October 28


Embracing Tradition and Celebrations: Guy Fawkes Night, Halloween and the Battle of Abstainers vs. Moderators

October 28, 2023

Last night, I heard some distant fireworks, and for a moment, I thought it was strange. I later realised, it's almost Guy Fawkes Night.  Here in the UK, Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Bonfire Night, is a unique British tradition that dates back to a historic event in 1605. It's a time of year when people come together to celebrate with fireworks and bonfires, reminding us of a dramatic chapter in British history.


Guy Fawkes, a member of a group of conspirators, attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament on November 5, 1605. Their plot, known as the Gunpowder Plot, aimed to assassinate King James I and the entire English government. The plan was thwarted, and Fawkes was captured, leading to his execution. To commemorate the failed plot and the king's survival, the people of Britain started celebrating November 5th with a spectacular display of fireworks and the lighting of bonfires.

In recent years, another celebration has made its way across the Atlantic and firmly established itself in the UK. The American version of Halloween, with Trick or Treating, has become increasingly popular in the UK. It can be a challenging time for those trying to improve their metabolic health and lose weight.

Should you stick to your plan through the festivities?


It depends. You have to know yourself. The first question is: Are you an abstainer or a moderator?


Abstainers are those who find it easier to avoid temptation altogether. In the context of Halloween, they might prefer not to keep candy in the house at all to prevent overindulgence. Moderators, on the other hand, believe in enjoying treats in moderation, even during tempting times like Halloween. They can have a piece of candy without going overboard.


The choice between being an abstainer or a moderator extends beyond Halloween. It's a decision that people often make in various aspects of their lives, particularly when it comes to food and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Some people find it easier to abstain from certain foods entirely, while others feel more comfortable managing their cravings in moderation.

Understanding Yourself Is Key

The key to making this decision lies in understanding your own self-control and what works best for you. Some individuals may have the willpower to moderate their indulgences effectively, while others may struggle with temptation and find it easier to abstain. The important thing is to find a balance that supports your health and well-being goals.


The second question is: Will coming off your plan be supportive to your goals or unsupportive. If the answer is unsupportive, then to what extent are you happy to not meet your goals?


Ultimately, the food we consume should align with our goals, whether those goals are to maintain a healthy weight, improve our overall health, or simply enjoy life's pleasures without overindulging. Moderation, when practiced effectively, can be a valuable tool in achieving these goals.


As we enter this festive season, it's essential to strike the right balance between celebrating traditions like Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night while also considering our personal health and well-being. 

Whether you choose to be an abstainer or a moderator when it comes to indulging in seasonal treats, remember that the key is to enjoy these moments without compromising your long-term objectives and without feeling guilty. Consider in terms of the 80/20 rule or we prefer the 90/10 rule. If you can stick to your eating plan 90% of the time and choose supportive foods then, if you don’t have to abstain, 10% eating off plan can still work for you.

For our American friends Halloween marks the beginning of a three-month-long festive season that stretches through to Thanksgiving, and Christmas.


Guy Fawkes Night, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas may be different celebrations, but they serve as reminders of the importance of tradition, history, and personal choices. In the end, embracing these traditions and understanding our own approach to moderation can help us navigate the upcoming holiday season with joy and fulfilment. So, as the Trick or Treater take to the street and fireworks light up the sky, let's also light the way for a happy and balanced holiday season ahead.


There are changes can you make to the traditional foods, candies, sweets and delicacies so that they are similar to the original recipes but more supportive of you goals and current way of eating.

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