by CASSIE MCINTYRE
October is full of fun fall festivities. From fairs, to trips around New England, haunted hay rides and houses, to Halloween parties, fall is one of the most enjoyable times of the year. October is a busy month for some of us with all the activities to do around the state so it’s easy to get sidetracked from our healthy routine. Fair foods and Halloween candy can be the ultimate weakness for some of us so here are some tips to help you stay on track with your nutritional and fitness goals.
Avoid skipping meals. A big issue for some of us is trying to stay on top of our food intake during the Halloween season. From apple fritters to Butterfingers, October can really make or break your routine.
Meal prepping can play a major role in keeping you on the right path so you don’t fall into the “seasonal slump.” Planning and making meals ahead of time not only makes it easier to eat healthy but also saves you time on trying to figure out what you’re going to eat each day.
For days like Halloween, especially, I recommend opting for high fiber foods and drinking plenty of water. A full stomach will help you feel less tempted to eat any candy as the night goes on.
Buy candy at the last possible minute. For many, candy is the ultimate weakness so it can be difficult to not eat it when its sitting in your kitchen cabinets waiting for Halloween. When you don’t have candy and treats close by it can be easier for those of us with a sweet tooth to avoid the temptation. You can’t snack on those butterfingers if you don’t have them. Don’t worry about trying to find candy last second either. Many stores have plenty in stock so if you do end up buying it the day of you won’t miss out on having those treats to hand out later.
Don’t buy too much candy. Every year it seems like many of us go overboard on those three for $5 bag sales and end up with a lot of candy left over. Try and estimate how much candy you’ll need and want to hand out this year. Think back to how many kids came to your door last year. Will you need the extra bag? Do you think this will be enough? If you find you’re still ending up with extras every year hand out two to three pieces per child rather than one, that way you won’t have any leftovers.
For those of us who cannot help themselves with the candy temptation, buy candy you don’t like. If you love Butterfingers but don’t like Tootsie Pops, buy the tootsie pops. You’re less likely to snack on candy you dislike and won’t be tempted to eat any in between the trick-or-treaters arriving at your house. Also, if you buy yourself some healthy treats you’re less likely to binge on the sugar-filled ones. Look for Halloween themed treats like popcorn, pretzels, and even graham crackers. Some brands, such as Annie’s, carry Halloween themed treats that are filled with whole grains. It’s a much better option compared to the processed sugars.
Lastly, don’t skip your workout on Halloween. Start off your day with a simple 30-minute cardio session. You don’t have to do anything crazy maybe go for a walk or go to a yoga class. Maybe go for a jog or ask a friend if they’d like to go on a hike with you. Do something to wake up your body and start your day off right. At the end of the day, it’s okay if you indulge in some treats it’s not the end of the world. A few pieces of candy won’t break you. Just remember to eat sweets in moderation and stay safe this Halloween.
Cassie McIntyre is a NASM certified personal trainer, yoga instructor, and nutritional coach. She works at LA Fitness.