Halloween is the beginning of the sugary holiday food fest that is a large contributor to the typical 15-20 pound weight gain that occurs with most Americans by January 1st. To begin 2011’s holiday season on a healthier sugar free note, here are some habits to begin incorporating the month of October to avoid any weight gain.
Give up the white stuff: Individuals who have made the decision to cut out all white products will attest that it is easier to go cold turkey then to slowly wean themselves off sugary products. The initial 48-72 hours are the toughest due to the cravings, but over time, toxins that these products contain that build in the body will be eliminated from the body, and taste buds will be satisfied with less harmful foods naturally sweet foods.
Keep the fridge stocked with fruit: When a sweet craving arises, reach for an apple, a serving of grapes, or an orange. Your body will get fiber and the necessary vitamins and minerals to keep the body and brain satiated.
Don’t purchase any candy before Halloween: Shop for trick or treat candy the morning of Halloween; this will keep sugary concoctions out of the home and avoid any caving to temptation. Only purchase the amount needed for trick or treaters and donate any leftovers to your local food pantry.
Chew sugarless gum: Studies show that chewing sugarless gum can curb the craving for sugar. When the sugar urge strikes, try chewing a piece of Wrigley’s Extra Dessert gum. In flavors such as Strawberry Shortcake, Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Apple Pie, and Key Lime Pie this gum will offer the flavors of your favorite dessert without all the excess calories, sugar, and fat.
Stay moving: On a stress filled day, head out for a jog or walk instead of reaching for the typical diet coke or candy bar. These empty calorie foods will only fuel the stress within the body rather than alleviate it like exercise is proven to do.
Eat 5-6 small healthy meals each day: Not fueling the body every 3-4 hours with healthy foods will result in the body craving immediate energy. We allow ourselves to become this hungry, unfortunately we pick quick, nutrient deficient foods such as sugar filled treats or high fat foods. Eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins on a consistent basis will keep blood sugar in check and will avoid succumbing to irrational eating behaviors.
Making sensible choices throughout the holiday season will make a direct impact on overall health and well being and will play an important role in permanent, sustainable weight loss.