You knew it was coming. It starts with the pumpkins, some hay bales, and then before you know it…it’s everywhere. Candy. Giant bags of candy every where you turn. And it’s all at irresistible prices. I mean, who can pass up a 5-pound bag of candy corn for only $1.50? The allure is overpowering. There’s no hiding from it: Halloween candy has arrived, and that’s just plain scary when it comes to our diet. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This year you can employ some tactics to put a stop to Halloween Candy Diet Disasters.
It’s calling you isn’t it? That candy you bought for the Trick-or-Treaters. You think ok, maybe just one, just to make sure it hasn’t spoiled or anything. And before you know it, you’ve eaten the entire bag. One way you can fight the candy beast is to hold off buying it. For once procrastination is actually recommended. If you delay buying the candy, the timeframe in which it can tempt you, and the likelihood you’ll succumb to said temptation, is greatly diminished.
If you just can’t resist the prices and feel the need to stock up for Halloween prior to the big night, buy candy you don’t like. If you’re a die-hard chocolate fan purchase lollipops, or if it’s tangy treats you tend to reach for, surround yourself with spicy cinnamon candy. You might still be tempted but it’ll be a lot easier to avoid if you really don’t love the taste.
A little prevention goes a long way. If you know you’re going to be bombarded with candy (or other Halloween treats) at a party or the office (or your home) prepare yourself. Don’t let yourself get starved. Be sure to fill your belly with healthy, satisfying food (like your Diet-to-Go meals) and you’ll be less likely to indulge. A full stomach is a more empowered stomach.
A moving target is harder to hit. Ok, that doesn’t exactly apply here, but what we mean is get out and move. Jump on your bike and see all the different Halloween decorations people have put up: some people go all out for this holiday. Go trick-or-treating with your kids or offer to take a friend’s kids: get out and walk around the neighborhood. You’ll burn some extra calories and you’ll put some distance between you and that candy bowl that’s been calling your name.
To avoid the mindless eating that tends to accompany Halloween candy, keep a diet journal to write down all of the foods you consume (and amounts) daily. Having to write down every morsel (and view it in black and white) tends to take the edge off your appetite. If the candies are at work, keep them out of reach and out of view. And if you do indulge, leave the wrappers out after consuming (evidence of how many you’ve eaten) and you’ll tend to eat fewer overall. Having a visual reminder of how much you’ve eaten keeps you honest and encourages you to consume less. In addition, more variety, in type of candy, color and flavor, equals more eating. When we are presented with more, we eat more, so limit the variety.
Allow yourself a little indulgence. Little being the operative word here. It’s ok to allow yourself a treat. Just be sure you can cut yourself off after one or two. If not, you might want to opt for hard candies or lollipops because they’re lower in calories and they last longer. Another little tip: try freezing your favorite bite-sized chocolate candy, it makes them last longer as they melt in your mouth.
Just remember if you do fall off the wagon, or maybe even fall off, get run over and dragged down the street by the wagon it’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up. We all make bad choices. The important thing is to forgive yourself and start anew immediately!
You are most likely bombarded daily with things other people would like for you to do. However, whether or not you say yes is up to you. You can always say no, or better, you can use the words I prefer. Preferring gives you not only choice, but control and mastery over events. Remember these two words when you start your program of behavioral improvement.
I prefer to sleep through the night and wake up refreshed.
I prefer to be healthy.
I prefer to be patient and loving.
I prefer to be prepared for my tests.
Exercising your preferences will make you a more assertive person and more highly regarded by everyone you meet. If you don’t make your own choices, others less interested in your welfare will make the choices for you. (p.63)
Caprio, F. and Berger, J. 1998. Healing Yourself with Self-Hypnosis. Paramus, N.J.: Prentice Hall Press.
After a heart attack, patients frequently talk about fear and depression. Initially they may feel fear; fear of being a “cardiac cripple”, fear of doing too much, fear of having another heart attack, fear of dying. Later patients often express feelings of helplessness and hopelessness as they grieve for their former lifestyle. Facing a crisis in your life is not easy. After acknowledging these emotions and taking time to verbalize them, the key to moving on is to focus on what you can do and not what you think you cannot do. Entering a cardiac rehabilitation program and starting an exercise program are excellent ways to begin to distance yourself from these negative feelings and to make positive changes in your lifestyle. Exercise will give you confidence in what you can do and improve your self-esteem and outlook on the future. (p.410-411)
Benson, H. and Stuart, E. 1992. The Wellness Book. New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster.
“Guided imagery makes use of all the elements of positive psychology and is a natural complement to your efforts to build upon your strengths, skills, and talents. When you use imagery rehearsal for confidence, you’re able to encourage and build upon what’s right with you and the golden nuggets that are your strengths. When you focus on your belief that you are powerful, you’ll banish negativity and find that you do have what it takes to turn your positive imagery into reality.” (p.150)
Rockefeller, K. 2007. Visualize Confidence. Oakland, C.A.: New Harbinger Publications.