Common Barriers to Healthy Eating #3: I ate all of the Halloween Candy [sigh].

Common Barriers to Healthy Eating #3: I ate all of the Halloween Candy [sigh].

I know.  It isn’t exactly Halloween night yet – but, you ate all the candy or most of it that should be for the trick-or-treaters.  Or, perhaps you did in fact have trick-or-treat night BUT you have a child… and you always teach children how to share (like, candy for instance).

I never understood what was so FUN about Fun-Size candies.  What is so fun about a candy that is smaller than the original?  It never turns out fun; in reality, it always turns out sucky.  You eat about 6 or 11 Fun-Size bars and then sit there in a bed of wrappers and realize you probably ate an equivalent of 3 original sized candy bars.  Fun?  No.

That does not look *fun*.

If you’re like me, you buy everything orange and black in sight.  The new orange Kit-Kats for Halloween?  Guilty of eating the bag – quickly.  I had to freeze half in order to stop eating them.  And I also shared them with my roommate.

So what do you do?  When a case of the binges or slightly falling off the wagon (I always literally image me in a prairie dress falling off the back of a wagon like on the Oregon Trail, into a cloud of dust and I am just crying on the dirt road), relax.  Thing is, you can easily pick yourself back up.

When binges happen, ask yourself why.  How often does it happen?  What do you feel like afterwards?  What is keeping you from stopping mid-way through the binge?

A binge can vary.  For some people, it is 2 Fun-size bars and for another, 33 and then some hot chocolate, pumpkin cheesecake, a hoagie, chips, booze, and let’s just throw in a taco just because that popped into my head (and binges can be random just like that).

An easy way to pick yourself up and get back into the positive mindset are to do a few things:

  1. Drink water – simply focus on moving forward and staying hydrated
  2. Fiber – Get back on track by making your next meal or snack full of fiber (whole grain, fruits, veggies, or fibrous cereals) to somewhat “clean” your system out and start over.  It will also help with those nagging feelings of low blood sugar after a huge day of sugar rushing and carb ingestion.
  3. Protein — Keep focused on the goal of healthy eating.  Add some lean proteins to your next meal/day (grilled chicken, tuna, turkey, beans, lentils, etc.) .  Don’t let one slip ruin your whole day, week, or entire healthy lifestyle goals.
  4. Exercise – get out and play!  Go for a run, walk, ride a bike, hit the gym to start burning off the calories.  If you drank some booze, it will help sweat out those toxins.
  5. Do something fun – get your mind off the binge.  There is nothing else you can do at this point but move forward.  The binge is over.  Grab some friends, your spouse, or kids and focus on something fun like a game, movie, shopping, or whatever else you like to do.

Thing is, calories are not free and of course they all count – so, the next time you get the urge to splurge, keep that in mind.  But also, recognize that it isn’t about what you eat in a matter of minutes or hours, but what you eat over the course of a few days.  Over time, if calories coming in are more than what you need, you will gain weight.  If you ate a bit too much one day, but recovered well with less calories the next day, you will most likely do yourself well and stay within your goals.

To me, diet is about the 80/20 rule.  Eighty percent of the time, do what you should and the other 20%, be human and enjoy the things you like.

Happy Halloween.