t's that time of year again where bags and bags of candy are gracing the aisles in the grocery store, tempting you to give in to their path - just this once. After all, Halloween only comes around once per year. But if you're serious about sticking with your health and fitness goals, you need to get serious about finding a way to move quickly past these temptations so they don't find you in their wake.
The fact of the matter is that those packages of candy seem so innocent since they appear oh-so-small, but in reality, most contain on average about 60-100 calories per packet. So if you eat 3 packets per day - two at work when you walk by the candy bowl and one later on in the evening while watching TV thinking that you're just having these mini servings each time, you are in fact adding up to 300 calories to your daily diet.
Do this over a six day period (3 days before Halloween and 3 days after - you do, after all, have to get rid of the left-overs) and you're easily looking at almost half a pound of fat gain. And this is assuming you're 'good'. Many people won't have just three of those mini packs. Maybe three in one sitting - but over the course of the day they'll easily down five to ten. Now when that's the situation at hand, you could be looking at a couple pounds of fat gained at the very least.
If you've spent any amount of time on a fat loss diet and workout plan, you should by now realize that two pounds of fat isn't exactly 'easy' to lose without effort. So in order to prevent yourself from having to suffer through post-Halloween dieting and added cardio sessions, it's time to look at what you can snack on to keep yourself on track.
While at the end of the day avoiding all Halloween candy is really your best option, many people simply will not do this. They want something to treat themselves with so then the best approach becomes looked at the healthiest alternatives. If you choose wisely and then make certain that you restrict your portion sizes to keep that element under control, you can walk away untouched by Halloween's wrath.
Here are the best options to consider.
First up on our list of healthiest Halloween choices that won't derail your diet are raisins. Since raisins are literally dried grapes, you're going to get plenty of nutritional benefits from these and they will contain all-natural forms of sugar.
On the downside though, they are more calorie dense than plain grapes so you're going to want to be sure that you are keeping the portion sizes you're eating under control. Eat too many raisins and you're definitely going to be looking at too high of a calorie intake. One box however won't do that much harm and if you're working out regularly, it will provide your muscles with a needed source of energy.
Peanuts (Non-Chocolate Covered)
Second on the list are peanuts. While chocolate covered peanuts would rank high on most people's favourite's list, if you want to maintain your diet, try and opt for plain instead. When eaten on their own peanuts are an excellent source of healthy fats and will provide a sustaining source of energy that keeps hunger at bay.
The nice thing about choosing peanuts over say the previous option of raisins is that while carbohydrates tend to spark your hunger and make you just want more, healthy fats will stop your hunger and allow you to feel satisfied on that smaller serving. While the single box of peanuts may have more calories than the box of raisins would, if you only eat one box of peanuts and instead would have had three boxes of raisins, it's going to definitely make a difference in the total calorie intake you consume and therefore, how easy it is to maintain your body weight.
Third, another smarter Halloween pick that isn't exactly considered 'healthy' per se, but is definitely a better option is Licorice. A small packet of licorice will typically only contain 70-80 calories, so it isn't as high as some of the other candy options such as Skittles or M&M's. As long as you can stop at just one serving of Licorice, this shouldn't do too much damage to your plan.
3 Musketeers Miniatures
If you do have a craving for chocolate that just won't quite, then it because choosing the best of the worst. Since chocolate is higher in both sugar and fat, it can't be considered a healthy option. Granted some forms of dark chocolate do offer antioxidant health benefits, but the typical Halloween treat doesn't exactly contain the type of chocolate that we're referring to.
If you must satisfy that craving though, go with a 3 Musketeers Miniatures bar. At only 24 calories, this will hardly make a dent in your diet - just don't use this as an excuse to eat ten of them. Of those 24 calories, it contains just a single gram of fat as well, so hardly rates high up in that regard either.
Eat one, enjoy it, and then be done with it. If you can do that, you won't see any fat gain because of this indulgence.
One of the top non-candy options that you can indulge in this coming Halloween if you're out and about at various Halloween parties and are grazing the snack table are pretzels. While these are essentially solid carbohydrates, they are low in fat and if you only have a couple don't provide all that many calories either.
The one thing that you do need to be slightly more aware of when it comes to pretzels is the fact that they do contain more added sodium so if that's something you're trying to cut out in your diet either for health reasons or to limit water retention, that may pose a bit of a problem for you.
Finally, the last and most preferable option to choose this Halloween is straight sugar-free gum. Since this option is virtually calorie free and will prevent you from stuffing other food into your mouth, it's actually a fantastic weapon to use to prevent indulgence.
There's no question that you'll be craving something sweet with all the candy sitting around so the quickest way to remedy that problem is to simply give in. With many different varieties of sweet-tasting gum available, keep a slice around you at all times to pop whenever you get the craving.
This is an excellent way to keep yourself from eating foods you shouldn't without having to feel too overly restricted.
So as Halloween draws closer and closer, keep these healthier alternatives in mind. Try and limit yourself to only indulging in any candy you do eat on the actual day of Halloween so you don't turn what was meant to be a one day holiday into a full weeklong event. You have Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner to worry about as well, so it's imperative that you learn to deal with these holidays while keeping your diet in tract. These techniques will help you.