With all the little goblins and ghouls begging for candy at your door (or, if they are your own goblins and ghouls, bringing bags of it into your home after a successful night of trick or treating), Halloween can become a horror story, especially if you’re trying to stick to a low-carb diet. Here are some of my tips for making it through the night without getting spooked:
Buy candy you don’t like. This way you won’t be tempted to sneak a treat every time you pass the bowl of Halloween goodies.
Hand out an alternative to candy. Options include small oranges and apples or Halloween-themed stickers, pencils or erasers.
Go nuts. When your sweet tooth is tempting you, dig into a portion of nuts instead of the Halloween candy.
Make your snacks and meals count. Start the day with a filling breakfast (such as a couple eggs scrambled with some veggies and cheese), don’t forget lunch (such as a spinach salad, more veggies, grilled chicken or salmon, topped with a balsamic vinaigrette), and include a couple satisfying snacks so that you are not starving to death before darkness falls and the Halloween festivities start.
Take a walk! You can kill two birds with one stone: Volunteer to escort your neighborhood trick-or-treaters, and you’ve squeezed in a little more activity into your evening. Even better: Offer to carry their heavy bags of candy while you walk.
Don’t forget dinner. Serve up a hearty low-carb meal (such as chili, stew or soup) for your little trick-or-treaters to enjoy before they head out (to keep hunger at bay and binging on candy to a minimum) or have a meal simmering and ready when they return. There are plenty of low-carb options (including some delicious new Halloween-themed recipes) that will satisfy your whole family—and any visitors. If you’re hosting a crowd, you can include meat and cheese platters, meatballs, sliced veggies with dip, olives, nuts, pumpkin seeds and deviled eggs. Visit www.atkins.com/recipes, and you can start planning your Halloween party menu.
Plan beyond Halloween. Halloween could be considered the sugary kick-off to the holiday season. Now is the time to decide how you want to approach the most food-focused time of the year. Depending on where you are on your weight-loss journey, I suggest two options:
1) Stick with your personal carb balance, which will allow you to maintain the weight you’ve already lost, even through the holiday season.
2) Stay right below your personal carb balance and continue to lose weight.
As long as you’ve set some goals and have a plan in place, you should be able to enjoy this time of the year without gaining too many excess pounds.