Calorie Deficit , Nutrition, food, & eating

Have Your Candy & Eat It Too: Weight Loss Tips for Halloween

Author: Kevin Driscoll
October 26, 2023

The spook-tacular season of Halloween is here! πŸ‘»


For those on a weight loss journey, the thought of indulging in candy might seem like a forbidden spell. But with the right strategies, you can have your candy and eat it, too, without compromising your progress.


Let's explore how to navigate Halloween while staying on track with your weight loss goals.


The Candy Conundrum

Halloween and candy are hauntingly delightful, but they can also be a tricky combination when you're trying to manage your weight.



Thinking about all the candy around your office and household creates this fear and stress between wanting all the candy and trying to avoid it at all causes.


Just to let you know, there is no wrong answer.


From my experience working with hundreds of weight loss clients, the thought of a total restriction can be extreme. Feelings of being super anxious and overwhelmed often arise from cravings, eventually leading you to overindulge in all the candy. Instead, consider an approach that allows you to enjoy some of your favorite Halloween treats (Reeses for me!) without dealing with the guilt of not staying on track with your weight loss goals.


Working Backwards

Sometimes, banishing candy altogether leads to you overindulging in all the candy!


You can still lose weight and eat your favorite candy, too.





Calorie Deficit: Eating fewer calories than you can burn off in a day.


If you manage your calories and hit your calorie target, which keeps you in a calorie deficit, you will still lose weight.


No matter where those calories come from, weight loss will still happen. Take for example a professor who lost 27 pounds from eating Twinkies and Hostess Cakes for a majority of his diet.


So please plan ahead and work back to each day.


If you want a Reese's peanut butter cup, a Snickers bar, or some Starburst, plan them into your calories ahead of time and work backward for the rest of the day.


So, if your calorie target is 1,800 calories for the day, you can save 200 calories for candy and work the rest of your meals around 1,600 calories to keep you on track.


Budgeting for these calories will allow you to hit your calorie deficit and continue to lose weight while still eating some of your favorite candy!


To learn more about calorie deficits, check out my blog post: How to Make a Calorie Deficit Easier.


Focus on Consistency, Not Perfection

The goal when it comes to losing weight and losing weight sustainably is to focus on being consistent, not perfect!


Think about it: Halloween is one day. If you stay on track all the other days around it, you will be just fine (and this goes for all the other Holidays coming up in November and December).



One day of indulgence, such as Halloween, should not and will not derail your long-term progress. It's essential to remember the bigger picture and recognize that occasional treats or special occasions are part of a balanced life.


Still, plan and see what day(s) you want extra indulgence and what days you will still stay on track with your nutrition.


And, again, consistency, not perfection,  over time leads to long-term success and sustainability in weight loss.


Set Up Your Environment

When it comes to keeping up with your weight loss goals during Halloween, creating the right environment can positively impact how consistent you stay during this holiday. 


Our surroundings can significantly affect our habits. Your environment includes your home, workplace, and social circles. 


For example, at home, the bowl of M&M's is staring at you from the kitchen counter. Every time you walk by them, you get increasingly anxious until you give in and eat the entire bowl of M&M's.



Changing up and creating an environment that complements your goals will allow you to make your habits more manageable by working towards staying on track this holiday season.


1. Manage Your Temptations:

I like to say that the best way to get rid of temptations is to get rid of the temptations.


Now, in general, I will say remove temptations altogether from your environment. If you feel tempted by having Halloween candy in your house, simply don't have it.


As I said above, if you bowl of M&M's sitting on your kitchen table, you are more likely to succumb to temptation at some point. Removing these M&M's that trigger you or challenge you to stay on track will help in reducing the likelihood of giving in on them.


2. Make Nutritious Foods More Convenient (and Less Nutritious Foods Less Convenient):

This is very similar to the above, but another way to think about it is to have fruits, veggies, proteins, and other nutritious options readily or conveniently available. For example, cut up fruits and veggies, put them in front of the fridge, and put the candy and sweets in the back of the refrigerator or a place that isn't as easily accessible. 


