Halloween can be a tricky time of year for those of us with a sweet tooth. There are so many temptations that seem to crop up out of nowhere. A stash of unhealthy candy on hand for trick-or-treaters, treats that come home with the kids, and the justification that Halloween is just one night a year and gosh...don't we deserve to indulge a little?!
I struggle with the temptations too, but there are a few tricks that I've started employing, and although we are not a completely candy free household (yet) on 10/31...I feel that as a family, we've come a long way.
Top tips to avoid candy OVERLOAD:
1. Halloween is just another day. Don't make excuses that it's a special occasion or that candy will only be available once a year. All of that candy is still on shelves the rest of the year, and Halloween will come and go faster than you think! It's not worth punting your health and fitness goals for one night!
2. Have a little chat with yourself. Yup, I'm actually encouraging you to talk to yourself like a crazy person. Here is some of the dialogue that may look familiar:
"I just had the WORST day. X went wrong at work, X was horribly behaved and now I have to prepare dinner. I'd really like to just freaking park it right now in front of the fire with a gallon of wine and a bowl of all that candy."
My Advice? STOP right there and ask yourself: Is this going to take away my stress from the day? Is this going to make me feel better, or will I feel guilty? Is this going to make me happier? Is this going to give me more energy, or cause a short sugar spike followed by a crash?
We KNOW the answers to all these questions, but sometimes asking yourself and going through the logic makes it easier to keep things under control.
If you are someone who just truly enjoys Halloween candy, I'd say have one or two pieces and stop. Only employ this strategy if you are someone who can practice moderation. For many of us, one leads to two, which leads to three...you get the idea.
3. Don't buy it. If there is a candy you LOVE, do NOT go and buy 10 bags of it. I used to do this every year, and I'd make a huge candy bag for my husband and myself. In the end, it would always make me feel horrible and guilty, same with the hubby. When you don't buy extra candy, you aren't depriving yourself or members of your family, you are just changing your habits! Now I buy a few bags of candy at the very last minute to distribute, and the boys don't even see them until Halloween night. The next day if there is leftover candy, it disappears.
Here are some ideas that I LOVE to create new habits with your family:
4. Educate yourself - once you see what is actually in candy and how much it takes to burn off the tiniest amount, you may not want it as much!
5. For the kids' candy - the next day, have them put it in bowls and put the bowls up high in a cabinet. After dinner they can have one piece each day and if they forget about it then donate. Encourage them to give it away or swap it and they will get a toy.
6. Finally, If someone brings tons of candy into work, just remember all of these thoughts and if need be, get up from your desk, take a walk and distract yourself.
Above all, have a safe, and HAPPY Halloween! I hope these tips help, and if you have any additional healthy swaps or tips please let me know in the comments below!