Whether you love it or hate it, Halloween is nearly here and you can almost taste the sugar. The supermarket aisles are heaving with sweets, chocolates and buns. Anything edible has been caked in orange icing and declared ‘spooktacular!’ Meanwhile the slimming groups and healthy food bloggers cry out, “Don’t do it, try our healthy Halloween cupcake recipe instead. It’s not a trick, they really do taste just as good but they’re half the calories!” Secretly the fitness instructors and personal trainers rub their hands with glee, “eat what you want, we’ve got the workout to scare off any weight gain!” Parents everywhere try to establish a quota of how many sweets they will let their child eat in one sitting, how much is too much? More importantly, will their child notice if one creme egg goes missing from their trick or treating stash?
With all this conflicting noise from different sources I bet we could all benefit from some easy tips on how to stay healthy this Halloween? Well here’s why I’m not going to give any…
Most holidays and special occasions are centered on eating. Every year when these holidays and special occasions come around, a fresh batch of articles are produced that tell us how we can “keep on track,” “avoid piling on the pounds” and “stay in shape.” We are hit with tips, alternative recipes, themed workouts and motivational quotes. It’s the same stuff every year with a new spin.
When it comes to Christmas, I get it. Christmas is not just one day. Christmas takes over the whole of December with meals out, work dos and family dinners, not to mention the advent calendars and Quality Street tins. It’s very easy to go off the rails which can leave you feeling bloated, sluggish and unhappy come Christmas dinner (which is usually your 10th ‘Christmas dinner’ of the month)
Halloween is just one day. OK for some die-hard Halloween fans it might take over October in spirit but it certainly doesn’t take over your diet and exercise regime for the month. Our sugar intake goes up for just a few days at most. There is no need to use exercise as a punishment for this. Why do we keep portraying exercise in this negative way? Of course it’s necessary but it shouldn’t be a necessary evil. Exercise improves your mood, your happiness and health. Isn’t that what we should be focusing on not its ability to cause pain?!
A ‘killer’ workout can burn calories but it cannot eradicate the effects of a poor diet. But a small blow out is part of a balanced diet not a poor one. A small blow out will not equal a big weigh gain or have any drastic impact on your health and fitness. OK, so healthier alternatives to sweet treats are a nice idea, but denying yourself a treat at Halloween is not going to improve your diet in the long run. Any form of diet that is too restrictive is not sustainable.
This Halloween I’m saying relax, eat the Haribos and have fun. There’s nothing to be afraid of!