Tips for a Healthy Halloween That Won’t Ruin Your Diet

By Heather Irwin, MS, RD, LDN

Halloween tends to be the start of the season of overindulging. First comes the candy, then it’s the turkey and pumpkin pie and, dare I say before you know it, the Christmas holiday season is upon us. Let’s take it one holiday at a time starting with Halloween. Here are a few tips to help stay on track.

Get your exercise in early

If there is ever a day to exercise in the morning, Halloween is it!  Start the day with an invigorating cardio workout of at least 45 minutes.  This will allow you a little wiggle room with some extra candy calories and put you in the right mindset to make healthy choices all day.

Keep your routine

Stick to your usual routine and do not be tempted to skip meals to “bank” your calories for candy.  When you are hungry, you have no willpower and will likely go overboard with the treats.

Non-candy treats

Consider buying non-candy goodies (stickers, pencils, etc) or healthy snacks like raisins. If you go the candy route, buy at the last minute so you won’t be tempted to dig in early. If you are a chocolate person, stick to gummy or tart candies that will be less tempting for you.

Make a plan

Have a strategy and plan your splurges in advance. Be specific, for example, allow yourself 2 fun-size bars.  If you have a plan, you are more likely to stick with it.

Purge the candy

When the excitement of trick or treating is over, purge the candy as much as possible and only keep your family’s favorites. Some parent’s “buy” their children’s candy back from them and either throw it away or donate it. Keep the remaining candy in the freezer or somewhere out of sight.

Once is not done

Always remember one day will not do you in, but mentally it may make you feel that you ruined your diet. To combat this, over the next few days after Halloween focus on incorporating meals full of vegetables and protein and whole grain carbohydrates, stay hydrated, and get back to your fitness routine.

Happy Halloween!!!

Heather Irwin, MS, RD, LDN
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