October is here, and that means Halloween is too. As kids, the scariest part of Halloween can be the witches, ghosts, and monsters that go bump in the night. However, as we get older sometimes the scariest part of Halloween is what’s wrapped in colorful packaging– Halloween candy. In order to help survive this holiday season, here are some tips and TRICKS for eating more healthful Halloween TREATS.
- Attend Halloween Parties for the Atmosphere and Not the Food
- Plan ahead of time; know what you’ll allow yourself to eat and drink at the party, and stick to that plan.
- Position yourself away from the temptation. Make sure that there is an appropriate amount of space between you and the table of goodies.
- Have a snack at home before you arrive at the part that will keep you full for a long period of time.
- Don’t be Afraid of the Dark
- If you’re craving chocolate this Halloween season, consider switching to dark chocolate
- Depending on the brand and cocoa percentage, dark chocolate has less sugar, may be dairy-free, and has more antioxidants compared to white chocolate or milk chocolate.
- Out of Sight, Out of Mind
- You’re much more likely to consume your sweets, regardless of whether you’re hungry or not, if it’s out in the open.
- Be sure to store your Halloween treats in areas that are not easily seen, such as drawers, cabinets, behind the door, or on a high shelf.
- Fill Up on Fiber and Protein First
- If you plan on indulging in a sugary treats this Halloween, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can “simply cancel out the difference” earlier that day by either skipping meals or consuming less calories.
- Be sure to drink lots of liquids, such as water and tea, as well as, consuming whole grains, proteins, and foods high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables. Keeping your body well-nourished will lessen the damage done by sugary treats.
- Including lean protein can help keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day and balance hunger and cravings. Eating foods like an egg for breakfast or a chicken Caesar salad for lunch will help keep you satisfied throughout the day leading to fewer cravings that night.
- Choose Hard Candies
- Sugar is still sugar at the end of the day, but if it takes longer to consumer your treats than you’re more likely to eat less.
- Try switching to lollypops, Jolly Ranchers, Tootsie Pops, Smarties, Sweet Tarts, or Wonka Nerd; these take a longer time to eat than other types of candy.
- Stick with the “Fun Size”
- Although “King Size” may be the best value for your wallet, switching to a smaller portion might help you out in the long run. Often times the “Fun Size” version of your candy craving will be a single serving instead of multiple servings.
- Even if you tell yourself that you’re only going to eat half of your “King Size” chocolate bar, you will inevitably finish the whole thing (and possibly feel guilty afterwards). So save yourself the guilt and switch to a smaller size of your favorite Halloween treat.
- Make it At Home
- It can be a little spooky sometimes to look at a packaging label of your favorite sweet. Consider making your own healthy treats this year.
- When you make candy at home, it will most likely be free of the preservatives, artificial dyes, and sweeteners used commercially.
- Get your witches’ brew ready, and try out some delicious homemade Halloween treats! Find such favorites as, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers, and Mounds. (http://greatist.com/health/homemade-candy-recipes)
Cutting back on the quantity of sweets you consume this Halloween is a great step towards a healthy lifestyle! Happy Trick – or – Treating!