Your questions about Halloween, with an intuitive eating dietitian’s answers!
I recently took to Instagram to hear what anxieties are coming up as Halloween approaches. Here are some great questions that rolled in with my answers on how you can handle the challenges!
Q: I worry about being judged for eating candy since I’m in a bigger body. How should I handle this?
A: This is a very real concern for so many people in larger bodies, and I’m so glad you shared this! The unfortunate truth is that there will always be people who judge you for what you eat or don’t eat; we can’t control what other people say or do. What we can control is how we react. Here are some ideas for when you hear or feel judgment:
- Remind yourself of what would change in your life/behaviors if you DID put all your focus on making your body smaller (restrictive diets? skipping meals? overexercise? missing out on fun with family and friends? low energy? weight cycling? I could go on!)…you get the point, giving in to that judgment is extremely counter productive. Remember that your happiness comes first!
- Wear some festive clothes or a fun costume that you LOVE! Feeling good in your body means treating it with respect, and that includes what you wear! So rock an outfit that you’ll enjoy so much that the judgment won’t matter.
- Stay focused on maintaining your eating habits. The more consistently you eat, the more stable your blood sugar, the more stable your MOOD! Staying nourished all day long helps you have clear thoughts to fight diet culture.
Q. What should I do the day after Halloween? I always feel so guilty?
A: That’s totally understandable! Diet culture messaging around candy is ROUGH!
The number one most important thing to do after any day of eating more than usual is to EAT THE NEXT MEAL! And continue eating meals and snacks at regular intervals the next day, regardless of what you may have eaten on Halloween.
Also, remember to have compassion for yourself. Holidays of all kinds are centered around food, and we are conditioned to have conversations about how to “make up” for all of the excessive eating we may have done (black Friday or post-Christmas diet promises sound familiar?). The best thing you can do is remind yourself that it’s not your job to make up for what you ate or drank on Halloween. Your body knows what to do with that food.
Q: How do I prevent bingeing on candy?
A: First, it’s important to define what a binge is: we sometimes see this term being misused by the diet industry and can be mistaken with eating more food than you intended, or eating any “forbidden” food. A binge is defined as eating a large quantity of food, often to the point of physical discomfort, accompanied by a feeling of loss of control.
Binges are usually preceded by some kind of restriction: did you purposely skip dinner because you knew you were going to a Halloween party where there would be food available? Did you tell yourself that you weren’t going to eat any candy during the week leading up to Halloween? Did you decide that you would only have 1 piece of candy on Halloween, and nothing more? These types of thoughts and behaviors are the place to start if you want to prevent binges.
This Halloween try a more neutral approach:
Eat all your meals and snacks as you normally would so that you are not overly hungry.
Continue to include a variety of protein, carb, and fat in all your meals (having enough protein will help prevent intense sugar cravings).
Allow yourself candy as you crave it, and check in with how your body feels throughout the day so that you know when it is sending you cravings for other foods.
I hope this post leaves you feeling a bit more prepared for a fun and festive Halloween with scary movies and costumes but NO scary diets!