Manic Monday - Trick or Treat? Don't be tricked into eating all of that candy!

What a TRICK candy plays on our minds at Halloween. It's everywhere this time of year. Whether you hand it out to the characters who ring your doorbell on October 31st, or you have kids who bring home mass amounts of this sugared stuff....you are exposed to it! I once read an article on the caloric consumption that occurs during holidays and special occasions. I remember reading that Halloween was a major caloric event for kids more than any other holiday. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the Super Bowl were the main events for major caloric consumption for adults. I don't know about you, but I agree with Halloween topping it for kids. Speaking for my kids, they like it ALL. That is, ALL types of candy. You name it, Nerds, Tootsie Rolls, Laffy Taffy, Smarties, Dots, Dum Dums, and MORE! Where as my husband and I can skip those pure sugar items as our adult palettes have graduated to the candy bars. I mean really, let's be honest.... the trick or treat bags come home and the first thing we hunt for is the mini Snickers or Twix. Oh wait, the Almond Joys! I don't think I have ever went on a quest for the Nerd boxes. But for some reason that tops my kids' lists. Okay, now the point I need to make is this: it's an event that can fill our fat store bank with a whole lot of extra calories we don't need! On average kids consume 3,190 EXTRA calories over the Halloween season! And adults, on average, consume an extra 1,710 calories (According to Daily Medical). I believe it. I believe it because I have seen my kids on the route....eating like they have never ate before! When we return home from an evening out, I scoop away their treat bags and settle them down for our tradition of popcorn, apples, and pumpkin seeds. I always have that transition in place. Because if I didn't, my kids WOULD reach that 1,710 calories!

But, what about us adults? We have access to whatever we want. From our candy handouts to our kids's treat bags. Oh, don't let me forget to add the temptation of buying those clearance Halloween fun size snicker bars the day after Halloween. Well adults, if you aren't a well disciplined person in this area, lets talk! Do you really want to add an extra half pound or more to your body? I guess I'm talking to the majority of adults who are aiming to lose weight. Not only will you gain that extra little weight but your taste buds have been exposed to a whole lot of sugar and it's weird but true, we want more of it the next day...especially if it's in the house or sitting out in plain sight at work. So, I have pulled up 3 awesome strategies that I, along with many of my clients, have used to bust through this Halloween with a victory!

Strategic option #1- TREAT yourself! This year, splurge on yourself by purchasing either a nice prepared veggie tray or fruit tray! Because it's prepared and nicely displayed (and a little more $), I will gladly snack on this produce! Pair it with a fun, low cal beverage like Bai 5, and you will be sure to satisfy your taste buds!

Strategic option #2- Don't buy candy to hand out! Kids get enough of this stuff! You can contribute to kids' health by offering small toys, pencils, gift certificates/ tokens, or fruit. One year all we handed out was mini gourds and pumpkins from our farm. The kids loved it!!

Strategic option #3- Establish boundaries that keep you accountable! In the past I set up a rule for myself: I can ONLY eat 3 mini Almond Joy bars. Instead of ripping open the small packages and swallowing these mini bars in one gulp, I make sure I relish in the moment by taking my time eating these once-a-year treat. I even freeze the leftover Almond Joys from my kids' bags and allow myself one mini bar a day. BUT, if you aren't ready mentally to try this in fear you might keep going beyond a small allowance, then find a rule that works for you. Write it out. Post it. Write down WHY you need to keep in check! (It's an accountability process)! Remember: NO ONE force feeds you. Only YOU have the control to choose what you put into your mouth!

So, cheer for the apples, the popcorn (low-cal), the veggies, the pumpkin seeds, and the hot teas! Celebrate autumn with health and enjoy the magnificent display of fall colors in the landscapes that God has created!

Happy fall y'all!

~ Rachel Zimmerman

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