Are you still a Toys-R-Us kid? You don’t want to grown up? Do you still enjoy all the Halloween candy you’ve loved since your mom handed you held that plastic pumpkin?
Halloween marks the start of a turning point for people who are on the fence about fitness. They get bombarded by Halloween candy.
Weeks later Thanksgiving is knocking at the door.
Do you want us to even mention the Christmas season? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The road to your goals shows a left turn up ahead? What are you going to do? Lock yourself in a closet until the candy is gone? The fact is a lot of us let this time of year become a downward spiral of treating ourselves. Then, 5 pounds heavier, we’re pissed for letting ourselves go.
What if you didn’t have to crush the Toys-R-Us kid inside you?
At Results Driven we’re all about sensible strategies for exercise, nutrition and lifestyle. This doesn’t have to be the start of your health and fitness goals falling to the wayside. With some restraint and planning you can enjoy a little bit of candy and not let it start the cascade that leads to a new years resolution.
We know how those go.
Here are some tips for managing the halloween binge!
1… Candy After Exercise
Candy is a carb. Think of it as a sweet potato in a wrapper that has no nutritional value. The cool thing is we can use the same principle we use for managing our carb intake no matter the type of carb.
Our general recommendation for managing carbs is to enjoy them after a workout. While exercising, your body uses the sugar reserves in your muscles for energy. Post-workout we want to have a starchier carb to get sugar back to the muscles and aid in recovery. Therefore, treat your candy like a sweet potato and enjoy it after your workout.
There you have it! Eat candy after your workout. The sugar can help you recover but, mind the next tip!
2… Understand the What You’re Eating
How much sugar is in the candy you chose?
What’s the serving size?
How much fat is in that little morsel?
Just because we said you can have candy doesn’t mean you can cue the dump truck pulling out of Hershey, Pennsylvania. You still have to be smart about it.
Women should have around 30g of carbs after a workout, men should have between 50g-60g. So do some research. If you want candy have it after a meal and consider it your starch. Also…
3… Don’t Pair with Alcohol or Another Starch
You now know the amount of carbs in your post workout meal. Try not to exceed the recommendations above with that meal. That means don’t pair that candy with alcohol or another starch.
Steak, spinach, potatoes, and candy. No!
Steak, spinach, beer and candy. No!
Remember earlier when we said, “Sensible,” that applies here. Don’t double up. Choose the candy, starch or alcohol and stick to it.
4… Have Candy with a Meal
It’s been an underlying part of this entire blog but it’s worth stating the obvious. Don’t eat candy by itself.
A big part of our entire nutritional approach is what we call, “Crowding out the negative.” Instead of telling people, “Don’t eat carbs,” “Don’t eat dairy,” “No alcohol,” we want to encourage them to introduce a lot of beneficial foods into their diet instead.
“Drink more water.”
“Have protein and vegetables with your meals.”
This way we’re tipping the scales back towards, “healthy,” without the emotional jump of cutting out a lot of the foods you might like (think cheese, pasta and beer).
Have candy with a well balanced meal that contains a protein and a vegetable. A palm sized portion of protein for most ladies and two palms for guys. A fist of vegetables for ladies and 2 fists for guys.
5… Move More
The last thing we’d recommend is make sure you move, then move a little more. Can you get in an extra day at the gym? Can you go for a walk on lunch or after dinner? Can you make time for a morning routine?
This concept goes hand in hand with crowding out the negative. Refined sugar is damaging to the body so you should do as much as you can to offset the effects. A little extra movement never hurt anyone.