In my experience as a hypnotherapist and weight release expert, I have seen many people head into the Halloween season with the intention to “be good” only to succumb to the massive amounts of treats that one finds everywhere.
When I struggled with my weight, Halloween was always a disaster. I would head into the Halloween season with the firm resolve to be perfect and avoid eating candy altogether. I would hold out for a while, trying to be “good” on whatever diet I was on at the time, but then somewhere, somehow, some candy corn (which is one of my top 5 trigger foods) would cross my path, and I would eat some and would turn into a sugar sucking vampire both physically and mentally.
AWAKENING THE SUGAR SUCKING VAMPIRE
Physically I turned sugar sucking vampire because my trigger candy, usually eaten on an empty stomach, triggered me to eat more and more—even when I got physically full. This kind of eating, called “hyper eating” is when we feel compelled to continue eating even when we are full. Itt is usually triggered by eating foods that are full of sugar and/or fat. “Hyper eating” — a term coined by Dr. David Kessler in his book “The End of Overeating” — is excessive eating “driven by motivational forces that we find difficult to control—ie. “zombie-like” behavior.
Mentally I turned into a sugar sucking vampire because I had made the decision to be “good” over Halloween and not eat one single piece of candy. Therefore, once I had been “bad” by eating a bit of candy, my fat thinking turned on and I thought,“ah go on, you already blew it you might as well eat the whole bag of candy corn.” This kind of thinking lead to excessive eating, feeling bad about myself, and basically missing any of the fun of Halloween.
When I released forty pounds permanently by shifting my thinking (then shifting my weight), I realized that success over the Halloween was going to be defined by mysetting myself up to win, both mentally and physically, before the season—to have a plan—and to follow through.
I have outlined the key strategies here so that, if you wish to join me in Shifting through the Halloween season together, we can enjoy the treat of showing up for ourselves and truly having fun rather than becoming a victim of the holiday.
1) Stay connected with your “inner coach”
People who have struggled with weight, then released weight and kept it off over time, have developed a way of communicating with themselves powerfully in the area of managing their weight. This powerful connection to their “inner coach” allows them to survey possible problem areas, think the situation through and plan for success.
Try using your own inner coach by thinking through Halloween season and asking yourself these leading questions:
a. How do I want to feel in my body the day after Halloween? Do I want to feel healthy, light and vibrant? Or weighed down, heavy, sticky and sugar zombie out? What do I need to do to achieve this light feeling??
b. How much candy do I need to have a good time? What kind of other Halloween treats are important to me? How can I make them work within my calorie budget for weight release and maintenance?
c. How can I track my caloric intake over the season? I know that when I track, I can see that even if I ate a handful of sweet tarts, I am not “bad” and I don’t have to “jump ship” and start my diet tomorrow or worse yet when Halloween is over (that would be truly ghoulish!!)
d. How can I have fun in ways other than eating sugar this Halloween season?Can I create a fabulous costume? Can I carve an amazing pumpkin? Can I make a point to walk everyday and look at all the fun yard decorations that people have put up?
e. Who can support me this Halloween season in sticking with my vision? What friend or family member can I engage in keeping my trigger candies far away? Can I get others in my neighborhood to think about healthy treats to give the kids this year?? Can I find a walking buddy for Halloween who has a similar goal?
2) Know trigger foods and avoid them while allowing yourself a reasonable amount of non-trigger candy at times and places that do not hook you mentally or physically.
I have developed a “blended” strategy with regards to Halloween candy. This “blended” idea was inspired by my daughter about nine years ago. She was four and refused to wear a singular Halloween costume. No, she did not want to be just a princess, or just a zombie, or just a mermaid—no she wanted to be a mermaid-vampire-zombie-princess! She wanted to blend them together into something authentic to her taste that worked for her.
My blended approach is something similar. I am not setting out to be singularly good or bad-– all or nothing–on or off. I am thinking Halloween through, staying away from trigger candies that I know will set me into vampire mode, but allowing for a few treats that I can savor and enjoy while staying present and on track with my weight maintenance goals.
I have listed my “no fly zone” candy list and then the list of treats that I may indulge in, within moderation. As a side note, I find that any candy for me is best not eaten on an empty stomach when it is more likely to trigger “hyper eating”—but after a meal or small snack that has included some protein.
CANDIES THAT INDUCE SUGAR SUCKING VAMPIRE ZOMBIE ON STEROIDS ME
APPROVED NON-VAMPIRE INDUCING CANDIES THAT WORK WELL FOR ME
-miniature candy bars
-Mike and Ikes
-Sugar free gum
THANK YOU HUNGRY GIRL
Lynn Bettencourt from Hungry Girl was kind enough to send a link of Halloween Candy with a breakdown of calories emphasizing lower calorie choices. Click here for the list.
3) Stimulus Control, Stimulus Control, Stimulus Control
Where does Halloween candy lurk in your life?
-In your office?
– In your home?
-In your friend’s or families’ homes?
Think ahead to where you might be challenged this season and do your best to remove (or better yet, not even bring home) any tempting treats. It’s easy for the Inner Rebel to say, “it’s for the trick or treaters”. But really do you need to be buying the type of candy that is going to challenge you? Why not buy candy that you dislike or, better yet, do everyone a favor and give non-food treats or sugar free gum?
Stimulus control is a huge component of weight management—it is the silver bullet that you can shoot into the heart of the sugar sucking vampire. Win the battle this year. Be your own hero and practice stimulus control.
I hope these ideas and strategies keep both your mind and body healthy, happy and powerful this Halloween season.
Best shifting and treating! ox Rita