Post-Hallowe'en Recovery Plan
So you went a little overboard with the miniature peanut butter cups?
Didn’t we all?... Sigh...
You might be tempted to starve yourself for the next week to make up for your indiscretions over the Hallowe’en week (those miniature treats have a way of invading the days before and after Hallowe'en, don't they?), but how about trying an approach that actually works? Starving yourself is NEVER a good idea.
What happens when you starve yourself?
Starving yourself doesn't work. Instead, you'll:
- Crave the foods you are trying to avoid even more and have weakened ability to discern cravings from hunger.
- Scream at your children. More than usual.
- Experience headaches, fatigue and lethargy that feels even worse than that wine-and-Hershey’s hangover you woke up with on November 1st.
- Tell your body to actually lower your metabolism and store fat instead of burning at its natural rate, if you limit your calories with consistency.
Not just that, but starving yourself after you've indulged is not healthy, for your body or your brain. You risk going into a scary cycle of deprivation and bingeing which can be seriously psychologically depressing. Plus, bingeing and starving is not only psychologically damaging, it's rough on the metabolism and ultimately not going to help you on the road to your fitness goals. So, have your fun when the time is right -- and Hallowe'en is one of those times!
Then, learn how to move on without spending a week wrist-deep in the candy bag or punishing yourself because you, like every other red-blooded being, have a sweet tooth.
3 steps to stop the binge in its tracks.
1. Step away from the candy.
If you’ve gone overboard, don’t make the opposite mistake of simply throwing in the towel and declaring the next week a giant binge free-for-all. Give the candy away to coworkers or—GASP—throw it in the garbage. Put the kids’ candy in a hiding place, out of sight (yours and theirs), and in a container that is covered and not transparent. Sounds silly? Study after study has shown that our ability to resist sugary snacks is greatly enhanced when the treats are: (a) not plainly visible and (b) out of our immediate reach.
2. Plan your meals for the next few days.
Don’t get caught with the fridge door wide open, a growly tummy and—DING!—the realization that your kids’ Hallowe’en stash is packed up just a few short feet away. Plan to be hungry, plan what you will eat and plan to not eat thirteen tiny Mars bars. Write your meal plan down and stick to it. Sugar is a powerful substance and avoiding it requires willpower for most people. We are biologically programmed to seek it out. Plan for treats in your meal plan—other things you enjoy, like a popsicle or some yummy, full-fat yoghurt blended into a fruit smoothie. Do not plan to eat the candy. One popsicle does not often lead to eight popsicles. One little chocolate bar plucked from a pile of hundreds is like opening Pandora’s Box. You already proved that this week, right?
3. Get your butt moving.
Nothing makes fifteen peanut butter cups seem like a worse idea than sweating for an hour at Belly Bootcamp or hitting the dumbbells in your home gym. Think of it this way: why spend an hour honouring and strengthening that amazing body you've been gifted with, just to make yourself sick with sugar, modified milk ingredients and soya lecithin (also a good deterrent? Read the ingredients/nutrition labels on those little monsters.... might make you think twice...).
Can’t get to a class? Squeeze in this fun no-equipment 10-minute workout and sweat out some soya lecithin while you imagine that delicious dinner you planned and prepped.
Then tell that candy where to go, sister.