Are you ready for Halloween? Do you have a survival plan? If you have kids you might be planning well in advance for Halloween with costumes, decorations, parties, candy. If you don’t have kids then you may be planning to buy candy for the neighborhood kids and decorate your home. Maybe you are planning to create a costume of your own for a party.
Whatever your plan is I bet it's not the kind of plan I am talking about. I am not talking what your are going to wear, but what are going to eat!
Did you know that on Halloween the average kid goes to 15 houses and collects 60 pieces of candy which adds up to 3 cups of sugar, 1 1/2 cups of fat and 4800 calories. Shocking I know. How much of that do you consume?
For myself, I realized I have two average kids who will be trick-or-treating. That means about 120 pieces of candy will be coming into my home! The biggest problem isn’t the kids eating the sugar. They eat their fill (hopefully without getting sick this year) and save it until I eventually find it and throw it out. The biggest problem is I HAVE ACCESS TO ALL OF THAT SUGAR! Now the question is do I also have access to willpower?
I don’t need a sugar hangover. But I don’t want to deprive myself either. In a way it would feel like missing Halloween if I didn’t eat any candy. Halloween is my favorite holiday :-(. What to do?
Maybe you have a strategy of your own to avoid the sugar overload. Here are the strategies I use:
Never go hungry on Halloween. This is because when you are hungry (when your blood sugar is low), you have no willpower and you need willpower to follow through on the other strategies. I always keep my Juice Plus Complete shakes and bars on hand and use them to keep my blood sugar stable.
Decide what to do ahead of time. I will not deprive myself because I know that will backfire. (This candy will be around for a long time. If deprive myself now, in a weak moment, I will feel sorry for myself and sneak a piece or two or three.) So, I will have one piece. I don’t know about you but I have my favorites. In fact only one really when I think about it. I recall that I have tasted every piece of Halloween candy in existence at some point in my life and most are mediocre at best. The only one that I really enjoy when I eat it is Almond Joy. (Peanut butter cups come is a close second but if you really pay attention when you eat them you will notice they are much too salty).
Follow guidelines not rules. If you are too rigid about your rules then you might fall prey to the "What the Hell" effect when you break the rules. This effect is well documented in the psychological literature and goes something like this: "Well, I just blew it! What the hell, I might as well go all out and eat the whole bag." Sound familiar?
Ask for what you want. I am very up front with my request. After all of the candy sorting has taken place I ask nicely for the one piece I want. The girls are very generous. (This keeps me from stealing.)
Relish your treat by eating it slowly and mindfully. I wait until I am no longer distracted by the variety and flurry of the evening. Things are quiet and I have my cinnamon tea to wash down the sticky sweet and help balance my blood sugar. I set my timer for a full 15 min to enjoy my treat. I take a small bite and smell the coconutty chocolate as the chocolate melts into my mouth. Then the next bite I chew on the coconut as the moist oils melt into my mouth. The crunch of the toasted almonds. The sensations are intense. I could go on…
Acknowledge your satisfaction. Once I am complete I notice how satisfied I am and I say to myself, "Done that, been there. I don’t need any more. I am complete with Halloween. What a wonderful experience Halloween experience it was."
Look away. The kids hide their candy and “out of sight, out of mind” I say. (Until the empty wrappers all over their room start to annoy me and I find the old stale stuff and throw it out!)
Hope you have a good plan for enjoying your Halloween without feeling deprived or sick from the sugar overload.