We’re beginning the last quarter of the year which has the most occasions for food temptations. In October, we start off with the candy fest on Halloween.
Halloween is known for being one of the unhealthiest times of the year. It is all about the candy! But you do not need to worry because LaKisha is telling you how to stay healthy in 5 simple steps. We are not kidding!
I LOVE sweets! I remember mindlessly eating candy and sweet treats without regard to nutrition or its effects on my goals. So what’s changed? I’ve found five ways to stay healthy during Halloween.
Before I started my journey in April 2015, you couldn’t tell me anything about eating sweets. I loved them. I wanted them. I would have them! I ate them whether I was hungry or not. Halloween would give me the opportunity to overindulge.
My kids would always get the GOOD candy during the festivals. I would help myself to their stash, while sparingly giving them a few pieces at a time. LOL
Now I ask myself the following questions before indulging: Am I starving? Do I have the self-control to only eat one suggested portion/serving size? How will this affect my healthy living goals?
This usually helps me to curb my choice to indulge in the sweets. If not, I engage in some activity that involves one of my favorite hobbies (i.e. cross stitch, reading, etc.). By focusing on something else, sometimes the craving/temptation passes.
I know that this is a personal decision. I can only share my experience. I never wanted to track my meals. I thought it was too much work. I never wanted to be held hostage to tracking my meals for the rest of my life.
But God has a sense of humor. When He tells you to do something, He knows WHY you need to do it. For me, tracking has given me freedom with my food choices.
I track everything I eat via My Fitness Pal. Before eating, I review the nutrition of the candy/sweet treat and its effects on my daily goals. I never knew the nutrition of most food, especially candy/sweet treats. I would eat the entire bag of candy thinking it was one serving size.
When I found out that many of these packages were multiple servings, I was able to make better decisions because I am better informed. Although I still struggle with emotional eating at times, I’m stronger.
Find Healthy Sweet Treat Substitutes
If I’m still struggling with my temptations, I try to find a healthy sweet treat substitute. I know you’re thinking, healthy sweet treat sounds like an oxymoron. LOL But I promise you, this has satisfied my sweet treat cravings sometimes.
I try to have my favorite fruit on hand to help satisfy my sweet cravings. Bananas, Gala apples, grapes, and oranges have hit the spot. I still track these snacks to stay on target for my daily nutrition goals.
If the fruit doesn’t do the trick, then I do a little more work. I love to bake, and I love Google and Pinterest. If you do enough research, you will find some great healthy sweet treat recipes. Be open-minded.
Some of the recipes may not seem enjoyable at first. You may have to do a lot of trial and error to tweak the recipes to your palate. But I’ve found two recipes that help me satisfy my chocolate cravings.
I’ve made Healthy Mocha Brownies and Healthy Chocolate Oatmeal Muffins. Don’t be spooked by the secret ingredient in the brownies. They are GOOD!
My kids never knew about the part until I told them! LOL, I eat one brownie or muffin and then I’m usually good. Because I’ve made a large batch, I can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for later.
Hide the Candy
If none of the above steps are working, then maybe you need to hide the stash. LOL! Last Halloween, my kids got a HUGE stash of candy. They had all of my favorites; all types of chocolate candy, Smarties, Starburst, taffy and more. I tried the steps above but found myself still indulging. So I hid the stash.
The goal was to hide it from the kids so they wouldn’t sneak more candy. But I mistakenly hid it from myself! LOL, My children kept asking for the candy, and I didn’t know where it was. I think I found the candy a month later!
LOL But by hiding it, I couldn’t indulge. Or get someone else in your household to hide it. This way the kids get their treats, and it’s out of sight and out of mind for you.
After 17 months on this journey, I’m still using trial and error to find balance in adopting a healthy lifestyle. God is healing me from the inside-out so that I can have a lasting change. I know that by only focusing on deprivation and extreme restrictions (i.e., NO candy), it only makes me want/crave it more.
So if I choose to indulge, I do it without the guilt and condemnation. I just pray for wisdom on how to make better choices next time.
I don’t allow myself to go into a downward spiral where I totally abandon my goals and plans. I know if I go there, it’s hard to come out. By remembering that this is a journey and lifestyle change, helps me to remain committed.
For me, a balanced, healthy lifestyle has ups and downs. But with God’s grace and mercy, He can help me to turn those “down” times into lessons learned.
Be encouraged on this journey! You can overcome these temptations. Remember it is one day at a time!
Check out my latest weight loss update here.