It is the end of October, and Halloween candy is everywhere. There are bowls of candy corn on every desk in the office, aisles of mini chocolate bars in every grocery store. Heck, even my dentist’s office had a bouquet of suckers in the waiting room. What’s up with that? And none of that includes the alcohol at the costume parties or the bag of candy your little pirate is going to bring home on the big night. So what’s a girl to do? The best thing to do is relax – and have a plan. For those of you who are thinking ahead, my three best Halloween weight loss tips are:
1. Keep the candy out of your house until the big day. That’s right, don’t buy bags of mini-whatevers days in advance. Wait until the big day, then buy a couple of bags of your least favorite treat.
2. Buy the stuff you don’t particularly like. If peanut butter cups are your weakness, don’t buy a bag of them. That’s just asking for trouble – and another trip to the store. Remember, trick or treat candy is to give away, not to indulge in. Buy candy you don’t even like, then you won’t mind parting with it once the doorbell starts ringing.
3. Indulge in something great. If peanut butter cups are the thing you love most in the world, for pete’s sake, have one. Just make sure you can stop at one. That means buy or borrow ONE of these goodies, and treat it like a treat. Don’t shame eat it over the sink or huddled down in the seat of your car. Express your love. Eat it with joy. Slowly. Happily. Indulgently. I promise, it will taste better than any peanut butter cup in the history of time.
But what do you do if you’ve already bought the candy. Heck, what do you do if you’ve already over-indulged. Maybe you have – a little. Okay, maybe a lot. That’s life in the real world.
Here’s the good news. Getting back on track is easier than you think. Just follow the five Halloween weight loss tips below, and you’ll be back to yourself in no time.
1. Get some perspective.
It was a candy bar not the end of the world. One over-indulgence does not make you a failure, so stop the all-or-nothing thinking. You know what I’m talking about – the “I already messed up, so I may as well eat the whole bag,” kind of thinking. Don’t do it. Not now, not ever. It doesn’t get you anywhere. Remember, we’re not DIEting here. We’re LIVING. Grab a pen and piece of paper and get clear on what you are feeling right now. Then ask yourself these questions: Did you over eat? Eat when you weren’t hungry? Eat out of stress or fatigue or any other emotional reason? Or did you treat yourself with something you really wanted in a reasonable amount? There is a difference, so be honest. (Hint – if you are feeling guilt, shame, humiliation, or frustration about this food choice, chances are this wasn’t a reasonable “treat.”) Finally, pretend you’re giving advice to your best friend, a beloved child, even your trusty dog, Barney. What would you say to them? I bet it’s more along the lines of “it’s okay” than “you are total a complete loser.” Take a breath and tell yourself “it’s okay,” then move on to the next steps.
2. Stay away from the scale.
I am not a fan of daily or even weekly weigh-ins any time, but when you know you’ve been eating less than optimally, the scale is not your friend. Getting on the scale is going to do nothing but make you feel worse about your choices – and feeling bad doesn’t ever help, does it?
3. Drink more water.
Everything gets jumbled up when you’ve over-indulged. You’re low on energy (especially after the sugar rush) and you’ve lost some of your connection with your body’s signals. Cravings change and it’s even hard to tell when you’re actually hungry. Water is the body’s natural reset button. Drink at least one 8 ounce glass of water before every meal in addition to your regular water consumption. Then take a minute and check in with your body’s natural signals. Are you hungry or were you simply thirsty and couldn’t tell? Use the FREE Body Connection Scale on our FREE Weight Loss Resources page to help reconnect.
4. Move your body.
Take a walk, ride your bike, play ball with your kids, or do some other body moving exercise that you enjoy. 10 minutes. 20 minutes. Shoot for an hour if you have the time and inclination. It doesn’t matter how long you spend, it just matters that you move your body and that you feel good doing it. Then, take a moment and congratulate yourself for striding forward.
5. Learn something.
The best thing about a slip-up (and our reaction to it) is that it teaches us something about ourselves. Figure out what this over-indulgence is saying to you. Is there a belief about yourself and/or about weight loss you haven’t dealt with yet? Was there a situation (stress, anger, fear) that you were responding to? Where you simply not paying attention to how you were feeling or what you were doing? Eating naturally means there are no good or bad foods. It just means that you are eating (and enjoying) food consciously – not in some sort of sugar-induced fog. So figure out what sparked the action and the guilt. Come up with three strategies for dealing with a similar event in the future.
The people who succeed in achieving their weight loss goals keep moving forward no matter what. They know that making a mistake and moving past it only makes them stronger and more capable in the long run. So appreciate the opportunity for growth and congratulate yourself for getting back on track – one step at a time. And use these Halloween weight loss tips for any holiday were food is a big part of celebrating.
How did you do with Halloween this year? Let us know in the comments below.