Life Magazine: Five Mental Tricks to Beat the Treats

Five Mental Tricks to Beat the Treats

Mmm can you smell it?  It’s the sweet scent of pumpkin spice lattes, warm cinnamon desserts, and of course, halloween candy!  If you’re like me, October is a love-hate kind of month.  While you LOVE all the delicious treats, you HATE the havoc it wrecks on your waistline.  How can you indulge your sweet tooth, yet still feel sexy this season?  Master your mindset!  

Health (and fitness) is all about mindset.  It’s not about jogging an extra 40 minutes to burn off the 260 calories in your tall-nonfat-pumpkin spice latte; it’s not about sneaking into the next cycling class to swear off the 220 calories in the 2 Reese’s cups you snacked on after lunch; and it’s most certainly not about dropping down and doing 100 burpees to burn off the 80 calories in 1 fun sized Snickers bar.  While adding exercise will help ward off unwanted weight gain, indulging in candy is so much more than just a number on the scale.  

We can’t out-exercise our diet disasters, nor should we try to.  If you want to effectively beat the treats this Halloween, here are 5 surefire strategies to help you succeed.

  1. Know your “why”.  Why does it matter for you to avoid candy this Halloween?  Are you looking to lose weight for an upcoming event?  Are you worried one bite will launch an uncontrollable binge?  What is YOUR why?  What will make you stop and think about your actions before indulging?  Attach a strong and emotional reason to keep you grounded.  Place reminders around the house or workplace for added reinforcement.
  2. Change your perspective.  Halloween unleashes the floodgates on candy consumption, but why?  Wasn’t the candy available last month?  Won’t it be available next month?  If the candy isn’t going anywhere, then what’s the rush to eat it now?  Prevent a candy catastrophe by repeating this mantra, “The candy will be here tomorrow.”  You’ll be surprised how often you can talk yourself out of eating it today.  
  3. When in doubt, avoid.  This one is simple— out of sight, out of mind.  If you can’t control your candy urges, then don’t set yourself up.  Purchase Halloween candy as late as possible; buy a candy you don’t like; keep the bag closed until Halloween; and donate all leftovers immediately.  You know what you can and cannot handle— think ahead!
  4. Choose a healthier alternative.  Sometimes we can’t shake the desire for something sweet, but what do you grab?  Fresh fruit is my favorite treat!  Like candy, fruit contains calories and sugar, so be mindful.  My philosophy is 100 calories of an apple outweighs 100 calories of M&Ms every single time.  Other healthy alternatives include: flavored sparkling water, no sugar added apple cider tea, and low fat hot chocolate.
  5. Plan ahead & embrace the “no”.  If you’re a glutton for goodies, stay full throughout the day, keep a sweet treat in your bag (mini box of raisins or snack bar), and remember that saying, “No” is an admirable answer.  While walking with your kids from door to door, don’t forget to bring a healthy snack or drink with you.  I love sliced apples or grapes so I can have a few bites and make the moment last longer.  

If you still can’t shake that sweet tooth, some “slimmer” indulgences are: Tootsie Pops (60 calories), Fun Dip (50 calories) and Dum Dums (25 calories).  If craving chocolate, opt for minimal sugar added Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Squares (55 calories) or York Peppermint Patties (60 calories).  

Did you beat the treats?  Post your healthy substitutions and tag #MoveWithMax so I can see!

Protein Packed Treats

  1. S’mores Quest Bar: 180 calories, 1 gram of sugar, and 20 grams of protein.  With over 20 flavors to choose from, there is a bar for every craving!  From my experience, the best selection can be found at Publix, Vitamin Shoppe, and Walmart.  
  2. Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookie (Vegan): 180 calories, 15 grams of sugar, 8 grams of protein.  Soft, chewy and overwhelmingly delicious, these cookies are a guilt-free substitute for traditional desserts.  Be warned, with flavors like Birthday Cake, Snickerdoodle, and Pumpkin Spice, it’s easy to go for seconds!  Find them at Publix, Vitamin Shoppe, and 7-11.
  3. Arctic Zero Ice Cream: 35 calories, 5 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.  At 150 calories per pint and 12 grams of protein, this dairy-free ice cream is amazing!  The taste a little on the “healthy” side but it gets the job done.  You can find these at Publix and Walmart.


[Originally published in October 2016 issue of Coral Springs/Parkland Life Magazine & Coconut Creek Life Magazine]

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