Whether you love it (I totally do!) or hate it, Halloween is the one holiday that focuses on “treats” over anything else. For many of my adult years, I have allowed this holiday to give me permission to indulge in the sweetness of the season. As the grocery stores started to put out the fun size bags earlier and earlier each year, I would buy them earlier and earlier. Of course that meant making additional trips to get more because 2-3 “funsize” bars a day weren’t too bad. Ha, who was I fooling? Those 2-3 funsize equals a full size candy bar (see picture above)… yeah the ones at the checkout counter that I would never dare buy because that would be crazy! This year I decided to change this habit and keep it from derailing my good eating plan. I am happy to say that I made it to Halloween and only one bag has been bought…necessary to show this comparison.
It partly happened by choice, but also by chance. CHOICE -I actively avoided the Halloween section of the grocery store each week and set a plan in my head that I would not buy it until the days before (bad news for my trick or treaters due to skimpy selection by then!) CHANCE – My neighbor gave me a thank you gift of mini dark chocolate pieces and that has really gotten me through the last few weeks. When you cut back on sugar, you start to want it less. On the other hand, a small piece of dark chocolate tastes great and has some health benefits too.
So, now the real challenge begins…
For all of us out there with kids, pillowcases full of candy will be coming back home tonight, EEK!
You know what, it’s ok because I have a reasonable strategy, including moderation, to deal with it now. I call it “Keep It Simple, Sweet tooth!”
- Celebrate the holiday and actually live it up! Eat some of your favorite candy and give yourself a free pass from guilt or feelings of failure.
- Come up with a family plan to allow a portion of the treats to stay in the house and others to be given away. My kids love the fruity candy and I only like the chocolate, so come Mon am the majority of “fun size” bars will be leaving.
- Make sure you are actively feeding yourself with healthy foods and snacks throughout the days following so that you don’t binge on treats because you waited too long to eat. Things like nuts, avocados and even leaner breakfast meats can help curb your cravings.
- Get creative with other healthier “treat” options. Go to a health food store and spend more $ on an indulgence that has some nutritional benefit. Dark chocolate, a seasonal baked good, trail mix with a sprinkle of chocolate bits, even a good bottle of vino! (There’s a bag of peanut butter popcorn bites that I am dying to try)
- Finally, if the desire outweighs the strategy, pick a time of day when you are most active to burn off the extra calories.
Let me know if any of these end up helping you in the next week or two!
Happy Halloween Everyone