Happy Halloween week! Hopefully your pumpkins are carved, treats are bought, and you have your best Richard Simmons costume ready to go.
Halloween week is a fun week with all of the decorations, kiddos running around in their costumes, and the seemingly never-ending candy bowls. Although delicious, the extra treats can be detrimental to your waistline and nutrition plan.
I have learned I cannot keep any form of candy at my desk or at my apartment. As much as I tell myself “oh, I’ll just have a piece here and there”, it’s never the case. One leads to two, which leads to 75, or so it seems. I have adopted an “out of sight, out of mind” policy and know this is what works for me. What do you do when your work, friends, or family have treats set out to tempt you?
As I mentioned previously, one idea is to remove the treats so the temptation is not there. Clear out your cubicle, desk drawers, kitchen cabinets, and anywhere that you know the treats are hiding. If you are in a communal office, it may not be the best decision to hide the candy bowl from your coworkers (no Freddy Krueger freak outs), but, you may be able to move it to a more discrete place.
Another option is to ‘arm’ yourself with healthy snacks for when temptation strikes. If you know times of the day you start to think about grabbing for something sweet, you can make a plan to overcome the sugar trap. A piece of fruit, cheese stick, handful of almonds, or cut-up veggies with hummus are options that are easy to prepare, easy to grab, and a fast/nutritious option for when temptations strike.
Drinking water or a low-calorie drink (something other than diet soda, preferably) is another idea to keep cravings at bay. Sipping on water throughout the day, or your favorite tea or light juice (watch the sugars!), will help keep you alert and may help to ward off the draw of the sweet stuff. I find a lot of times when I’m “hungry” I’m actually thirsty and need to be drinking more water. My cravings disappear and I keep on my health plan.
Last but not least, if you absolutely MUST have a treat, opt for something you’re really craving and stick with the fun-sized portion. Sometimes it’s better to get the craving “out of your system” by indulging, but make sure you tell yourself you are allowing yourself this treat and then it’s back to the grind. If you do find you overdid it, add a few minutes to your exercise regime for the day or a little more intensity. It’s all about balance!
A healthy lifestyle is not about depriving yourself and making foods “off limits”, but rather recognizing your triggers, learning to make choices, and arming yourself with a plan to combat temptations and remain on a path that gets you to your goals. Incorporating a plan for healthy choices and an exercise program will keep you on the ‘straight and narrow’ and helps keep you in control.
Until next week!