Friday Weekend Warm-up: Halloween will likely look different this year, but overeating candy will still not make you feel good. Remember that, with a reasonable plan, you can enjoy some Halloween candy and still enjoy feeling on track, feeling in control, and not feeling sick from over-indulging. If you haven’t already done so, make a plan right now.
While this year’s Halloween will undoubtedly be different from years past, one thing remains the same: Halloween treats everywhere you look. If you have weight loss or weight maintenance goals, don’t let Halloween derail you! Even though it may be difficult, it can be done. Here are some strategies to help you stay on track during this year’s Halloween:
- DON’T buy candy early. Just don’t do it! Having it in the house ahead of time will do nothing but tax your resistance muscle. Keep your home a craving-free environment. It will make staying on track so much easier
- DON’T buy your favorite candy. Why would you buy the thing that’s hardest for you to resist? Just because it’s your favorite, doesn’t mean it’s everyone’s favorite. Buy candy that you don’t like as much, and you’ll have an easier time resisting it.
- DO plan to have some candy. But the key word is plan. Maybe you get a big bag of candy you don’t like as much to give out to trick-or-treaters (if there even are any this year!) and then get one of your very favorite. That way, you get to enjoy candy you love and won’t mind not eating the candy you don’t love.
- DO make a plan for the leftovers. There’s nothing harder than having a house full of candy and no idea of where it’s all going to go. If you think, “I can’t deprive my kids by getting rid of their Halloween candy,” remember that kids don’t need to be loaded up on sugar, either. It’s doing them no favors in the same way it’s doing you no favors. And no one is saying you have to get rid of all of their candy. There’s a big difference between getting rid of all Halloween candy and saving every piece. Maybe you save enough for them to have a few pieces every day for two weeks. And then donate/throw out/give away the rest. And maybe you save some for yourself, too, and keep it in a different spot. That way, it’s clear that their candy is their candy, and yours is yours.
Think about how you want to feel when you go to bed on Halloween night. Do you want to feel overly full, in a sugar haze, and regretful of overdoing it? Do you want to feel proud of your ability to enjoy some candy and still stay on track and make progress towards your goals? We’re guessing it’s probably the latter! If so, consider making a Response Card to read on Halloween. It could say something like:
Remember, enjoying Halloween and staying on track/making progress on weight loss are not mutually exclusive goals! I can enjoy some candy and still enjoy feeling on track, feeling good physically, and feeling proud of myself. It’s true I won’t be eating every bit of candy that I would like, but doing so doesn’t make me feel good, anyway. It will be such a triumph to go to bed tonight feeling good in my head and my body.
Thursday Think Tip: Whenever you have a big success (you overcome a craving, you don’t give in to the urge to emotionally eat, you order a healthy takeout meal, you stay on track at an event), ask yourself, “How did I do it? What was I saying to myself?” Then write it down! If it worked once, it’s likely to work again.
Wednesday Sabotage: I can still eat like I used to and look the way I used to.
Response: What’s the evidence for that? In the past, factors were likely different. I was younger, had more time to exercise, didn’t have kids, etc. I have to accept that now things are different and if I want results, I have to do things differently.
Tuesday Reality Check: Did you buy Halloween candy already? Is it tempting you? If so, get rid of it. Hide it. Give it away. Do something so that it’s not hanging around and taxing your resistance muscle the rest of the week.
Monday Motivation: We are heading into the holiday season. If you haven’t been on track lately, now is the time to start. Even if other holiday seasons have gotten the best of you in the past, this can be the year that you make a change. This can be the year that you get it right. And it starts TODAY!
Friday Weekend Warm-up: This weekend, get out there and move! The weather has cooled down, so now is the perfect time to get some exercise outside.
Thursday Think Tip: Are you reading Response Cards every day? If you’re not, it’s time to start! Your brain will make plenty of sabotaging thoughts all on its own. You need every bit of ammunition to respond to them.
Wednesday Sabotage: I just want to snack all evening long.
Response: If I get the urge to snack all evening long (especially if I’ve had a reasonable dinner), then it’s NOT about hunger! It’s about boredom, or being tired, or needing some pleasure. There are many other ways to achieve these ends without sabotaging my weight loss goals, so I’m going to find something else to do.
Tuesday Reality Check: While we do believe that getting on the scale is a helpful accountability tool, we also believe that it’s just a number! It doesn’t define you or say anything about your character. You are more than that number.
The Beck Diet Program was developed by Dr. Judith S. Beck with Deborah Beck Busis, LCSW.
Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a leading international source for training, therapy, and resources in CBT.
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