For those that are on a diet, Halloween can be the beginning of a multi-month nightmare with treats appearing everywhere during the holiday season. Not to mention that overeating seems to be an American holiday tradition. However, there are ways that you and and your family can stay healthy and avoid gaining weight during the holiday season.
"From the candy displays a month before Halloween (reminding you to buy 'just in case you run out') to the huge storehouse from your own kids' trick-or-treating loot, bite-sized candies are everywhere," wrote Darlene Endy for The Post-Standard . Endy is a registered dietitian in Manlius, NY. "At 50 to 100 calories each, it may seem harmless to indulge in several a day, but since candy is primarily sugar it doesn't fill you up like other foods, and can promote weight gain if you keep snacking on it."
>> Buy candy a day before Halloween. "This will keep you from sampling your treats in advance," said Endy.
>> Buy smaller containers for your trick-or-treaters to use, this way they won't bring home large bags full of candy
>> Offer toys, fruit or non-sugary treats as a healthy alternative to trick-or-treaters
>> Serve your trick-or-treaters a fulfilling meal before they go house to house, this way they won't be tempted to eat the candy before they get home, according to Time
While trick-or-treating encourages exercise by having the kids walk from house-to-house instead of being driven, according to Time.
Charles Stuart Platkin, journalist for the
News Sentinel figured in how many minutes of trick-or-treating it would take to burn off the calories eaten from certain popular Halloween candy.
>> Smarities - 25 calories per roll = 8.5 minutes
>> Snickers miniatures - 42.5 per piece = 14.5 minutes
>> Kit Kat snack size - 42 per piece = 14.5 minutes
>> Kisses milk chocolate - 25 per kiss = 8.5 minutes
>> Starburst original fruit chews - 20 per piece = 7 minutes
>> Strawberry Twizzlers twists - 30 per stick = 10 minutes
>> Dum Dums original pops - 20 per lollipop = 7 minutes
>>Reese's Peanut Butter Cup miniatures - 44 per piece = 15 minutes
After all the candy is collected, there is bound to be some that the children don't like.
>>Have the children divide the candy they really like into a separate pile, then put candy into snack baggies of 100 calories to control portions, according to
>>Donate the other candy to senior citizens homes, Ronald McDonald House, a children's hospital, food bank, or a U.S. Soldier, according to Time.
>> Freeze the candy that will work in Christmas treats and decorating, according to The Post-Standard article.
For more ways to avoid sweets, visit this Deseret News article.
Holiday parties seem to be centered around treats. Besides avoiding all social events here are some tips to keep friendships and a small waistline.
>> Don't go to a party hungry
>> If there's a buffet line, choose only the food that looks most appetizing to you - that way you don't feel forced to eat everything on your plate
>> Watch portions and limit loading on sauces and dips, which are typically high in calories
>> Exercise before the party tips according to United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
>> Don't stand by the food table
>> Offer to bring a healthy dish tips according to Active
"It's common for some to pack on five to 10 pounds of body fat onto their normal 'cut' athletic bodies during the holiday season, which can compromise performance at winter races and make for a slow return to peak form in the spring," according to Kim Mueller, wrote on Active. Muller is a registered sports nutritionist and competitive endurance athlete.
>> Instead of waiting to eat at big meal eat small little meals to help curb your appetite.
>> Slow the pace when eating meals. "It takes at least 20 minutes for our brains to signal that we're actually full, which means a slow eater will consume less calories before feeling full than someone who races through their meal," said Muller in her article.
>> Savor the first few bites. "When looking at brain chemicals signaling 'pleasure,' scientists have found that we receive less pleasure the more we eat of a food," she wrote. "So rather than feeling like you must eat a full serving of every desert at a holiday meal, take a bite or two and receive 90 percent of the pleasure at 10 percent of the calories."
Some popular holiday food are actually nutritious too. Below is Muller's list of nutritious holiday food in her Active article.
>> Chestnuts are actually one of the healthier nuts, that doesn't contain as much fat. It also contains fiber, vitamin C and folic acid, which reduces cardiovascular disease and helps the immune system.
>> Turkey is a great source of protein. White meat is known to be the most nutritious part, but the dark meat contains the most iron. Keep turkey nutritious by avoiding the outer skin.
>> Pumpkin provides iron and beta-carotene which converts to resistance-building vitamin A. Even canned pumpkin is healthy as it provides 15 times more beta-carotene than fresh pumpkin.
>> A sweet potato "provides over 100 percent of our daily needs for beta-carotene," according to the article. It also has a high amount of vitamin C and E.
>> Cranberries fight against cancer and heart disease. Adding it to sweet treats can reduce sugary content by 25 percent.