Are you surrounded by Halloween candy at home, at work, and at the store? Do you find yourself powerless to avoid the treats that are being offered to you at every turn?
You're not alone. I love candy just as much as the next person, and if it's around, chances are that I'll be eating it. But if I allowed myself to buy, sample or eat every Halloween treat that crossed my path, I know I'd be getting further and further away from my goals of living a healthy lifestyle, staying fit and managing my weight.
Luckily, Halloween is a fun holiday for kids at heart, too—and you don't have to buy or eat a bunch of fun-sized treats to take part. Here are some calorie-free ways you can celebrate Halloween without noshing on bags full of candy.
When it comes down to making healthy choices on Halloween, I remind myself that I can have candy any time I really want it, and that Halloween is just one day. Indulge a little if you must, but don't eat something you don't love just because it's there. Although that's not always easy, I find that when I take part in these other activities, I don't think about candy much at all, and that means I still get to have fun even when trying to eat healthier.
- Dress up your pet. Confession: I am one of those people who likes to dress up her dog. Actually, this year we got Ginger her first Halloween costume! She's a pretty good sport about it. I had a lot of fun browsing and shopping for a cute costume for my little girl. We're snapping and sharing pictures of her with family and friends and can't wait to parade her around the neighborhood while all the kids are out trick-or-treating this Halloween. We're also bringing her with us to a Halloween party! You can get (or make) a fun costume for your pet as an inexpensive way to enjoy the day. And unlike kids, dogs don't mind wearing the same costume year after year. (Yes, this is my way of justifying dressing my dog as a dragon.)
- Dress up yourself. Most people do love dressing up in a silly, scary or funny costume on Halloween. Sure it helps if you have a destination like a costume party, but if not, why not throw your own? Can you dress up at work and enter the costume contest? How about conjuring up a costume you can wear while you pass out candy to trick-or-treaters? Much of the fun in wearing a costume is coming up with that clever idea, and then scavenging for all the pieces you need to put it together and really pull it off. And if you're crafty, you can really get in on the costume-creating action by making a lot of the pieces yourself!
- Decorate the house. As a kid, we used to love decorating our house indoors and out during Halloween. Spooky lights, carving pumpkins, playing spooky sound recordings and making our own scary "dummies" to sit on the porch—we loved it! Why not capture those same creative ideas and decorate your own home for Halloween? This is especially fun if you have kids to share it with, but even as a child-free adult, I still enjoy it myself! What I love even more is scoring great deals on Halloween décor on the days just past the holiday itself.
- Go to a haunted house. Not only is this a great way for adults to get in on the Halloween fun, but it's also a calorie burner! Walking through a haunted woods or theme park will really rack up the steps as part of your active lifestyle. Somehow I always stand out as the one person in the group who scares most easily, which really benefits me from a cardio standpoint. Last time I was at a haunted house, I was running and screaming from a guy chasing me with a chainsaw—a short sprint that got my heart rate up and provided a nice little fitness boost!
- Watch a scary movie. Or if you don't like scary movies, "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" is always playing this time of year. Go to a theatre, rent a horror movie (or two) and scare yourself silly (candy optional). This is a great alternative if you're not into the decorating or dressing up side of Halloween.
- Skip the candy, enjoy the sights. We only get 3-5 kids at our door on Halloween (we live on a dead end street). So I buy just enough treats to hand out to our handful of trick-or-treaters. Then, we turn off the lights and head out into the neighborhood for a walk around the block to look at all the kids, adults and dogs in their costumes and check out all the fun decorations. We usually bring the dog, and this year, she'll be dressed up for our walk (can't wait!). Since we don't have kids, this has been a fun tradition for us since we bought our home a few years ago. Even if you DO have kids, it can be a new tradition you take part in when you run out of candy, or if you don't want to be the one sitting next to that bottomless bowl of Halloween candy for hours. ('Cause let's face it, much of it ends up in your belly when you're on candy duty, right?)
What's your favorite calorie-free way to celebrate Halloween? Have you tried any of the ideas above?
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