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How to Avoid Halloween Weight Gain

Updated on April 28, 2016
Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

In many ways, Halloween seems like the rehearsal for Christmas. It is a busy time of year, with a wide range of parties and activities available, especially for families (any parent who has had to corral three or more children, each with separate costumes, knows what a stressful time Halloween can be). It seems, too, like Halloween is the gateway to the festive season, with all the mingled stress and joy that this time of year can hold. One particular stress native to the festive season is the stress involved with overeating: sometimes it seems as if one "blowout" over Halloween can ruin your diet for Thanksgiving, Christmas and beyond. Here are some tips to help you avoid overdoing it this Halloween, with some very timely meditations on self-control and the value of treating yourself, too.

Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

Try Not to Tempt Yourself

Some of us find it hard enough to avoid eating candy during the rest of the year that it seems impossible to do so at Halloween, when sugary treats can be found everywhere. It is therefore important that you avoid temptation wherever you can: that way if and when you do treat yourself, the reward will be all the sweeter. If there is free candy available at your workplace or at other public places you frequent, carry a package of chewing gum in your purse or pocket so you can pop a piece in your mouth instead of consuming unnecessary calories: free candy is often cheap and unsatisfying.

If you have a tendency to snack on the candy that is intended for trick-or-treaters, consider stocking your trick-or-treat bowl with candy you don't really like: if you prefer chocolate, for instance, hand out Gummy Bears or sour candy. If that isn't an option, or if you just like candy too much, consider keeping a tray of healthy snacks, such as vegetables and low-fat dip, around the house to tempt yourself away from the candy. Distance yourself from tempting situations whenever you can, so that you will be able to treat yourself on your own terms.

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Stay Motivated

With weather turning cold and one of the busiest times of the year just around the corner, most of us can be forgiven for slacking off on our exercise programs just a little bit. However, if you continue exercising through Halloween, you can continue on into the festive season in a positive state of mind, with a boost to your metabolism and more energy to get through the day. You may be tempted to "give up" at this time of year: a couple of "pig out" sessions can convince you that losing weight or getting fit isn't possible. If this happens, remind yourself of how good you feel when you eat right and exercise. Pick yourself up and carry on: a couple of bad days aren't going to make a difference a year from now; however, exercising will. For instance, if you have a Halloween party to go to or are going trick-or-treating, try to fit in a gym session that morning. You will feel a lot better, and you will be avoiding weight gain the best you can.

Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

Don't Leave Candy Around the House

If you buy your Halloween candy too far ahead of time, you may be convinced to eat it. Don't tempt yourself! Buy your candy on the same day if you can. Likewise, if you have family who will bring home candy on Halloween, set a rule: any candy that is left over after everybody has eaten their favourites will be donated to charity or given away to neighbors. The trick is not to have candy lying around that will let you lull yourself into a pattern of mindless eating that may stretch on for weeks. If you do open a package of candy, eat one or two and then put the package away again. You can even keep track of how much you have eaten by using a diet app or by keeping the wrappers in a bowl. The trick is to be mindful.

Don't Be Afraid to Treat Yourself

Everybody overdoes things occasionally. The worst thing you can do if you do overeat on Halloween is to give up. The only way that you will keep the weight on is if you use a small setback to convince yourself that it is not worth it to stick to a diet. So treat yourself, within reason, for one day or a couple of days. Make sure that you keep exercising. After Halloween, get back on your diet. You may be pleasantly surprised: if you are vigilant about what you eat and if you exercise regularly, a couple of chocolate bars are not going to be the end of the world. Persistence and reward: these are the true secrets of weight loss.

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