Healthier Halloween!

Halloween is known for costumes, parties and lots of candy! It has been estimated that the average child consumes between 3500 and 7000 calories on Halloween! As terrible as that sounds, it’s really easy to do when you consider how many calories are in all of those fun-sized treats:

  • 2 Starbursts = 40 Calories
  • 1 Hershey’s Miniature Bar = 45 Calories
  • 2 Tootsie Rolls = 50 Calories
  • 1 Fun Size Skittles = 60 Calories
  • 1 Fun Size plain M&M bag = 70 Calories
  • 1 Fun Size Twix Bar = 80 Calories
  • 1 Fun Size Butterfinger Bar = 100 Calories
  • 1 Mini Bite-Sized Candy Bar (Snicker’s, Milky Way, Butterfinger, etc.) = 55 Calories
  • 1 Full-Size Hershey Bar = 210 Calories
  • 1 Full-Size Snicker’s Bar = 280 Calories
  • 1 King-Size Candy Bar = 500 Calories

 

Halloween can be a terrible holiday for anyone trying to lose weight, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many strategies you can use to stay on track and still partake in the festivities surrounding the holiday.

  • Give away something other than candy to your trick-or-treaters. Try a deck of cards, Yo-Yo, sugar-free gum, raisins, small boxes of cereal or pretzels. This way, if you have any leftovers, you have something healthier around the house than chocolate bars and fruit-flavored candies.
  • Donate your extra candy.
  • Put your child’s candy in the freezer. Thaw one piece at a time and the rest remains frozen. This way you have to wait for it to thaw before you can eat it. By then, the temptation will (hopefully!) be gone.
  • Throw out the candy your child brings home in exchange for a new toy they have been wanting. They still get something they want and neither of you has to be tempted by the sweets.
  • If you are giving out candy on Halloween, wait until the last minute to purchase it. This will help lessen the temptation to eat it beforehand. Try to give all of it away, too. If it’s getting close to the end of the evening and you still have a lot of candy left, hand out two or three pieces to each child instead of just one.
  • If you end up making poor choices on Halloween, be sure to eat sensibly after that. One day is not the problem that will set you off track on your weight loss journey, but letting that one day turn into several days, weeks or months can do some damage.

Preventing Weight Re-Gain

While it has been said many times before, bariatric surgery is merely a tool. It is possible to not use that tool properly and see results that you would not prefer. We are talking about weight regain after bariatric surgery. Unfortunately, this is sometimes a problem, but there are ways to prevent it and manage it if you have already gained.

A common problem and one of the largest determinants of how well you will do with weight loss post-surgery is exercise. When you lose weight rapidly, you typically lose muscle mass, whether you notice it or not. If you do not exercise to build that muscle mass back up, your metabolism will slow down. So not only are you not burning calories from doing exercise, but you’re also burning fewer calories throughout the day due to a slower metabolism. Muscle is the most metabolically active tissue in the body, meaning that it burns more calories than any other tissue. This is why it is essential to incorporate a combination of cardiovascular activity and strength training for a minimum of 30 minutes a day 5 days per week. More exercise will likely produce better results.

Another very common problem is drinking with or too close to your meal. If you drink just prior to a meal, during a meal or after a meal, your food is mixing with liquid, becoming softer and ultimately moving through your pouch more rapidly. This leaves you feeling hungry and may lead to eating more. Eating more leads to weight gain. In order to prevent this, you are asked to stop drinking anything 30 minutes prior to your meal and not drink anything until 30 minutes after your meal. Even small sips can sabotage your efforts. Along with this concept, if you’re choosing many soft foods and liquids, you will find yourself hungry and able to eat more. The majority of the time, you want to choose solid foods for your meals as these will fill you up quicker and keep you full longer.

One other common problem is grazing or excessive snacking. Picking at foods throughout the day can add up to many extra calories. Grazing often doesn’t fill you up or satisfy you and is done out of boredom or because the food looks good. It does not make sense to eat if you are not hungry. It is best to go for a walk, write in a journal, call a friend or somehow otherwise distract yourself from the situation that is leading you to eat.

By controlling each of these behaviors, we can continue on the journey of weight loss and not worry about weight gain. After all, you had the surgery in order to lose weight, so let’s make good use of the tool that you have.

Spaghetti Squash (Carb Side)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Pierce squash (about an inch deep) all over with knife to prevent it from bursting. Microwave for 6-7 minutes. Turn squash over, and microwave until slightly soft when pressed, 8-10 minutes more. 2. When squash has finished cooking and cooled slightly, scrape out flesh with fork. Discard skin. 3. Season with basil, salt and pepper.

Nutrition Info Per Serving based on 4 servings

Calories 141; Protein 2.92 g; Fat 2.59 g; Carbs 31.35 g; Fiber 6.81 g; Sugar 12.52 g
Source: gatheredtable.com

Oven-Roasted Fries With Herbes De Provence

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound russet potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon herbes de provence, crumbled
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Prep: 1. Preheat oven to 400. 2. Brush baking sheet with olive oil. 3. Cut potatoes into 3 inch long and 1/3 inch thick strips. Then toss in bowl with olive oil. 4. Spread potatoes on baking sheet.
Make: 1. Bake potato strips for 35 minutes, or until golden brown, while stirring three times. 2. Sprinkle herbes de provence and 1 teaspoon sea salt on fries. 3. Season with a pinch of pepper and toss.
.

Nutrition Info Per Serving (based on 4 servings):

Calories 153; Protein 2.44 g; Fat 7.18 g; Carbs 20.59 g; Fiber 1.54 g; Sugar 0.71 g

Source: Gatheredtable.com

Acceptance and Compassion Meditation

To begin this meditation, sit comfortably in a chair or in a formal meditation position. Begin by establishing an amount of time you wish to practice this meditation. If you are new to meditation, consider starting with five minutes and build over time to a longer 20- or 30-minute meditation. When starting to meditate, create a clear intention to practice self-compassion or to work on body acceptance. This intention will help ground you if you become distracted by thoughts and emotions while you meditate.

1. Take five deep breaths to start the meditation. These breaths will help you center yourself and begin to calm your thoughts. After your five deep breaths, imagine you are safe, as you continue your meditation.

2. Breathe in and connect with your desire for body acceptance. Keep breathing in and out slowly, calmly. If you find this hard to do, reconnect with your intention to practice self-compassion. Acknowledge the courage it takes to sit across from your inner critic. If you are afraid or emotional, acknowledge that the mind imagines your inner critic will say hurtful and painful words. You may recall verbal darts from your past that sounded like, “you’re so disgusting,” “your body is gross,” and so on. If this happens, reconnect to the present moment by breathing in and out slowly.

3. Renew your desire to accept your body just the way it is, despite the verbal or mental darts the inner critic might throw at you. When you accept your body as it is, not as you want it to be, you are practicing acceptance and self-compassion.

4. If it is helpful, repeat a phase that is supportive, such as “I am learning to listen to my body.” or “I am learning to accept my body.”

5. Remain in the present moment, breathing in and out. With each breath, feel the air fill your body, then feel the air slowly release. You are in the present moment.

6. End the meditation by taking five deep breaths to calm your body and mind. Acknowledge the effort that this has taken by saying “I acknowledge the effort that I have made.” Open your heart to the reality that you are not alone and that many people are suffering with accepting their bodies by saying, “May this effort benefit myself and all the other people who are struggling to listen and compassionately accept their bodies.”

 

Source: thecenterformindfuleating.org
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