Halloween. Whether you celebrate it or not, the fact remains that at this time of year, there's an influx of sugary treats being pushed in our faces (and consequently, often in our mouths).
Let's get a little perspective on our treats.
It takes approximately 6 minutes of burpees to burn off one mini Snickers bar.
It takes approximately 4 minutes of jump switch lunges to burn off one mini pack of Twizzlers.
It takes approximately 5 minutes of doing push-ups to burn off one roll of Rockets.
That's a lot of sweat for a little sweet.
However, sometimes, it's worth it. That's right: we're saying diving head first into the Halloween candy crazy can be worth it. Moreover, we're saying it can be harmless.
We know. It's shocking, especially because most health and fitness gurus are going to be telling you how to not eat candy this Hallow's eve. You're going to be terrified into not enjoying your fave sweet treats because it'll undo your hard work. Set you back big time. You'll be made to feel guilty. Ashamed of yourself. You’ll feel like the real horror of Halloween will be stepping on the scale the next day.
None of that's true, so relax.
One evening of overindulgence will not undo months of eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. Now, if you start digging into the boxes of mini chocolate bars and little bags of chips as soon as they appear at your grocery store in early October, Halloween can mean a month of loses on all your hard won gains but if you confine your partaking to an evening or even a day, you won’t backtrack.
Say it with us: You WON’T backtrack.
But you won’t get ahead, either.
No Backtrack, Just Bloating
Stuffing your face with Halloween treats will likely make you feel a little bloated the next day or so. Since sugar is a carb and excessive consumption of any carb can cause fluid retention thanks of a higher insulin level that causes your kidneys to hold water. This phenomenon is also called false fat, and will go away if you return to your healthy eating.
If you don’t, however, overtime you’re at a risk of developing serious chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Like we said, one night of over-indulgence isn’t going to show up in permanent fat gain or muscle loss (studies show treating yourself now and then can actually encourage fat loss).
Still, for some people, it may be best to pass on the Halloween binge-fest. Physically it may not make a difference — you’d need to be in a 3,000 calorie surplus to even gain one pound and eating that much candy would, for most of us, require a significant effort — but if you are just starting to try to eat healthier after years of poor diet habits, indulging on a holiday that gives carte blanche for pigging out may not be the best idea for your mental state. Sometimes we have to push to get over that initial hump of entering into a new lifestyle, and you don’t want to engage in any activity that could cause you to revert back.
Tips for a Healthier Halloween
Of course, there is an in between. It’s not an all or nothing situation. You can eat as much or little as you’d like. We’re simply trying to shake off that fear factor and help you see that you don’t need to dread the approach of this holiday.
If you want to treat yourself, but also have peace of mind that you tried to make some healthy choices too, then read on. Here are a few great tips to make your Halloween healthier.
1. Buy the Treats Halloween Day
Don’t have any candy in your house until the day of Halloween. Don’t let the siren song of those candy bars lure you in a week or even a day in advance: you could resist, sure. But you could also end up having to buy that box of chocolate again. And again. And again. And that’s when the indulgence will start to show up on the scale.
2. Get a Decoy
OK, so you’ve got goodies for the kids, but you don’t want to have any. Cool. Grab yourself a healthier treat that you can look forward to eating later on, once the trick or treaters have gone home for the night.
- Lindt 78% dark chocolate & fresh medjool dates
- Fresh fruit and whip cream
- Dark chocolate covered ginger
- Panda black licorice (or any all natural black licorice)
- Chapman’s Cookies & Cream frozen yogurt (for all you Canadians!)
Are these foods really healthy? Meh. Not totally, no, but they will keep you out of the hard-hitting sugary and high fat treats by giving you some incentive to keep your eyes on healthier prize.
3. Lift Hardcore that Day
Squeezing in a resistance based workout will not only improve your mood and focus so you’ll be less likely to crush an entire box of single serving bags of chips, but in the advent you do indulge, you’ll have amped up your metabolism. Remember: your body stays in a heightened metabolic state for hours after working out. (Heighted, but not nuclear. You’re looking at burning less than 200 extra calories for that day period when you workout, hardcore, with resistance. It’s a notable increase, to be sure, but it won’t justify overeating everyday.)
Now stop worrying and start living your amazing, fit and fabulous life! If you want a bunch of great nutrition tips and meal ideas, check out our NEW nutrition guide and meal plan! Need that gear to get the heavy-lifting gains? Shop our Trick or Treat Sale! Use promo code TRICK for 25% off any single item purchase and use promo code TREAT for 25% off our meal plan bundle. It’s on until midnight EST on Halloween!