Halloween is here and there are savory and sweet treats everywhere. It is becoming more and more common for people to make comments about “healthy” and “unhealthy” food every day - from the media to your family, friends, and everyone in between. As a nutrition expert, I understand and agree with some of these comments. However, living a healthy and balanced life also means learning to enjoy food while also enjoying the experience of being with friends and family. Heading into any social situation, especially during Halloween time, can sometimes be a little scary if you have struggled with food issues, disordered eating, or your inner food police screaming “eat this, not that”. If you have suffered from an eating disorder, you know these words and situations can trigger you back into old habits and behaviors, if you are not equipped both mentally and physically. This issue is designed, to help you enjoy the tricks and treats of the seasons without letting the food police creep into your life and take control of the fun! Here are three things you can start doing today to keep yourself mentally and physically strong while not getting spooked about all the “food rules” you may read about.
Avoid skipping meals. Whether it's breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, skipping meals is a surefire way to find yourself in a place where you might be eating beyond comfort -a popular Halloween treat. Everyone, every once in a while, will find themselves in a situation where they may overeat. Remember you're human. However, as part of healthy eating, its important to practice self-care and fuel properly throughout the day. When you fuel your body with healthful foods throughout the day, you are equipping yourself to go to a social gathering feeling satisfied and not deprived. Practicing this step can help you enjoy the event while also helping you stop eating beyond comfort.
Taste your treats. When deciding to enjoy a Halloween treat, like your favorite candy, cookie, or chips and dip, take the time to actually taste what you're about to eat. If you're eating out of boredom, stress, or pure mindlessness this is not the time to grab that peanut butter cup. Instead, wait to enjoy your treat when you have the time to sit down, taste & savor it - without any guilt!
Don’t be scared to serve it up. Instead of nibbling on random Halloween candy and treats throughout the evening, make a conscious decision on what you want to eat. After you make the conscious decision on what you actually want, then take the next step and serve yourself a portion on a small plate. Once you have served your portion, find a place where you can sit, taste, and enjoy your food. This simple act of conscious eating will help you stay in tune with your body. As you are eating, refer back to step #2 and make sure to taste your treats...without any guilt!
Does this issue make you want to discover how you can make peace with food and enjoy more guilt-free social situations? Contact the Licensed and Registered dietitians at Simple Health Options and let’s explore working together! (772) 228-6778.