This time of year presents a great opportunity to wipe the slate clean, make some changes, set new goals, up the ante on the workouts, and recommit to a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. You might be thinking: Halloween is on the horizon. This is the hardest time of year. Holidays are around the corner, etc. Many of us have a pattern of going from one extreme to the other between Halloween and the New Year with the best of intentions to play catch up on January 1st...well, actually January 2nd. However, we are also forgetting the fact that January is not actually a clean slate because...
C A N D Y S E A S O N
I am a firm believer in the word moderation, however I think this word can get twisted, turned and used as a justification if we aren't clear with the definition. Candy should be enjoyed but should not take over our minds, progress or hard-work mentality. Before we get into some strategies on how to stay on track and out of the danger zone, take a look at this candy season timeline for more specifics on how food marketing experts attempt to manipulate our health-conscious efforts for over half of the calendar year.
Pretty insane, right? Food marketers know what they are doing....bait and switch, y'all. However, with all of that said, it is important to realize that it is possible to find a nice balance between candy and salads without sabotaging your diet, workout and "healthier you" efforts. We do not have to be so rigid or restrictive, we just have to increase our self-awareness, educate ourselves on the facts and have a solid game plan. I am a math girl. I do freaking equations in my head all day because I enjoy it (and I might be slightly ADD). Therefore, we are going to do some calculations right now...with candy. Two of my favorite things, whoop whoop!
Equation #1: Peanut M&M's
*Three packs of the Fun-Size has more than 1 regular pack.
- One fun-sized pack = 90 calories, 4.7 grams of fat, and 9.1 grams of sugar
- One regular pack = 250 calories, 13 grams of fat and 25 grams of sugar
- 3 fun-sized packs = 270 calories, 14.1 grams of fat, 27.3 grams of sugar.
Example #2: Snicker's
*Three fun-sized bars have less than 1 regular bar.
- One fun-sized candy bar = 80 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, and 9 grams of sugar
- One regular candy bar = 250 calories, 13 grams of fat and 25 grams of sugar
- 3 fun-sized candy bars = 240 calories, 10.5 grams of fat, 27 grams of sugar
Example #3: Butterfinger
*Three fun-Sized candy bars have more than 1 regular pack.
- One fun-sized candy bar = 85 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, and 8.5 grams of sugar
- One regular candy bar = 250 calories, 10 grams of fat and 24 grams of sugar
- 3 fun-sized candy bars = 255 calories, 10.5 grams of fat, 25.5 grams of sugar
Example #4: Reese's Cups
*Three fun-sized Reese's cups have more than 1 regular cup.
- One fun-sized cup = 44 calories, 3 grams of fat and 5 grams of sugar
- One regular-sized cup = 110 calories, 6.5 grams of fat, and 10.5 grams of sugar
- 3 fun-sized cups = 132 calories, 9 grams of fat, 15 grams of sugar.
I have created a list of tips that my clients (as well as myself!) have found helpful throughout the years, and I hope you can use these strategies to not just find your healthy balance, but also to enjoy candy season in all its glory without letting it take over your mind or health-conscious efforts.
5 Ways to Survive + Enjoy Candy Season
- If you’re going to buy candy, don’t buy the 10 pound bag of fun-sized candy just because it is there. Buy a candy bar - one or two. Do you need to buy the big bulk bag 2+ weeks before Halloween? No, you do not. Are you going to keep it in the drawer that long? Or put it out in a bowl, and grab a few pieces every time you walk by it? See above for mathematical reasoning and appropriate rationing.
- Avoid ingredients that really just say trans fat, aka partially hydrogenated oils, fractionated oils, and interesterified oils.
- If you’re going to analyze a label, make sure to look at the sugar grams ahead of the calories or fat grams. Aka twizzlers, gummy bears, sour gummies, sweet tarts, etc. promote themselves as being low-fat or fat-free, but what about the bigger picture? Know what you're eating.
- Stick with a normal, balanced diet. Don’t try to manipulate calories to eat more candy. Aka, don't skip meals. It will only backfire.
- Skip the guilt trip. This is a fun time of year, and beating yourself up is not going to help you stay on track. Know that we all struggle with temptations, and it's important to not only enjoy the holidays, but also the food because it's a part of it! Be kind to yourself this holiday season and if you overdo it, just get back on-track and resist the temptation to procrastinate.