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Holiday Tips & Treats That Won’t  Play Tricks On Your Waistline

By: Dianne Villano, CPFI

Halloween. So starts the Holiday Season. The average American gains 7-12 pounds between Halloween and New Year’s. As Halloween rears its head, so does the plethora of wonderful smelling  chocolates and other treats  that tempt us as we walk through the aisles of our favorite stores. I will cover some tips, tricks and  nutrition information for many of the popular candies to help you make the best choices.

If you can count it and limit it to a single serving, you can work it into your food plan and enjoy the holiday festivities without sacrificing your fitness goals


  1. Keep your goals firmly planted in your mind.  We all get “caught up” from time to time. While in “the moment”,  it is quite easy to lose sight of your ultimate vision and why you  began your fitness or nutrition program in the first place. I always spend time,  prior to the beginning of the Holiday season, reinforcing our client’s “Why’s”.

     How will your life be better when you are living at your goal weight? What will you be wearing? How will you be feeling? Where will you feel more confident or energetic? How will your weight loss benefit your family ? How are you feeling in  your current condition? Why the heck do you want to lose this weight anyway ?

    I suggest that people make a “why card” and keep it visible for those times when the going gets tough. You can also pick out a favorite outfit which  no longer fits , find a picture of an outfit that you would love to be able to wear, find a picture of yourself or someone else that represents your goal or find a “before” picture that represents something that you never want to go back to.  Keep them handy for a constant reminder of why you do  want to make the choices that will lead you to your goal.

  2. Keep an eye on serving sizes and portions – Any food (even not so healthy ones) can be worked into your food plan, it’s just a matter of awareness and balance. Many people label foods “good” or bad. In reality, it is all about portions and serving sizes.

  3. Make a plan -  If you are like most people, you grab a “treat” or two every time you walk past the bowl. This can add up to hundreds of calories before you know it.  Plan ahead and count a few treats into your food plan ahead of time.  Count them out in advance and place them in a separate bowl or dish. This will keep you from feeling “deprived” and still allow you to stay on track towards your goals.

  4. Avoid the “All or nothing” mentality. Let’s face it, no one’s perfect.  Chances are,  there will be a time or two when you go overboard. Don’t let this lead into an “I already blew it” binge that lasts until January 1st.  No one or two days is going to make or break your fat loss efforts. The key is to get right back on track the next day and consider adding  some extra cardio in to work off the extra calories.

  5. What is in YOUR candy bowl ? This can make a significant difference in how you manage your weight throughout the Holiday. Be aware, however, that “healthier” does not necessarily mean “fewer calories” , that “low fat” does not mean that you can eat twice as much, and that “lo carb” usually means more calories.

  6. Choose candy you don't like:  You will be less apt to eat out of habit and “take a piece or two” if you are not surrounded by your favorites.

  7. Choose alternatives to candy: Give out  dried fruits, nuts, raisins, cheese and cracker packets, pretzels, popcorn , or fruit roll-ups for a more healthful “treats.”

  8. Choose low-calorie treats: Things like  Licorice, popcorn, gummy bears, mints and marshmallows are all lower calorie alternatives.

  9. Choose small portions: Buy fun-sized chocolates instead of their full sized counterparts. Don’t forget to count out in advance your allotted servings for the day.

  10. Choose non-food alternatives: You can still enjoy the holiday festivities and keep the trick or treaters happy. Many stores and holiday shops carry a multitude of Halloween miniature toys, cars, glow-in-the-dark necklaces and other fun little goodies.

  11. Be informed and prepared: Many people see the holidays as a time where nutrition labels don’t matter because all “treats” are bad. During this time of year it is even more important to look at and compare nutrition labels and to be aware of SERVING SIZES.  This will  allow you to enjoy the holidays without sabotaging your weight loss efforts.



Article written by Dianne Villano, President of Custom Bodies. Custom Bodies has been serving the bay area since 1996 with weight loss & fitness programs for every fitness level. Dianne is a personal fitness instructor certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a frequent speaker on health and fitness related topics with articles published in over 20 media outlets including Weight Loss & Obesity Resource Center, Women’s Exercise Network, Self Growth , Gateway to Beauty & Life tools for Women.

For more articles or free  fitness tools visit



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