Beware of Halloween, The Startof the Holiday Sugar Season

The annual sugar-fest has begun. It starts with loads of cheap candy hitting store shelves a few weeks before Halloween. People buy candy at “bargain” prices for trick-or-treaters. With lots of candy in their house, many decide to have a piece of candy, then maybe another and another. Their sugar cravings build, and they keep eating sugar, which leads to more cravings, which leads to more bingeing.

Halloween is our culturally acceptable “eat-all-you-want” candy day. It’s fitting that right after Halloween is November, which is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Few people see how ironic and telling this is.

Halloween is not the end of the average American’s sugar overload. It’s just the beginning of a season of too much sugar-laden candy, desserts and sweet drinks that runs from Halloween through Thanksgiving through Hanukkah and Christmas, and New Year’s. But Halloween starts it off. I can’t tell you how many clients have told me they fell off the wagon of healthy eating starting with Halloween and never got themselves back on track the whole holiday season. They gained weight and felt awful.

According to some estimates, the average American gains seven pounds during the holiday season. It’s also common for people to be sick often with colds, flus, or infections from October through January. That isn’t surprising when you consider that the holiday months form a season for sugar for many Americans – and sugar suppresses the immune system.

I want to warn you not to get caught up in the sugar sampling that’s so common around Halloween. Once you get started, it’s a hard habit to break – and a pattern that can sabotage your whole holiday season.

© Copyright 2008 Melissa Diane Smith

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