Or better yet, if you want to enjoy a treat once in a while, remove it from your home and set yourself up to go the extra mile to go out to the store to get it.


I have weight loss clients who live in apartment buildings that put chocolate bars in their cars. Then, in order to have it, they have to cross the barrier of grabbing their keys, going outside, walking to their car, grabbing the candy, walking back to their apartment, and then sitting down to enjoy themselves.


Or they may even go a step further and have to drive all the way to the store, purchase the candy they want, and drive back home.


If they are willing to put in that much effort to get a treat, it is worth it, but if not, then it sets up this barrier to where if they aren't willing to go to the store, it's most likely not worth it and allows them to stay on track. 


3. Stay Away from Your Office Break Room

Staying away from your office break room with all the Halloween candy is a smart strategy when you are committed to your weight loss goals this Halloween season.


The break room can often be an unintentional trigger for lots of candy, and an abundance of tempting treats can make it challenging to resist.

By avoiding this environment, you can minimize the daily battles with temptation and make it easier to stay consistent with your habits. It's a proactive step toward creating a supportive workplace atmosphere that aligns with your goals, ultimately contributing to a more successful and enjoyable holiday season without compromising your weight-loss journey.


Give Me a Break, Give Me a Break

Break me off a piece of that maintenance phase! 



Losing weight is challenging, and the truth is that it will take longer than you want.


So consider incorporating breaks, whether for a day, a weekend, a week, or even a few months. This can make the long game a lot more sustainable.


Most people yo-yo with their weight loss because they go super hard out of the gate, burn out, or are deprived and say, β€œf*ck it,” Go banana pants and gain all their weight back.


If you incorporate breaks, really what you are doing is maintaining weight for a period of time AND building momentum for your next weight loss phase.


You will have a much easier time staying in a calorie deficit over the course of months or a year by allowing yourself to have phases to chill for a bit.


So what you will do is shift your calories to maintenance (which will be about 300-500 calories added back to your current calorie deficit target.


For example, if you take a break on Halloween (and other Holidays), that will be a day (maybe two days) of maintenance calories. So, if you have one or 2 days out of 10 - 14 days, you are still consistent and on track to continue making progress. Don't forget to check out my blog about How to Use Calorie Cycling for Weight Loss.


An idea of a longer-term break that makes more sense is if you have a bunch of travel and events going on from Halloween until New Year's, take the next 2 months to be in maintenance. 

This will:


1. Allow you to enjoy yourself during all the Holidays. Shifting to maintenance takes a lot of the anxiety and feelings of stress of trying to stay on track and lose weight.


2. Allow you to build momentum and motivation when January comes. Me, you, your mom, and your grandmother are all going to be motivated come 2024, so take advantage of keeping up the habits you have built up already (working out, meal planning, walking, stress management, sleep, etc.), but allow a bit of flexibility with your nutrition for 2 months. Then, once the new year comes, you already have these habits in place, but you dial back in your nutrition to put yourself in a deficit. Plus, you will already be ahead of the game and have already taken action before the new year with habits!






As the Jack-o'-lanterns glow and the ghosts howl, remember that you hold the wand to craft a Halloween that's both delightful and mindful.


My recommendation is to enjoy your candy, savor each moment, and remember that in the enchanting dance between indulgence and discipline, you have the power to find your perfect balance.


Let this Halloween be a celebration of joy, treats, and the magic of achieving your weight loss goals!


And, if you're ready to get some support, accountability, and have someone take out all of the thinking for you on your weight loss journey, schedule a call with me, and we can chat.

About Author
Kevin Driscoll

Hey there! I'm an online personal trainer and nutrition coach, and I've helped hundreds of people achieve their weight loss and fitness goals without restricting them from their favorite foods or spending overtime in the gym. Let's work together!



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