What’s Scarier – Halloween Costumes or Leftover Candy?

Happy Halloween!  Today marks the unofficial beginning of the Holiday eating season.  If you’re like me, fighting the temptation to splurge daily on Snickers, brownies, kugel, and cupcakes from Halloween to New Year’s Day is difficult.

Halloween fright is meant for the haunted houses – not your diet.  So, don’t be spooked by candy temptation and the possibility of childhood obesity.  Here are a few tips to pick healthier snacks, cut your cravings for sweets and bounce back from a binge while maintaining weight management.

  • Enjoy Halloween like a child. Remember when you were a kid and you’d rush home to sort your Halloween loot?  Some things never change.  Help your children sort their candy stash into “Love It” and “Yuck” piles.  Keep the “Love It” pile and set a goal of only a few pieces eaten each day.  This will help your children learn self-control and help you practice discipline before the Holiday season smorgasbords begin.  Not sure what to do with the “Yuck” pile?  Glue leftover candy to a wooden picture frame to make a great Halloween keepsake.  Or, use your unwanted candy to create cool science experiments.   And, if you still have too many Reece’s, Hershey Bars and M&M’s left in your “Love It” pile, lead by example and teach your children the importance of giving.  Donate your stash to local charities (Ronald McDonald House Charities, nursing homes, food pantries, children’s hospitals, veterans’ homes, women’s shelters or Any Soldier – a local organization located in Waldorf, MD, that sends candy to our military forces throughout the year) that accept candy donations. You’ll feel great and you’ll sweeten someone else’s day too while maintaining your kids’ health!
  • Take the three-minute test. About to tear into a Kit Kat? A study in the journal, Appetite, found that the mood-enhancing properties of sweets last only 90 seconds – three minutes. Before you rip open that wrapper, ask yourself if the indulgence is really worth it.
  • Did you know that Trick-or-Treating is a great workout? It is! Walking the kids door-to-door is a fun calorie burner and helps maintain weight management.  Let’s face it.  You ARE going to eat some of your kids’ Halloween candy.  So, don’t drive your children throughout the neighborhood.  Work off calories as you indulge from their Trick-or-Treat bags by enjoying a leisurely stroll.
  • In a candy coma? Give yourself a clean slate. If, despite your best efforts, you still wake up in with a candy-triggered Halloween hangover, don’t beat yourself up over it. Have a filling breakfast with fiber and protein to help steady your blood sugar. Then, hit the gym for athletic training or go to your personal trainer for your usual workout. Don’t use exercise as a punishment, but rather as a way to recharge your energy levels and confidence after a not-the-best eating day.

Halloween is the most fun holiday and one of my favorite days of the whole year.  Enjoy Trick-or-Treating and don’t forget to bring healthy snacks from home so you can avoid temptation at the office candy bowl tomorrow!

Looking for a fun, calorie-burning activity for the whole family?  Join Fitness for Health the last Friday night of the month (except 11/24 due to the Thanksgiving holiday) from 7pm – 9pm for Open Gym  – where YOU rule the gym! Pretend you are on your own impossible mission and try to navigate our laser maze without breaking a laser beam! Chase lights and make them disappear on our Light Floor and Wall! Climb a rock wall! Jump to your heart’s content on our 30′ long trampoline and so much more!