Halloween candy is just an arm’s length away virtually everywhere we turn, even at doctors’ offices.
Usually we can smell it before we even see it – an olfactory reality that many a retail outlet has used to enhance “purchase related” consumer behavior.
How are most people to eat healthfully and keep their weight (and cholesterol) under control during fall and winter holiday time – through Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, New Year’s?
Last year I successfully restricted and improved my diet by eating only from a prescribed list of foods that included lean meats and leafy green vegetables. This year, however, lighter on my feet, I’m badly tempted.
Like millions of others, I tend to reach for chocolate. It’s really no surprise that according to the National Confectioners Association, 72 percent of all candy spending this Halloween will be on chocolate. (Last year, more than $12.6 billion was spent on the sweet stuff.)
To break unhealthy habits and bring some common sense to the table, health coach and nutritionist Janet Blum of northern N.J. shares solid advice: “Have a plan in advance in terms of what you’ll eat. Bring healthy snacks to the office instead of grabbing from a candy bowl. Drink plenty of water during the day. Take a quick stroll when you can. And keep in mind there will always be candy (or other desserts) readily available – but you’re choosing long-term good health over fleeting temptations.”
It turns out that such “pre-commitment strategies” work well, too, when it comes to shopping – something our mothers and grandmothers knew instinctively.
A recent study in Nutrition and Diabetes examined how using a grocery list and sticking to it “were likely to be cost effective in facilitating healthier diets, weight loss and ultimately better health among overweight and obese individuals,” according to Glynis Smalley of Monash University of Melbourne, Australia, whose Centre for Health Economics produced the study.
So here’s a pledge for fall 2013 and beyond. It won’t be for everyone, but it’s for me: I’m making an “eating” list and sticking to it.
And chocolate isn’t on it.