Written by Natalie Weisfeld
Trick or treat! Word travels quickly if you are the house in the neighborhood handing out pretzels and apples on Halloween night, unless, of course, they are coated with a thick layer of caramel and chocolate. At Camp Shane, the idea of moderation is our main focus. Just because you are trying to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to skip on all of the treats. What it does mean though, is that you should always have healthy options on hand. You may not be the most popular person on the block but you will surely be making small strides against childhood obesity which is increasing at an alarming rate. Nearly one in three children are overweight or obese in the United States. This year Americans will spend close to $2 billion on Halloween candy which is equal to approximately 10 percent of the nation’s medical costs on obesity related diseases.
When trick or treaters ring your doorbell, what will you offer? This year try nutritious foods, fun non-food items, and items that encourage activity.
Be Calorie Conscious
Weight management is always a challenge but even more so during the holidays. The secret to success is calorie intake, which means choosing appropriate portions and remembering that extra bites add up. It takes only an additional 100 calories a day above what you need to lead to an extra ten pounds of weight gain in one year.
Purchase Halloween candy the day of to avoid temptation (and get good sale prices!). Buy less than you think you will need to avoid leftovers and purchase candies that you do not like. If you still have leftovers after the day is over place them out of sight. If you really have a hard time with temptation choose to pass out non-candy treats such as bouncy balls, spider rings, pencils, erasers, bubbles or stickers.
Eat Before You Trick or Treat
Serve a healthy family dinner before the fun begins, this way the kids will be less likely to eat candy along the way. After trick or treating, offer a cup of warm, low fat milk with just one treat to ensure that blood sugar is stable before bedtime. You may also want to write up a friendly contract between you and your children regarding when and how much candy all of you can eat.
Take a long walk around your neighborhood while trick or treating and enjoy all the decorations and costumes that kids have on. It’s exercise in disguise!
Practice Portion Control
After trick or treating, sort the candy, inspect it and then set boundaries on an amount to be eaten over a long period of time. You can easily reach 100 calories with just one or two snack size treats. Always choose fun size candy bars based on the least amount of fat and calories per serving. Better choices are 3 Musketeers, 100 Grand Bar, Butterfinger, Milky Way, Raisinets, Starburst and York Peppermint Patties. Lastly, always choose healthier dark chocolate versions. Since most candy has a long shelf life, put stash out of reach and limit candy to two pieces per day. Larger treats, such as full chocolate bars, can be cut into smaller pieces and frozen.
Always remember the Weight Loss Camp motto: Moderation not Restriction!
The Camp Shane Team
LEARN | LAUGH | LOSE
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