From the folks at Eat to Perform: “Are you ready for Halloween?

From the folks at Eat to Perform: “Are you ready for Halloween? If you have kids, there WILL be candy (won’t there?) and you WILL be “testing it” for safety. If you work in an office environment, chances are there’s a party to attend, and the rest of the world can’t resist the opportunity to throw a shindig in honor of the spookiest night of the year either.
There will be people in ridiculous costumes, there will be alcohol, there will be food (maybe in the shape of brains or eyeballs or something macabre like that) and you have two choices if you care about your long-term fat loss or performance goals:

a) avoid it all and be an antisocial pariah for Halloween instead of going as Darth Vader for the 20th year in a row or
b) head into the festivities with a plan that allows you to enjoy your life and stay on track for your goals at the same time

The bottom line is that like everything else in your daily life, nutrition requires forethought to be effective. You need a plan to get where you want to go.”
If you are doing the Whole Life Challenge, there should be stop gap measures already in place for you to help manage the carnage that can ensue on a night like Halloween. If you are not participating in the WLC here are some nutritional truths about what excess sugar intake does to your body (the link takes you to the full article but here are some excerpts):
  • Today, an average American consumes about 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, which amounts to 77 pounds of sugar per year
  • The human body is not made to consume excessive amounts of sugar, especially fructose. It is actually a hepatotoxin and is metabolized directly into fat – factors that can cause a whole host of problems that can have far-reaching effects on your health
  • One study found that fructose is readily used by cancer cells to increase their proliferation – it “feeds” the cancer cells, promoting cell division and speeding their growth, which allows the cancer to spread faster
  • As a general recommendation, keep your total fructose consumption below 25 grams per day, including that from whole fruit

knowledge is (will)powerNow, let’s talk about what’s in those little “fun size” candy bars. We’ll use as an example, one of my favorites–the Nestle Crunch. Remember, this is the “fun size version”. One Fun Size Nestle Crunch bar contains 70 calories, 3.3g of total fat, 1.7mg cholesterol and 20mg of sodium. The total carbohydrate count is 9.7g, 8g of which come from sugar. Remember, the WHO Guidelines for sugar intake for adults is no more than 25 grams per day. This is total sugar in all of your food for the entire day, not just “added sugars”. The AHA goes a step further and breaks it down to include that children should not exceed more than 12 grams (3 tsp.) per day. In other words, about 1.5 pieces of that Nestle Crunch Bar should do for a child, and that’s if they didn’t eat any other foods with carbohydrates in them.

I’m not saying that you’ll be able to pry the candy from your child’s grip tomorrow evening, or that you will necessarily be able to keep yourself from overindulging. BUT, if you are armed with knowledge, you at least have a fighting chance to try to be responsible about your diet and what you decide to put into it. Be safe out there and have a wonderful time!