that plan to have lasting power, it has to take into account the occasional indulgence or craving.
When you feed your body the foods and nutrients it needs to thrive, it can withstand and support you through the occasional indulgence and protect your long-term health.
Not sure which foods are the right match for your body? Click here to take a look at a sample nutrition report and personalized food list.