Indulge Smart: A Guilt-Free Guide To Enjoying Halloween Candy In West Des Moines IA
Halloween is the season of spooks, costumes, and, most importantly, candy! Whether you're a fitness fanatic or an average Joe and Jill, the temptation of indulging in those sweet treats is almost irresistible. But how can you enjoy Halloween candy without feeling guilty or jeopardizing your health? In this blog post, our West Des Moines IA chiropractic clinic will dive into a few hacks for guilt-free candy consumption and discover unique ways to savor those sugary delights while keeping your health in check.
Since there is no one-size-fits-all approach to candy consumption or anything in life for that matter, we’ll break this conversation into two groups of people: the Super Fit and Average Joes and Jills.
The Super Fit Squad & Why Maintenance Calories Are Your True Foe In West Des Moines IA
For the super-fit individuals out there, your primary concern is calorie intake. The one exception in this category would be the ultra-runners. Due to their training, their bodies have adapted for efficient long-distance runs, which, in turn, may reduce their physical muscle mass. This reduction can affect their ability to handle sugar effectively. So, for the sake of this argument, ultra-runners, despite their fitness, may align more with the average person when it comes to candy consumption.
Now, back to the super fit. You've put in the hard work, and maintained a rigorous fitness routine, and now you want to ensure your candy indulgence doesn't derail your progress. The good news? You can relax a bit. When it comes to this topic, it's essential to watch your calorie intake rather than obsess over candy or sugar. Yes, sugar isn't great, and candy isn't a healthy food, but we're not discussing daily overconsumption. We're talking about those occasional moments when you want to enjoy something outside your normal balanced routine.
It's crucial to remember that the rate at which we burn calories is not static; it fluctuates based on factors like activity level and environmental conditions. Your body has an internal regulator that manages when to store or burn calories based on need and trends that are specific to your daily functions. It doesn't instantly transform your physique in response to a sudden intake of calories, so worrying about such as if it does, is literally fretting over nothing. However, if you truly want to enjoy some candy this year, with a little less anxiety, here are two simple hacks:
- Hack 1: Plan your Halloween treat consumption in advance. On the morning of your candy rendezvous, reduce your morning or lunch by 250 calories (or generally equal to whatever the calorie count is that you wat to eat). This way, your net calorie intake for the day remains the same, and guilt becomes a non-issue.
- Hack 2: Sometimes, your well-laid plans go awry, and you find yourself devouring candy like a kid in a candy store, and that single candy bar turned into six (ok eight) frozen Reece’s. At 100 calories each, you just busted your daily maintenance levels. In this situation, don’t freak out. Instead, look ahead to the upcoming week and know that you'll need to reduce your caloric intake by 800 calories; spread this reduction over 5-7 days to avoid undue anxiety. Remember, you took a rare occasion to enjoy yourself, so feel good about it. Simply reduce each day by around 100 – 150 calories for the week and after, return to your normal routine.
I use both hacks for my nutrition routine and in doing so let’s me maintain my current weight, WITHOUT feeling bad OR overtraining to overcompensate. Given that I maintain 12% bodyfat with a daily maintenance level of 4,000 calories, is proof that a balanced and flexible approach to nutrition is more effective than any restrictive tool that will bring upon guilt as a byproduct. If you have questions, comments or want to challenge me on this, do not hesitate to reach out. I love engaging in learning and both taking and receiving advice.
Now, let's talk about the rest of us average Joes and Jills who adore sugar but need to manage those insulin ghosts and ghouls.
What's the Fuss About Insulin?: Insulin is a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. When you consume sugary candies, your blood sugar skyrockets, causing an insulin spike.
This can lead to sugar crashes and cravings, pushing us to consume more empty snacks and sugary meals, ultimately making us feel terrible while reaching for more, more, more. This cycle can quickly turn a simple 250-calorie snack into over 2,500 calories in no time. Not only have we doubled our daily calorie intake, but we've also triggered significant insulin spikes. Repeatedly indulging in this manner, even just a few times a week, can set us on the path to diabetes and other health issues as we age.
If you’re in this category of people. That’s ok. We're all human, and we have to make our day work through the simplest means possible; something you shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about (unless want me too). But, if being healthier in some way has always been on your mind, and the only barrier has been that you don’t know where to start, start here with this tiny little adjustment. And the next suggestion I make, try it, or the one after that. Sooner than you realize, all the small, non-invasive changes will accumulate to a real-life impact that you can be proud of.
So, average Joe and Jills, enjoy your Halloween candy. But before you do, consume some protein or fat, preferably from whole foods. It could be a piece of chicken (fried, baked, or poached), or a handful of nuts. The trick is to eat your protein or possibly a meal with carbs, fiber, and protein before your candy within the same time frame. This approach allows you to ride the digestion and insulin spike that has already occurred rather than creating a new one.
If you want a little science as to why you should eat in this order, here are two: It reduces multiple separate insulin spikes, which are linked to diabetes and weight gain. Additionally, it helps you control your candy consumption because the foods you ate prior take precedence and signal your brain to feel satisfied sooner. Which loosely translates to the fact that you've adulted like never before, and that should feel fantastic.
To my fellow average Joes and Jills, I know what you’re going through, because I have been where you are. And when I made the change, I tiptoed my way into a healthier lifestyle, because anytime I’ve made drastic changes to my life or diet prior, they never worked; and I always ended up fatter and unhappier. There is a lot of science and data to support the guidelines that have developed my health. I tested things I wanted to try, got rid of the things that didn’t work, and refined the ones that did. It took four years to transform my health, fitness, and life. A transition that I could have done in a fraction of the time had I just had a BS meter to help me break through all the crap we’re told by social media, the internet, and even professionals. But I didn’t, and I don’t mind because I still had fun figuring things out and now receive great joy at highlighting my failures and sufferings to make sure you don’t. Yes, I’m morbid, odd, super fit, super happy, eating whatever I want duck.
If you have any questions, or comments or want to share your experiences, don’t hesitate to reach out!
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