Halloween is right around the corner, and you know what that means: the treats are everywhere. I wanted to share a few tricks and treats to help you get through Halloween without sabotaging your weight-loss goals.
1. Eat every two to three hours, as usual, to keep you satisfied and your blood sugar steady. This will help you from getting overly hungry and wanting to pick at anything in site. When candy corn and pumpkin cookies are everywhere, not eating every few hours will make it much more likely that you will give into the treats. Eating every few hours will help keep those cravings at bay and choices on point.
2. Don’t ban yourself from having a piece or two of candy; otherwise, all of a sudden, you will want it even more! Rather than telling yourself “I can’t,” tell yourself “I can, but I choose not to.”
3. If you decide to have a Halloween treat, make the “healthier” choices such as chocolate almonds or espresso beans. If you choose to have chocolate, have an ounce of dark, organic chocolate or cocoa (cacao is another option). An ounce of >70% dark cocoa can curb your cravings and offers amazing antioxidant benefits.
4. If you have children and want to share in the Halloween fun, bake healthy treats. Not only are you showing them a healthy way to enjoy the holiday, but also, you don’t have the full-sugar candy lying around the house.
5. If you work in an office that is surrounded by sugary treats and candy, be sure to be well prepared with your healthy snacks so you don’t find yourself digging in the candy jar. So often, we stray because we simply aren’t prepared.
6. A great snack to munch on when you feel like going for the treat is trail mix. Make your own trail mix with low-fat popcorn, nuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, coconut and maybe even pieces of dark chocolate. Another one of my great snacks is protein popcorn [see recipe]. It’s so good, and a “must try” the whole family will love.
7. If you attend a party, bring your own munchies. Be prepared with your healthy snack options to keep you from heading for the cookie tray! There is nothing wrong with bringing your own food— better to be safe than sorry. Better yet, bring some of the Protein Popcorn to share with everyone.
8. Eat before you go out, and know that you are going to be surrounded by yummy temptations. The worst thing you can do is go to a holiday party when you’re hungry. It may sound silly, but always leave home with a satisfied belly.
9. If you are having a gathering or going to one, a fun and decorative appetizer is to place salsa or hummus in carved-out, small pumpkins and serve with flax chips, celery or apples.
10. Work out before going out, not because you are planning to overeat but because you will just feel that much better. Also, your chances of sticking to your healthy choices are higher if you got your workout in. The perfect way to start your day is with one of my circuit workouts.
11. Stay hydrated! Often, we are thirsty— however, we think we are hungry. Staying hydrated will help keep cravings at bay. Throughout the holidays when treats are everywhere, drink plenty of water and be aware of when you are thirsty versus hungry.
12. If water doesn’t do it for you, flavor your water to make it taste sweeter. Try infusing your water with your favorite fruit or, my favorite— add slices of cucumber for a nice refreshing flavor.
Hope these tricks and treats keep you on track this holiday season!
GINA’S PROTEIN POPCORN
• ½ scoop vanilla protein (I used Devotion Angel Food Cake)
• 2 Pumpkin Spice Flex Flavors + 1 Creme Brulee Flex Flavor (option: use regular stevia with pumpkin spice seasoning)
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• ¼ cup unpopped popcorn kernels (8-10 cups, popped)
• 1 TBSP coconut oil, melted
* For Halloween, add some orange sprinkles (just a few makes it a holiday pop with little sugar)
In a small bowl, combine protein powder with Flex Flavors (or stevia) and cinnamon, and set aside. Pop popcorn kernels using air popper or other preferred popping method. Microwavable popcorn can be substituted if desired.
Transfer popped corn to a large paper bag, ziptop bag or bowl with a lid. Drizzle melted coconut oil over popped corn, close and shake to distribute, then add protein powder and Flex Flavors (or stevia) and shake to coat.
*If you are using sprinkles, sprinkle over top for Halloween fun.
Fat: 4 grams
Saturated: 3.4 grams
Carbs: 6.9 grams
Fiber: 1.9 grams
Protein: 3.5 grams