For those watching the scale, Halloween can be the beginning of a downward spiral if you aren't careful. A house full of candy, too many costume parties and beginning to slack in your training can lead to the beginning of the end of your chances of finishing 2012 in your best shape. Here a three tips to make sure you avoid that often slippery slope.
1. Use total body workouts: Total body training saves time and burns more calories than traditional "body part" training. Three total body workouts per week builds a strong metabolism, and allows more variation in the workout that alleviates boredom. Plus, if you miss a workout it will only be 48 hours before the next one is scheduled so your body won't lose it's conditioning as opposed to traditional body-part training where if you miss a workout, you might actually get weaker.
2. Make healthier Halloween recipes. Look online to find some great tasting treats that won't kill your diet for some much needed damage control this Halloween season. The most popular Halloween recipe among my clients is my pumpkin pecan shake loaded with muscle-building, fat-starving protein plus the optimal dose of healthy fats, fruit and fiber for a "complete better body meal." It is imperative to be able to think outside the box by substituting healthier ingredients where possible without overly sacrificing the taste you crave for a more figure-friendly Halloween.
3. Use common sense:
Only buy enough candy so that you expect to run out before the evening is over. It's crucial to weight loss success to not have "trigger" foods lying around — the temptation is often too great.
Allow yourself just one piece of candy in the morning and then one at night. Skip any desserts that you would normally eat after dinner. Also, be sure to increase your exercise activity by 30 minutes on every day that you eat your two pieces of candy. This will counteract the increase in calories that you are consuming.
Also, consider if you indulge a bit too much it's important to forgive yourself and move on. Dwelling on the past will not help your success.
To finish 2012 strong, you'll have to break out of the frustrating emotional eating patterns that sabotage our fat loss efforts during the holidays.
Our brains are wired to crave the nonsupportive, sugary treats that typify the Halloween season. So, your approach has to be to take the exact opposite with your habits.
Instead of using Halloween as a reason to justify eating a bunch of junk food, spin the seasonal event to spice up your workouts. Halloween then becomes a fat-loss tool — this approach is key to adopting a healthy lifestyle for long-term success.
Chad Smith is a Hagerstown personal trainer and co-owner of Home Team Fitness LLC. Go to www.hometeamfitness.net for more information.