Halloween. A holiday that puts joy into the hearts of children and terror into the hearts of dieters.
Remembering Halloween as a child was about trick or treating for hours going door-to-door to collect as much candy until my jack-o-lantern busted out. I could also remember stuffing my costume with candy because the jack-o-lantern was overfilling. Ahh, great memories!
Let’s fast forward to now. I’m a parent of two boys and a professional in the fitness industry- The Dilemma! How do I tell my children not to eat candies on Halloween when I did it myself!? I never encourage eating candy, nor do I ever have candy in the house. But this is Halloween and it’s not fair to rob them of a great part of their childhood.
Since avoiding sugary goodness is virtually impossible. 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 or your children 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:
* Hershey’s Kisses®Two Hershey’s Kisses®
* Two Dum-Dum® lollipops
* Three Mini Tootsie Rolls®
* One Nerds® mini box
* Ten pieces of candy corn
* Two small Laffy Taffys®
* Two Jolly Ranchers®
* One Junior Mints® mini box
* One Mike-n-Ike® mini box
* One small York® Peppermint Patty
We 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.
- Be selective. Offer your children to sort out by the quality of the candies or treats. Keep the good stuff and throw away the rest right away.
- Good behavior. Reward them for being good little monsters for obeying by the “Halloween rules” such as; walking on the sidewalk, looking both ways before crossing the street, being polite by saying “trick or treat” and thank you. Let them pick 1-2 treats and store the rest.
- 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.
- Happy Health-oween! When you’re handing out treats on that night, it’s a great time to treat some of the parents and children in your neighborhood with fruits, homemade candies or healthy bars to give them the energy for a long night of going door to door.
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 less frightening.
Vito Di Cosola – Strength & Conditioning Coach, Nutrition Advisor