How to Stay Healthy on Halloween
Halloween is just around the corner and with that comes an onslaught of sweets! Between the scary (and sexy!) costumes and fun and games, it’s important to be prepared and understand your boundaries when it comes to chocolate bars, candy corn, and empty calories.
Here are SteadyMD Dr. Shani Muhammad’s tricks for staying healthy on Halloween:
- Plan Ahead. Decide ahead of time if there is something that you really want. Maybe you have a favorite candy or treat you just love and want to be able to enjoy. That’s fine! Whether you’re currently working to lose fat, maintain your current weight, or gain muscle, you can still enjoy occasional splurges. (#balance) So plan ahead. If you’re going to have a candy bar, maybe cut out your morning toast and butter or sugary, blended coffee drink instead.
- Walk it Out! Walk if you’re taking your children trick-or-treating instead of parking somewhere and waiting around. The amount of variability in the number of calories we burn in a day is largely affected by the amount of NEAT or “non-exercise activity thermogenesis” (see here for more info). Walking is a great way to increase your NEAT so lace up your tennis shoes (sneakers for my East Coast friends) and get to stepping!
- Time Limit/Set Your Environment. Remember it’s just ONE day. Do not bring home extra candy or treats from work parties. If you have small children and this is unavoidable, maybe it’s time to make a new family tradition. Children don’t need weeks of excess sugar either. Have your children pick some specific amount of candy predetermined (ie 7-10 pieces) that they REALLY want, and give/throw the rest away. Then allow them to have one piece per day until they’re gone. This will get it out of your face and prevent you from having to continually say no for weeks to come. Healthy habits are easier to form and stick to when our environment is set up for our success.
- Don’t freak out. If you have a misstep and maybe eat a bit more than you intended, ok. It happened. Accept what is done and make a plan to attack tomorrow in a way that is more in line with your goals. Don’t starve yourself the next day, don’t do 500 extra minutes of cardio. Give yourself grace. You’re human and candy is delicious. What would you tell a friend who made the same mistake? A big part of staying healthy is mental health. Be kind to yourself.
SteadyMD wishes you a safe and healthy Halloween!
About Me: Dr. Shani Muhammad
I’m a family doctor and what that means is that I was trained to take care of patients from cradle to grave and everything in between.
I love to talk to my patients about their workouts, health, fitness, and nutrition. I have a nutritional science degree so while a lot of physicians didn’t get a lot of information about nutrition in med school (it’s not required!) or don’t feel comfortable talking about diet, I do.
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