Curbing the Candy Cravings

Curbing the Candy Cravings

While sugar is a powerful “drug," it’s not just the cute and colorful treats that tempt us. Halloween may hold loving memories for many of us, of our own childhood costumes and candy collecting, as well as those of our children dressing up for trick-or-treating and their squeals of delight as they came home with pillowcases filled with candy.

But it’s not all fun and games. Sugar can contribute to weight gain, moodiness, and lack of energy. And the more we eat, the more we want. So what can you do now to avoid “over-treating?”

1. Focus on the Festivities. There is a lot to get excited about besides candy: Make creative costumes, plan a neighborhood party; build a haunted house; have a pumpkin-carving contest; spend the day decorating your yard and house.

2. Speaking of healthy treats… What if you (and/or your kids) try making some cute, nutritious Halloween treats? Now we’re talking fun and nutritious!

3. Don’t trick-or-treat or party on an empty stomach. I know the kids are excited for trick-or-treating and you're ready to party, but it’s a great idea to have a nutritious meal ready well before anyone goes out. If you’re in a hurry, have a snack dinner – almond butter on whole grain toast with apples; carrots with hummus; black beans and quinoa, or a whole-grain pita with avocado and chopped chicken.

4. What is your favorite Halloween candy? Whatever it is – leave it at the store! If you must buy candy to give out to the trick-or-treaters, consider buying candy that you’d never eat if it was the last sweet on earth! Perhaps buy it that morning, and get just enough to give out that night.

5. You can’t eat it if it’s not there. Don’t let one night of sweet treats turn into a month of candy snacking. Toss out leftover candy the next day, and give your kids just a few days to indulge. Better to be a little wasteful by throwing out the sweets than to derail your health and weight goals (not to mention adding to tooth decay and all the other sugar symptoms).

Just because it is Halloween, it doesn’t mean we have to indulge in daily sweet treating that we wouldn’t normally do. It’s really about making better choices that keep YOU feeling better. Have cut-up fruits and vegetables in your fridge; fill snack bowls with almonds and walnuts (and take some to work, too!) Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and give yourself permission to break with old Halloween traditions to start your own.

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