When it comes to Halloween, there are monstrous temptations lurking around every corner, whether at the office, at home or at the grocery store. You’ve worked too hard all year to let one holiday sabotage your success, yet the candy corn is calling your name! Read on for some tips on ways to indulge that sweet tooth without frightening your scale.
Moderation is Key
All it takes is an extra 100 calories a day to pack on 10 pounds in a year. That equates to roughly one fun size candy bar. So instead of splurging on the full version, go for the fun size, or even better, the bite size, and savor every morsel. Here are a few options that will make you howl with delight:
Ghouls, Goblins, Almonds and Antioxidants
Dark chocolate contains antioxidants which have been proven to increase blood flow in arteries and the heart and may lower high blood pressure. Almonds have been proven to reduce heart attack risk and lower bad cholesterol. Get these health benefits and give yourself a treat with decadent dark chocolate with almond Hershey kisses. You can have a whopping nine of them for 230 calories. Or, fill your pumpkin with dark chocolate Raisinets. You can have one quarter cup for 190 calories.
Liquid Calories… a Horrible Fright
Beware of the dangers of liquid calories this holiday season. A grande Starbucks pumpkin spice frappuccino has 400 calories, which is more than most people need for breakfast. Dunkin Donuts offers a medium gingerbread latte with 330 calories and 9 grams of fat, and a pumpkin spice latte packing 340 calories and 9 grams of fat. A 13-ounce pumpkin spice latte at Panera weighs in at 410 calories and 10 grams fat.
For some major calorie savings, order your latte without whipped cream, and request skim milk. A tall pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks with non-fat milk and no whip is a much lighter alternative at 200 calories. Some outlets even offer lite flavored syrups. Other options: sprinkle cinnamon or nutmeg on your skinny latte for a fall treat, or try a cup of hot chai tea -- rich with antioxidants and calorie-free, as long as you don't use sweeteners or milk.
Pumpkin: More than Just a Decoration
Jack-o'-lanterns are the symbol of Halloween. But don't overlook pumpkins as a source of nutrition. Pumpkins are loaded with vitamin A and fiber, and low in calories. Don't just think Pumpkin Pie; keep canned Pumpkin in the pantry and whip up some pumpkin muffins, pumpkin ravioli, or pumpkin soup.
Similar to sweet potatoes, carrots and butternut squash, pumpkins boast the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may play a role in cancer prevention, according to the National Cancer Institute.
To refuel post workout, try a cup of cooked pumpkin. It has more of the refueling nutrient potassium than a banana, with 564 milligrams to a banana's 422. A little extra potassium helps restore the body's balance of electrolytes after a heavy workout and keeps muscles functioning at their best.
Remember these tips, have a spooktacular Halloween and if you want to work off that candy corn, we’ll see you in a Jazzercise class!