There’s nothing scarier than approaching Halloween (or any holiday) with a mindset that you can’t join in on any of the fun.
But how do you go in with a plan that makes you feel good November 1st? You try my five tricks (my treat for you!)
How do you approach a Happy Halloween? Leave your favorite celebration mantras and philosophies in the comments below.
Trick 1: Lose the Food Rules
It’s called will power, not won’t power. Unless you want to feel like it’s Night of the Living Dead, you will want to keep your self control in check, which means you need to stop saying “I won’t eat this or that or that or….” The human brain is a powerful organ and it really tries to follow your arbitrary rules, but the reasonable part gets tired quickly and then the unreasonable part takes over and sends you reeling toward your sugary food reward except now moderation is out the window. Stay rational and say I will enjoy some Halloween treat.
Trick 2: Play Favorites
When it comes to candy, I’ll be honest everything is my favorite except maybe black licorice, circus peanuts, and candy corn (I know blasphemy on the last one.) If I had to choose, it would be Reese cups, hands down. The more choice options you have the more you want and the more you are probably going to eat. A sign of good self control is that you can rationally pick your favorite candy and come up with a plan for what you want to do. Ask yourself What treats would I enjoy most in my ideal Halloween evening?
Trick 3: Savor the Flavor
Most of us don’t know how to savor our food anymore – especially treats and desserts. Part of the problem is the food rules situation I mentioned above. When you decide you dig in, your brain also (counter intuitively) says “let’s get this over with!” It makes no sense, but it’s because you feel bad deep down about your choice. You take your mind out of the game and you tend to overeat it and feel guilty later. (Where is the fun in that?)
Savoring your Halloween treats is easy. Just use your senses – all of them. Notice how it looks, the aroma, mouthfeel and taste. A sign of a flexible eater is the ability to sit with that urge to gobble it up like a Gremlin and just enjoy the food anyway. Give yourself a challenge to make it last, then get on with other Halloween fun to savor.
Trick 4: Let Yourself Get Satisfied
Many of my clients will say something like “It’s so hard to do moderation when my husband/kids/friends are going crazy with the candy. It’s not faiiiiiiiiiirrrrrr. What’s happening here is that we are all a little bit childish and want immediate gratification with what all the cool kids are doing. If you are only letting yourself have one and then you’re back to food policing, you’re a restrained eater. Instead of telling yourself how much you can have, Ask yourself How much do I think I would want to get satisfied? Summons the rational thinker.
If you’re eating mindfully and recognize you’re not satisfied, I bet it’s the just got out of jail and the cops are looking for me problem. Tell yourself that it’s OK to eat more as long as you are calm and mindful about it. Usually, the free feeling of permission allows you to recognize that you are satisfied or slows you down so you eat less staying “checked in” rather than “checking out” and acting like a Gremlin.
Trick 5: Show Yourself Some Love
No matter what goes down on October 31, there’s good news. The day ends and November 1st is here. Don’t use honest mistakes as an excuse to continue to avoid your long term goals. Also, don’t beat yourself up. That only makes you feel bad, stressed out, and (shocker) emotionally hungry for MORE candy!!!!
If you overdo it on Halloween, forgive any mistakes you made. You are human. It’s part of the growth process. Instead, ask yourself What can I learn from this experience? What did I truly enjoy and what did I do that is not who I want to be?
How do you approach a Happy Halloween? I’d love to know what “tricks” you have up your sleeve.
Leave your favorite celebration mantras and philosophies in the comments below.
Speaking of Love, Link Love!
I’m not the only level-headed realistic dietitian who follows the rule of “no rules”! Check out some of my favorite blogs, tips, and recipes from some of my fabulous RD colleagues!
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