4 Tips to Overcome a Halloween Hangover
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I love Halloween (and its candy) as much as the next guy (can you say Hershey bars, Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and Twizzlers?, oh my). But sometimes, the one day sugar- and fat-filled celebration becomes two days, a whole weekend, a week. Over time, all that candy can potentially throw off your otherwise healthful eating habits and make you feel sluggish and tired.
If you and your kids OD’d on candy or cupcakes or cookies or all of the above while trick-or-treating and at parties this past Halloween, you should not under any circumstance feel guilty. Life is too short! Nevertheless, if you want to get back on a more nutritious eating track in a snap, the four expert tips below can help.
Relish and regroup. “Fretting or feeling guilty about the excesses of the weekend won’t help you recover,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Marisa Moore. I couldn’t agree more! If you enjoyed the weekend a little too much, Moore suggests relishing the fun memories and getting back on track by scheduling in exercise for the week and starting each day with a nutritious breakfast. The Nutrition Twins® Tammy Lakatos Shames and Lyssie Lakatos recommend a moderate-sized, nutrient packed breakfast that mixes high-fiber carbohydrates for energy and lean protein for satisfaction—that can be something as simple as 2/3 cup of cooked oatmeal with 1/2 cup berries and a hard-cooked egg. (Click here for other registered dietitian nutritionist-approved breakfasts.)
Have a veggie fest. Registered dietitian nutritionist Joan Salge Blake likes to make a post-Halloween veggie-packed soup in a crockpot. She enjoys a mug of it before lunch and dinner for a few days post-Halloween. “It’s a trick that helps me get back on track after consuming too many treats,” Salge Blake says. She also cites research that shows consuming a low calorie soup prior to eating can help you cut back on the calories at the meal yet still feel full. (For two veggie-packed soup recipes, click here.)
Do dessert. If you haven’t given all your candy away (or simply don’t want to give it away because you or your kids want some), The Nutrition Twins® suggest making 100-calorie bags with any leftovers. They say, “Pre-portioned treats will keep you satisfied and prevent overboard eating.” When a candy craving hits, they suggest it’s ok to indulge as long as you stick to one 100-calorie bag with, for example, any of the following: 4 Hershey Kisses; 2 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups miniatures; 2 mini Nestle Crunch bars; 4 Tootsie Roll midges; 4 rolls of Smarties; 3 Laffy Taffy candies; 2 fun-size Milk Duds; 2 mini York Peppermint Patties; or 4 Jolly Rancher hard candies.
Say goodbye to leftovers. According to Moore, until it’s all gone, leftover candy may be more tempting than it’s worth. To get it out of your kids’ hands, Moore suggests bartering with them. “You can make a game out of all that leftover candy by having kids trade their excess candy for (non-food) rewards. You set the price—for example, they can trade five mini candy bars for a small toy or extra time playtime with a friend,” she says. She also suggests donating the extra candy or seeking out a Cash for Candy option (many dentist offices offer this option). Also, registered dietitian nutritionist and fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Bethany Thayer suggests having a contest to see who can make his or her candy last the longest and offering a non-food prize to the winner.
How do you deal with your Halloween hangover?
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