6 Ways to Make Sure Halloween is Not so Scary to your Waistline
I love autumn! The leaves are beautiful, the air is brisk and it is great weather for running outdoors. Sometimes I secretly wish we could have this weather everyday. This weather makes me feel relaxed and at ease, except for last week when I walked through the local warehouse store and saw the BIG bags of candy, and it was like the Psycho music was playing in the background. I was saying to myself, “Oh no, Halloween!”
The holidays can be a struggle and I think Halloween is one of those holidays that really gets us when we are trying to make a commitment to lose weight and get healthier. We don’t want to “deprive” the kids, our kids or the neighborhood kids, but if we have candy in the house we might lose our willpower and eat it. What do we do?
Here are some simple things you can do to survive Halloween and make sure there is no collateral damage to your waistline.
- Decide together with your kids what to do. Sit down with your kids and have a heart to heart. Helping them to understand your commitment to your health and theirs will show them you are being consistent and they will appreciate it. Yes, they might gripe for a few minutes about “being the house without the candy,” but I guarantee you in the long run they will respect you and your decision. Then decide together on a great alternatives that you can buy inexpensively if you purchase by the dozen, like tattoos, stickers, play doh, school supplies. Check out Oriental Trading for some great ideas.
- What if you just can’t wrap your brain around not giving edibles for Halloween? Ok, so giving treats has been a long standing tradition in your life and you just can’t imagine Halloween without giving these treats out. You can still choose healthy items, like raisins, pretzels, mini protein bars. Clif makes bars for kids. They are called Clif Zbars. They are really great and organic, too. You can even find mini nutition bars.
- Yikes! There’s candy in the house! So your little trick-or-treaters come home with tons of candy and you put it in the cabinet but it is calling to you late at night. What to do? Don’t panic. You got this. It is ok to be flexible with your diet. If you deprive yourself you are more likely to binge. Think about sampling and not raiding the candy bag. Make a commitment to take three bites of a candy and then stop. Chances are after three bites you will really be done. The first three bites always taste the best anyway. After, the third bite you will have habituated on the taste. The only reason we take another bite is because we are hoping to get that “high” back, that awesome flavor, from the first bite. It’s not gonna happen. Three bites, then step away from the bag.
- Oh no, I tried the three bite rule and it isn’t working! Find a “Candy Buy Back” program. Many dentists do this program. The kids bring their candy in and for every pound they leave, they are rewarded with money. Some buy back the candy to send to the troops overseas to brighten their day. Here is a feel good, win-win situation!
- How do I keep my kids healthy with all this candy around? As soon as the kids get home sort the candy. Ask them to toss everything they won’t eat. Now that you got that extra candy out of the house, set up your rules with them. I recommend allowing them one piece a day and that’s it. Make sure this isn’t on top of dessert or cookies for the day. The treat is the dessert. I often have to remind my kids of this fact. Halloween candy counts as dessert and you can only have it after dinner.
- Lingering Leftovers? When Christmas and Hanukah roll around I make sure I toss any leftover Halloween candy. If it has been sitting around that long it is not going to get eaten and we don’t need it. I try to actually do a monthly sweep out of my cabinets anyway, stale items or items we tried and didn’t like, are tossed.
Navigating Halloween candy can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Please share your best tips and tricks for dealing with Halloween candy. Comment below and on my Facebook page. I know others will appreciate that they are not alone in figuring this out. I am always here for support, too! You got this!!