Halloween is fun, but it can also be a little scary! It is often a time in the year when people start to over-indulge and that can sometimes continue through the holidays and the end of the year. Be careful that you don’t start enjoying all those yummy Halloween treats you give out (plus what your kids bring home), and then fall into a downward spiral through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.
Halloween can make it difficult to eat healthfully if you have a sweet tooth (and most of us do!). So that you don’t down too many Milky Ways, we’ll give you nine strategies to help fight the sugar temptations that come with Halloween.
1) Can you satisfy your cravings with just a little bit, or do you need to completely abstain from temptations?
There are two types of people when dealing with food temptations.
Some of us can keep from over-indulging if we let ourselves have just a bit of what’s tempting us—satisfying the craving with just a small amount. But there are others who have to completely abstain, because they find it very hard to stop once they start.
Know which one of these you are, and act accordingly!
If you’re in the group who can give in to a craving with a small amount and then be satisfied, let yourself enjoy one or two fun-sized bars of your favorite candy. But, if you’re in the group who needs to completely abstain from temptations, then keep the candy out of sight and out of mind as much as possible.
2) Keep blood sugar stable with healthy foods to avoid cravings. (h2)
When blood sugar is low—which occurs quickly after eating sugar—your body wants to bring its blood sugar level back up. So, what do you do when your blood sugar dips? You reach for that candy bar. When your blood sugar is stable though, you can be better about resisting the bad stuff.
Eat a dinner with plenty of protein before trick or treating or your Halloween party begins. And keep some good protein-rich snacks on hand too—roasted pumpkin seeds are a great choice and still a fun seasonal treat.
3) Curb your sweet tooth with healthy sweets.
Apple slices with almond butter or peanut butter, pear slices with swiss cheese, yogurt with fruit…there are healthy ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. Give some healthy options a try—it will keep you from eating as much candy!
4) Buy Halloween candy at the last minute.
If you know you’ll be tempted by Halloween candy, then don’t buy it early. Get it on the 31st—the stores will still have plenty, and you won’t have to try using will power for days before starting to give it out.
5) Buy candy you don’t really like.
Another strategy to limit over-indulgence of Halloween candy is to buy the kind you don’t really like. If Milky Ways are your favorite, but you don’t really like peanuts in your candy, then buy Snickers! Those will be much easier to resist.
6) Chew sugarless gum.
Sugarless gum can give you that sweet taste you’re craving and keep you from popping candy into your mouth.
7) Drink Water.
Most people are walking around dehydrated and don’t even realize it. When you’re dehydrated, your brain confuses thirst with hunger. You can end up eating when drinking water is all you really need. Try to drink half your body weight, in ounces, of water every day. So, if you weigh 140 pounds, drink 70 ounces of water each day.
8) Get rid of the extra candy right away.
Don’t hang on to it! Some dentists or other organizations in the area will donate it to troops if you will take it to them.
If nothing else, toss it! And don’t worry about wasting it. Have you heard the old saying, “You can ‘waste’ it or ‘waist’ it”? Which would you rather do?
9) Forgive yourself.
Everybody loves candy. If you have a piece, just enjoy it and then let it go. Don’t start a downward spiral of being angry with yourself over Twix bars!
Have a fun Halloween!
Try the strategies above for the temptations you’ll find yourself facing this Halloween. Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up! Take a deep breath and enjoy the holiday.