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7 Tips to Avoid Halloween Weight Gain


For those of us who are watching our weight, Halloween can be a scary experience! Although the dreaded holiday weight gain is usually associated with the month of December, pumpkin season is really where the pounds start to pile on. A study published in the Nutrition Review in December of 2000, showed that while the average American gains only a pound or two during the end-year holidays, those with weight problems often gain five to ten pounds.

Although a few pieces of Halloween candy won't derail your weight loss program, the temptation to get carried away can really pack on the pounds. The following tips will help you stick to your healthy weight loss plan without taking all the fun out of the holiday.

1) Don't buy candy until Halloween day. Having an unlimited supply of lollypops, candy corn, and tootsie rolls only entices you to have some early. If you must buy the candy before Halloween, select the kinds you don't like in order to reduce the temptation to dig in.

2) Purchase the treats with the lowest amount of calories. There are plenty of "snack size", "treat size", and "fun size" options available that will save you, your children, and the neighborhood trick-or-treaters a ton of calories.

3) Set a deadline by which all holiday candy will be thrown away. Your best bet would be to toss the junk out the following morning, bring it to work, or give it to someone who can distribute it elsewhere.

4) Maintain control by giving yourself permission beforehand to enjoy some "goodies." Halloween is a bad day to test your will power and discipline. Trying to stay away from the candy and failing is worse than allowing yourself some pre-planned leeway as "giving in" is associated with feelings of weakness and guilt that can drive you to emotionally eat for days on end. Make a deal with yourself that you will not have any desserts 3 days before Halloween. This will give you some breathing room come October 31st.

5) In order to counteract the extra calories that will be consumed, try to increase your physical activity that day. Autumn is famous for its outdoor activities like haunted tours, public tent markets, bon fires, and hayrides. You could take a long walk in a wooded park with your friends and pets, make sure you hit the gym that morning, or simply trick-or-treat with your children.

6) Control blood sugar spikes and insulin surges by eating a high-fiber fruit such as an apple, or some form of protein like an ounce of low-fat cheese before you decide to have some candy or dessert. This is especially helpful for diabetics.

7) Your goal during this holiday season should be weight maintenance rather than weight loss. If you can accomplish that, consider it a huge success!

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