A Happy and Healthy Halloween
Here’s a horrifying fact. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey, American’s are expected to spend $2.6 billion dollars on Halloween candy this year. Yes, that’s billion with a B. What’s more, thanks to the excessive eating and drinking that has somehow been justified since it’s ‘holiday season,’ the average American gains between 1 and 4 pounds between October 31st and Jan 1st. I would even venture to say that number is higher for nurses because of the amount of candy they’re plied with under the guise of ‘thank you gifts.’ Nevertheless, these are all merely statistics. With the right mindset YOU can be the exception to the rule. Read on for tips and tricks for enjoying the spooky spirit of the holiday minus the guilt!
Stick to the Status Quo
Ask yourself, ‘How often do I have a candy on a random week in June?’ Is the answer 3 times? 5 times? 10 times? You know your norm, and try and stick to it, even though it is Halloween season and the candy is literally everywhere. But I get it. Like I said, the candy is eh-vuh-ree-where!! So, if you’re finding it hard to stick to the status quo, think about replacing indulgences rather than increasing them. For example, if you’d normally have dessert two nights a week, replace those desserts with part of your Halloween haul. And of course, it’s okay to indulge a bit on the actual holiday.
As an aside, don’t torture yourself if you mess up. It’s easy to admit defeat and then go on a 10-week binge fest till New Year’s rolls around. Rather get back on the horse and keep going. You can do this!
Food impulses are real and can be intense! But they tend to last for about 3 minutes before dissipating. In which case, before you grab that Kit-Kat, take 3 minutes to ‘talk’ to yourself. Do I really want it? Am I actually hungry? Can I save it for later? And be honest with yourself. Of course, you may end up eating the bar, but at least it wasn’t an impulse. It was thought out and eaten by choice. And hey, maybe the conversation with yourself will lead to one less treat eaten over the course of the day.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
This is by far the most practical bit of advice I can give you. Keep that candy completely out of sight so that it doesn’t taunt you with temptation. In short; when the candy comes in, don’t even spare it a second glance, simply place it in the break room where it’s destined for a short lifespan. Your coworkers may love you or hate you for this one, but hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do! And on the home front, feel free to let each kid choose a handful of goodies to keep and enjoy in the few days post Halloween, and then take all the rest of the leftovers and donate them. You’ll be teaching your kids a valuable lesson in charity and saving yourself hundreds of calories simultaneously. Win-win!
Hit the Gym
This seems rather self explanatory, and it is! Your body only needs a certain amount of energy to work at an optimal level. So if you’re going to consume more calories than necessary, you better hit the gym, girlfriend. As a nurse on your feet all day long, you’ve got an advantage here, since nursing shoes clock in waaaaaay more steps each day than the average pair of ballet flats. But even so, if you’re going to indulge more than the usual, try and fit in an extra workout when you can. It’ll make all the difference!
Bottom line is, you’ve got to be super conscious of what goes in your mouth this time of year. It may be ‘annoying’ but I promise you, you’ll thank yourself when New Year’s rolls around and you aren’t forced to jump on the ‘gym registration wagon.’ Happy Halloween, y’all!