The air is getting colder, the leaves are slowly beginning to change colors and the calendar has turned to October.
Which means that Halloween is just around the corner and along with the ghouls and goblins comes the start of the holiday eating season. And if you are trying to watch your weight, one of the scariest parts of the season is the easy access to heaping bowls of Halloween candy.
Those fun-size candy bars may seem harmless, and they can be if you limit your consumption, but all that extra sugar and empty calories are hard to take if you are not exercising enough.
“All it takes is an additional 100 calories a day or the equivalent of one snack-sized chocolate bar and most adults will experience weight creep before they even know it,” Lona Sandon, MEd, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, told WebMD.
The good news is that there are ways to keep your hands out of the candy bowl and avoid adding on some extra pounds. Here are six tips to help you avoid the temptation of Halloween goodies, at home and at the office.
Buy candy you don’t love. If the candy in your pantry is stuff kids like but that you don’t enjoy, it will be easier to resist opening those bags and diving in. For many, that means anything but chocolate. “Sour candy, gummy-textured [candies], hard candies and the others that are not chocolate are lower in fat and calories and typically not the candy we overeat,” according to Sandon. (WebMD)
Check in with your body and your emotions. If you’re reaching for candy but you’re not physically hungry, what are you really searching for? If you’re bored, sad, angry, or just feel like you deserve a reward, try to address your feelings without using food. (health.com)
Out of sight, out of mind. Ask your co-workers to keep their candy jars and bowls inside their desks or stashed in a cabinet in the break room so you won’t be tempted every time you see it. If they want to keep candy on their desks, ask them to use a colored container with a lid so you can’t see inside. (WebMD)
Eat Protein. Eating protein will help counter-effect the rapid rise in blood sugar from all that candy, but remember that you are still eating extra calories. Try to eat a piece of candy with a meal or a healthy snack. (fitwatch.com)
Switch it up. You often are thinking about the next piece of candy before finishing the one you have. To slow down and enjoy each piece of candy as you are eating it, eat with your non-dominate hand (if you are left handed, eat with your right). This will help prevent you from mindlessly popping candy into your mouth. Research indicates that this simple swap can cut down on how much you eat by approximately 30 percent. (psychologytoday.com)
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 self-loathing over Milk Duds. Alleviating stress also reduces the stress hormone Cortisol which can make you hold onto belly fat. Take a deep breath and enjoy the holiday! (breakingmuscle.com)