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Wright: Avoiding Halloween pitfalls

Halloween is right around the corner and often is the “soft” beginning of a slippery slope leading to unwanted weight gain during the true holiday season. While we want our children to enjoy a few sweet treats within reason, and perhaps indulge in a treat or two ourselves, avoid allowing this occasion to sabotage your health and fitness success. Follow these suggestions below enabling you to enjoy the trick or treating and parties, but keeping you on track for the remainder of the year. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Suggestion #1 Choose containers that are of a reasonable size to collect treats. This will prevent a huge cache of candy sitting in the house begging to be consumed. *A plastic pumpkin works well!

Suggestion #2 Have your children choose their very favorite treats and then place those into a snack bag. Be reasonable about how many treats you allow. For example, perhaps one treat per day for a week as a special stash for each child.

Suggestion #3 Prior to trick or treating, make certain that your child has consumed a healthy, satisfying meal or snack so that they will not begin to over indulge while collecting treats. And, this applies to you too!

Suggestion #4 If you are the parent who stays home to hand out the treats, then limit yourself to one special treat, like a mini-candy bar and be satisfied. *Purchase mini-candy bars for distribution—avoid full-sized candy bars!

Suggestion #5 If you are attending a Halloween party, consume a healthy, satisfying meal or snack before attending the event. Then, avoid hanging around the buffet table.

Suggestion #6 At your adult parties, stay hydrated and avoid too much alcohol or other body/mind altering substances as these tend to lower inhibitions and may lead to grabbing those candy bars off the buffet table and not being particularly aware of the volume of what you have consumed. *Avoid mindless consumption!

Suggestion #7 Try to make this day out to be fun and active. Emphasize creative costumes, designing haunted houses, playing spooky games and focus less on consumption.

Suggestion #8 When this day is over, it is over. Other than the small amount of treats that you have for the stash, the rest of the treats may be donated to those who perhaps could not attend a trick or treating event, but regardless, get the overflow out of the house. Remember, the true holiday season is right around the corner and you do not want to peak too early.

Suggestion #9 Workout on the day of the trick or treating or party. The very act of working out tends to lessen overindulgence, provides you with more control and reminds you how hard you work and how those calories are not going to provide you with any true benefits. *Don’t sabotage your successes!

Suggestion #10 Host a Halloween party yourself and prepare delicious treats that are health-oriented, and create activities that will keep everyone active throughout the evening.

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness, LLC. She may be reached at her website at http://www.mtnlifefitness.com, her email at jackie@mtnliftness.com or her Facebook page at Mountain Life Fitness.