by Jeni Tackett – Registered Dietitian, Trinity Medical Center
Are you scared of unwanted weight gain after Halloween indulgences? Don’t let Halloween candy, cookies, and caramel apples spook you. I have some tips to start the Holiday season out right (yes, Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner).
So, here are my six tips to surviving Halloween without gaining weight:
- Do not go trick-or-treating at work. The day after Halloween someone invariably brings leftover Halloween candy to work. This is the kind of sharing I don’t like. Avoid candy that is brought in to work after Halloween. Bring your lunch and healthy snacks to work (an apple is a yummy fall snack) so that you are not hungry and tempted to indulge.
- Do not be fooled by candy in small packages. 3 fun sized candy bars = 1 regular sized candy bar. For example, 3 fun size Milky Way Bars have 225 calories, and 3 fun sized M&M packets
have 270 calories. A regular sized candy bar is around 250 calories. Be aware of how many little candies you are eating and limit yourself to one favorite chocolaty treat.Do not be in denial about the calories in fun sized candy bars. Here are some favorites:
20 pieces of candy corn 100 calories
1 fun sized M&M packet 90 calories
Snickers fun sized bar 80 calories
Skittles fun sized 80 calories
2 Hershey’s kisses 50 calories
Starburst fun sized 40 calories
1 mini Reese’s peanut butter cup 33 calories
1 mini Tootsie roll 25 calories100 extra calories each day over a month = 1 pound of weight gain. Be aware of the extra bites you take in from Halloween candy. If you eat 100 calories of candy, you need to exercise more or cut back portion sizes at meals.
- Avoid baking. Fall begins the baking season. People hunker down and bake apple crisp, sugar cookies, and pumpkin bars. Do not make holiday baking a habit. Making a habit of baking is sabotage for you, your family, and your friends. If you really want to make a holiday dessert, make just one and cut the recipe in half.
- Eat healthy during the holiday season. Remember to start your day with a healthy breakfast (warm oatmeal is wonderful this time of year). Eat a healthy lunch (how about a bowl of homemade soup?) Have snacks such as fruits, vegetables, or low fat yogurt in your house, with you at work, or in the car so that you do not end up hungry and grab from the nearest candy dish. You can make tradeoffs as well. If you have indulged in a few chocolates at work or a dessert at a party, eat less pasta at dinner and bulk up on vegetables and fruit.
- Exercise through the holiday season. Do not put exercise off until January 1st. Fall hikes and walks are something the whole family can enjoy (if you have dogs, bring them too!) Make use of your gym membership this time of the year. Make an effort to exercise daily to help burn extra calories from holiday treats.
- Don’t let the candy over-stay its welcome. When Halloween is over and the kids have forgotten about their candy, throw it out! Kids usually forget about their candy in a week or two, but you may have a weak moment and go searching for their candy weeks after Halloween. Rather than sharing the candy with coworkers, toss the candy. Your coworkers probably don’t want the temptation either.
Halloween is a fun time of year for adults and children. With a little planning and thought you can get through the holiday season without gaining a single pound!
For other stories related to this subject, check out the following:
- Ghoulish goodies don’t have to come as a candy bar, spend time with the kids in the kitchen this weekend and whip up a batch of banana ghosts, frozen frog eggs or monstrous caramel apples of your own!
- Giving away food to remember the dead is an ancient pagan tradition that has evolved into what we know today as Trick or Treat. Read more about the history of Halloween Food.
- Want to know what you’re likely to find in your kids’ treat bags when they get home? Check out this list of the top 15 treats for 2011.
|Jeni Tackett is a registered dietitian at Trinity Medical Center and the Two Rivers YMCA. Jeni majored in Nutrition and Dietetics at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Caroline. She lives East Moline with her husband, Nathan and their two children, Noah and Lily and two dogs. Jack and Lola.For a listing of all of Jeni’s blog posts on MVHNews, click here.|