6 health tricks for not overdoing it on Halloween treats
With it’s late October date, Halloween kicks off the holiday season—and sometimes signals the start of holiday overindulgence, too.
The thing is, it’s easy to justify eating one bite-sized treat or snack-sized candy bar, but who stops at one? Luckily, it can be just as easy to avoid the extra calories and guilt that come along with all those individually wrapped delights. Check out these six tips to avoid gobbling up that Halloween candy all the way through Thanksgiving.
Be a last-minute shopper.
If you haven’t even picked out the candy you’ll be giving away on Halloween, good. Keep it out of the house as long as you can by waiting until the last minute to make that purchase. And, when you finally do buy candy, do not pick your favorite. There’s no reason to torture yourself by having the candy you crave just sitting there on your own kitchen counter. So, sorry, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, you’re staying on the store shelves.
Manage your hunger.
Eventually, you probably will have candy in your house or be faced with cupcakes at a school function or an office treat jar you pass 10 times a day, so make sure you’re fueling up with healthy options. Don’t skip a meal to “save” calories for candy or other treats. Think high protein and high fiber to feel full and avoid temptations.
Give yourself another option.
Keep healthy treats on hand that you can grab as easily as a Snickers bar or Twix. Think baby carrots, grapes, string cheese, almonds or even celery sticks with peanut butter.
Move it to lose it.
Craving a handful of candy corn? Take a quick walk and see if you still want it when you come back. Chances are you won’t. Getting in some bonus exercise and avoiding a sugar coma is a win-win situation.
Toss the temptation.
On Nov. 1, throw away your extra candy. Seriously. It may be wasteful, but it’s better than the alternative (read: eating it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert). Taking the candy to work doesn’t completely eliminate the temptation for you and it sabotages the healthy goals many of your co-workers may have. And if your children are concerned about missing out, see if a visit from the “Halloween Fairy” calms those fears. Wellness strategist Robin Treasure recommends replacing their Halloween haul with some change to add to their piggy bank.
Finally, be realistic.
Halloween is fun, but depriving yourself is not. Allow yourself a piece of candy or two without feeling guilty or beating yourself up. And when you do eat that candy, switch it up. Dr. Susan Albers, who focuses on mindful eating, suggests using your non-dominant hand when you eat to slow down the process and avoid mindlessly eating a large amount of candy at once. So, savor that treat and the moments spent with family and friends this Halloween.