Unless you have incredible willpower, having Halloween candy lying around the house for weeks is never a good idea when you are trying to watch your weight. (Actually, Halloween candy isn’t good for ANYONE, regardless if they are on a diet or not.) The important thing is to PREPARE how you will get through this Halloween without giving in to temptation. Here are some tips:
- Costco had big bags of Halloween candy out in mid-September, but waiting to buy trick-or-treat candy until the last minute is a good idea. It won’t be around your house for days (or weeks) before Halloween, so you won’t be tempted to have “just one” little candy bar.
- Buy Halloween candy you don’t like or can easily resist. If you really like chocolate, get sweet-tarts or skittles. For me, I actually LOVE smarties, starburst chews, etc., so I get the chocolate!
- Put the candy out in a big bowl on your front porch and go trick-or-treating with your kids. Even if you put a sign up that says “Please take ONE”, chances are that you’ll come back to an empty bowl. You want to avoid leftover candy whenever possible. And by walking around with your kids, you’ll get great exercise and see lots of super-cute costumes.
- At the risk of being ridiculed by your neighborhood, give something out instead of candy. Pencils and raisins aren’t the most popular items with the kids… but maybe silly bands or play-dough will go over better. If you aren’t giving out candy, you won’t have any leftover to snack on!
When your kids come home with a truckload of candy, how do you resist taking one or two (or more) from their stash? Here are some suggestions:
- Have your kiddos store their candy in their rooms, or at least somewhere other than the kitchen. If it is out of sight, it will likely be out of mind.
- Remind yourself that most Halloween candy bars are made of low-grade chocolate and are NOT worth the calories! If you want a piece of chocolate, go get a square of Ghiradelli dark chocolate and savor it. Don’t waste your calories on the cheap stuff. It’s NOT that good and you will likely not be satisfied with just one.
- Think of your body’s reaction to that candy bar. After eating it, your blood sugar and insulin will spike, which in turn will make your body store more fat. After you crash back down, you’ll be tired and hungrier than before. So make a conscious choice to skip the rollercoaster!
- Reward yourself for not indulging in Halloween candy. Buy yourself a juicy novel you’ve been wanting, get some great new shoes, or go get a pedicure. If you successfully resist temptation, you deserve to treat yourself!
- Try a “bait and switch” tactic. Offer your kiddos a non-food treat in exchange for getting rid of the candy. Perhaps they want the latest Webkinz? Buying a $14 stuffed animal will get the candy out of your house and eliminate temptation, which is a pretty good value if you ask me.
- A week or so after Halloween, there are places that collect leftover Halloween candy to distribute to children in hospitals. My daughters’ school does this every year. Tell your kids that anything not eaten after a week will go to charity… by then they are probably over their candy craze anyway.
Have a Happy (and Healthy) Halloween!