Is Sugar The Scariest Thing This Halloween?

29 October 2020 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

You’re probably asking yourself what do sugar, a global pandemic and fear have to do with Halloween?

Well, all three can be scary.

We are in the middle of a global pandemic and many of us have experienced much upheaval. The holiday season is about to begin with Halloween. This year, the holidays are certainly going to look very different, some traditions will not look the same as previous years. Our minds resist and fight change, they crave certainty. This year has pushed many of us out of our comfort zones, especially around food. In times of vulnerability, it’s natural to seek comfort in sweet foods. Very often, when sweetness is lacking in our lives, we turn to it in the form of food.

The attitudes of mindfulness can help us approach the holiday season with a sense of calm:


Can you bring an attitude of acceptance that things have changed and that celebrating Halloween with “trick or treating”; costume parades and gatherings will not be possible in the same way as previous years? Despite this, could you still make it meaningful, fun and memorable?

Allowing and Letting Go

The more we try to control and restrict sugar or any food for that matter, the more it has control over us. Trying to get “control” over food makes us more out of control. I know it sounds counter-intuitive but the way to feel in charge of your eating is to allow yourself to have whatever you want. So how about letting go of the rules and restriction and allowing yourself and those around you to enjoy the Halloween candy? You may be concerned about health. Think about this, eating sweets in secrecy is not healthy. A sustainable healthy way of eating, is eating with flexibility and pleasure by letting go of guilt and shame around food choices.

Remember some foods nourish the body, others nourish the heart and soul and some are for pure fun! There is room for all of them!


When you eat, bring your attention to your body. Bring your attention to your mouth and the taste of what you are eating. Very often we overeat because our attention is elsewhere or caught up in judgement. Can you try be really present with the “party in your mouth” noticing the flavours and textures, how the food feels in your body, this will help you enjoy your food and get more satisfaction.

Bring awareness to your judgements, very often it’s labelling food good, bad or naughty that leads to overeating. Sugar is not bad and you are not weak or naughty for eating sugar. Bring awareness to your thoughts.

Pay attention to thoughts like:

  • This year has been so awful that I am just going to eat!
  • I’ve already blown it, I might as well carry on!
  • That’s enough
  • I shouldn’t; I mustn’t
  • Everyone else is eating
  • Sugar is addictive
  • If I start, I won’t stop..
  • What the hell! Who cares!
  • I will be good tomorrow, on Monday, in the New Year…

Every time you eat is an opportunity to practice, learn and start again. We are aiming for progress NOT perfection!


It’s important to acknowledge that food and holidays can be tricky to navigate at the best of times, in these trying times, it can be even more challenging. Diet culture has spoilt the fun of the holidays by focusing on weight loss and controlling or eliminating certain foods. If you have a history of dieting or restricting foods, going on another diet or trying to control your food can offer you a false sense of control and comfort. Putting all your attention on what you can or can’t eat is often a distraction from more serious things in your life that you may be avoiding.

Attend with care

Can you treat yourself kindly whatever may arise this weekend? If you overeat, or eat too much sugar, avoid beating yourself up. Nourish don’t punish. Your body has infinite wisdom and will digest and process everything you have eaten. As best you can, treat yourself to fun, pleasure and care within the limitations that we face right now.

Wishing you a Happy Halloween!

All my best,

PS. Are you ready to heal your relationship with food? Book a free mini session.

PPS. Stressing about eating during the holidays? Check out my online How To Handle Eating in the Holidays course.

Halloween Gift for you: A Chocolate Meditation to help you eat chocolate mindfully.


“Working with Xenia was amazing. She armed me with a bunch of tools to help me through difficult times. Xenia is the kind of person who really cares for helping you in the long run. Her work will forever have an impact in my life.”

Daniela Velásquez, Ottawa, Canada

“Working with Xen was a game changer for me. After working together for a few months my relationship with food radically changed. I no longer felt like a failure. I now have the tools to nourish my body with foods that feel good in my body. I don’t feel guilty about eating cake or chocolate, I also don’t overeat cake and chocolate. I no longer feel the need to exercise to compensate for my eating. I feel much more free around eating and I am more accepting of my body. Xen has a nonjudgmental and compassionate approach to coaching and really supports you in the process.”

Rachel, Dublin, Ireland

“Working with Xen has been very empowering. Her approach is so refreshing from the usual. I have learned that I am in charge and that I get to choose what I put in my body and how to move my body in a way that I like! I get to make my own choices. It’s so liberating. Once you get a taste of freedom with food, there is no turning back to old ways! Thanks Xen for guiding me along the way to freedom.”

Heather B, Cork. Ireland

“This is the answer for those of you that struggle with food and all that surrounds it. Xenia said that I could make peace with food and it seemed at the time like an impossible dream. Turns out it isn’t. I recommend Xen and the mindful eating / intuitive eating approach unreservedly. If you have any questions about my experience, please get in touch. Thank you Xen. My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”

Michelle, Johannesburg, South Africa

“Xenia was a walking, living, breathing example of what can be done. I laughed and cried my way through a short course in this fascinating and invigorating programme with her, and have gained a designer tote full of coping skills that go way beyond containing kilogrammes. I feel infinitely lighter. I am doing this for me and, yes, you can do this for you too! And believe me, I’m cynical!”

Diana, Vancouver, Canada

“I don’t obsess about food like I used to. I am thinking differently about food and feeling so much more relaxed around all types of food. It’s wonderful to have pleasure and satisfaction from eating.”

Sarah, Illinois, USA

“I learned a new way of thinking about food. I have learned that food is not the enemy and that it can actually be enjoyed with no guilt.”

Sandy, London, United Kingdom

Certified by The Life Coach School Certified Life Coach Certified and Trained by The Original Intuitive Eating Pro Professional Member of The Center for Mindful Eating