Halloween may be a time for light-hearted fun and dressing up as a spooky ghost, but it is also a time of serious temptation. There may not be big family meals like other holidays, but there is one giant obstacle to overcome with Halloween… CANDY! Yes, candy and lots of it. Combined with less activity due to shorter days and cooler weather, many people can find themselves putting on weight quickly. How can we overcome this barrage of treats and stay in shape?
I believe that being honest is key; I will not lie, candy is my greatest dietary weakness (especially free candy). Candy at work and at Halloween parties can be hard to avoid, let alone the candy you keep at home for the Trick-or-Treaters. However, there are measures you can take to limit your candy intake.
1) Have Healthy Snacks on Hand
Avoiding all of this candy will be a lot easier with healthy options available like nuts, sunflower seeds, or low fat yogurt. If you are hungry and have no other options, avoiding sweet treats will feel nearly impossible. Prepare ahead for times when you know you will be tempted with lots of candy. Have healthy snacks nearby, try to fill up on the healthier snacks first to reduce the amount of candy you will eat.
2) Buy Your Halloween Candy Just Before Halloween
We realize that there has to be some candy at home for when Trick-or-Treaters come to the door asking for goodies, but snacking on those sweets in the week leading up to Halloween can be a big obstacle. Make it a point to buy your candy as close to Halloween as possible to avoid snacking on it yourself. Also, try purchasing candy that you personally are not fond of to reduce the chance that you will find yourself munching on it.
3) How to Deal with Leftover Candy After Halloween
Sometimes we do well not snacking before the holiday but, once Halloween has ended, we may have a surplus of sweets left over. Maybe we bought too much, or maybe the kids brought home more than they can eat. Try giving it away to a friend or coworker that may want to take it off of your hands. If you can’t find anyone, there is always the option of throwing it away (gasp!)
By all means, enjoy yourself this Halloween. Have a few treats and enjoy the festivities; I sure will. An important part of a healthy lifestyle is not having to feel that you always have to be so strict and burn yourself out. If you’re trying to stay on track with your eating habits or watching your weight, use some of these tips to obtain your goals and live the life you want. With a little planning and mindfulness, Halloween candy doesn’t have to seem so scary!
CHES, ACE Health Coach, AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant