RALEIGH, N.C. — Weight gain for kids and adults over the holiday season can start early with Halloween parties and candy bags, experts say.
“One Halloween for one night does not ruin somebody's diet plan. It's moderation. It's the Halloween candy that continues for three or four months from now because it's such a large amount of candy,” Rex registered dietitian Natalie Newell said.
For children, Newell recommends a healthy dinner before trick or treating.
“Don't lead them out the door with an empty stomach. Then, they are going to want to over-eat,” she said.
Newell suggests limiting the pieces of candy per day and trading some candy for toys. Parents can then throw away the candy. After 10 days, she said candy could be thrown away to prevent a temptation for adults.
After Halloween, Thanksgiving pies and Christmas cakes will be on the way.
“It’s the continuing of the snacks throughout the whole, entire several months that add up to weight gain,” Newell said.
Experts suggest focusing on maintaining weight, not losing it, during the holiday time. Food should be enjoyed in moderation. If someone eats a little more than usual, exercising more can help. It takes 3,500 calories to gain a pound a week and 3,500 extra calories must be burned to lose a pound a week.