Don’t Get Tricked by Halloween Treats
Halloween is a scary day filled with ghosts, goblins, vampires and haunted houses. But for many people, the scariest part of all is the Halloween candy. It seems there is candy everywhere you turn. And with the mini sizes, it’s easy to fool yourself into thinking the calories don’t count! If you aren’t careful, you can start out the real holiday season with a pumpkin belly!
Halloween can be a problematic day for many people - especially if you like sugary treats. How many times have you bought Halloween candy weeks in advance? Of course, the bag doesn't stay unopened for long! How many of you anxiously await your kids to go to bed so you can dig into their stash of candy? Or how about the Halloween candy in your office - once you start, you just can't stop? Read on for some of my tips to control your intake of Halloween treats. Tips to control your intake of Halloween candy:
- Don't buy candy too early - try to buy it the day of Halloween or the day before. The longer it’s in your home, the greater the chances that you will eat it.
- Don't buy your favorite candy. If you are a chocoholic, buy something without chocolate. You can always buy something healthy like mini boxes of raisins. The other moms will appreciate it!
- Consider leaving the candy in a basket outside of your home. You’ll be less tempted to grab one as you walk by.
- Decide how you will handle your child's Halloween candy. A suggestion is to let your child pick out 10 of their favorite candies. Ration out one a day for the next 10 days. Check out the Halloween Candy Buy Back (www.halloweencandybuyback.com), a program where participating dentists “buy” back kids’ candy and then send it to U.S. military deployed in harm’s way. You know you’ll be giving to a good cause.
- If you have candy at work, try to limit yourself to 100 calories or so of candy a day. If you find that you lose control once you have even one piece of candy, then DON'T even start! Bring in an alternate snack.
- If there is bowl of candy at work, try to keep it out of your sight and/or reach. Avoid going in the room where the candy is stashed.
- Think twice before grabbing that extra candy. A 125 pound person would have to walk 102 minutes or bike 44 minutes to burn off the extra 200 calories in 2-3 mini candies. A 175 pound person would have to walk 76 minutes or bike 32 minutes to burn it off. Is it worth it?
- Maintain your usual exercise routine during the weeks surrounding Halloween as well as the holiday season in general. Not only does exercise burn calories and have numerous health benefits, it can also help you feel more in control.
- Don’t skip meals. Include balanced meals that include protein, high fiber carbs and healthy fats. If you go more than 4 hours between meals, it’s also a good idea to include an energizing snack such as cheese and whole grain crackers, nuts, a fruit, nut butter on an apple or a yogurt. Eating regular meals and snacks will help you to resist the urge to overindulge in Halloween treats.
- If you end up overindulging in candy, get back on track. Don’t let it send you off into a downward spiral. Let it go!
Bottom Line: While there is no problem with enjoying a treat or two on Halloween, don’t get tricked into thinking these mini candies are harmless as the calories really do add up. In addition, the sugar from these treats sets off more cravings. So make sure you plan ahead and try some of my tips to prevent yourself from overindulging. The real season for overindulging is just around the corner!