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9 Tips to Conquer Your Candy Cravings

With Halloween just around the corner, many parents need a strategy to help them avoid  candy cravings. While the day is really about our children having fun, it’s very tempting to dip into the candy jar. We found these tips posted on the Eat Without Guilt blog and thought they may help you.

Remember being a kid and getting all excited about Halloween?  Deciding on who or what you wanted to dress up as, creating a costume, and being able to get all of that candy!!

Yet now as an adult, thoughts of all that candy is the scariest part of Halloween.  There’s just too much of it around and you don’t know how to conquer your candy cravings.

So here are some tips to help you tackle the holiday and manage all of those treats:

1)  Wait to buy the candy until the day of Halloween. Especially if candy is one of your trigger foods. Know yourself.  If keeping it around is going to be just too tempting, then wait until buying it.

2)  Don’t purchase your favorite candy. I know for me, it’s Snickers and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (and Kit Kat, and M&M’s, and….okay…there’s a lot I do like!)  So buy a candy that’s not one of your faves.  Then it’s a lot easier to say no to and you’ll be less tempted to dig into the candy jar.

3)  Out of sight, out of mind. If you’ve already purchased the candy, keep it away in the cupboards where you can’t easily see it.  If every time I open the cupboard and the candy is staring me right in the face, it’s a lot easier to grab — even if I’m not hungry.  As Brian Wansink, author of Mindless Eating:  Why We Eat More Than We Think, says that he has found that the reason we eat mindlessly “has little to do with hunger.  It’s because we’re getting tricked and encouraged by our environment on a daily, even hourly basis…without even realizing it.”

4)  Manage your hunger.  Make sure you eat healthy during the day before the Halloween festivities begin.  Don’t skimp on breakfast, lunch or dinner hoping to “save calories” for the candy.  You don’t want to be hungry while giving out the candy to the trick-or-treaters.  That just sets you up to overeat.  Get lots of protein, fruits and vegetables during the day so you can keep it all balanced.

5)  Get moving. If I get in a workout I’m much less tempted to go overboard with the candy.  Heck, I didn’t just sweat for 30-minutes for nothing!  But seriously, it’s not a thinking of “oh, I just worked out so I CAN eat candy.”  It’s more of “I just took the time to take CARE of my body and I want to continue feeling this way.”

6)  Realize that the whole idea of Halloween is a trick or TREAT.  Back in the day (geez I sound old) a treat was just that — a treat.  Something for a special occasion.  And having candy was one of those special things. It was not something eaten on a regular basis.  Now there is nothing wrong with candy.  But it should be considered a treat.  Something to be eaten from time to time.

7) Stop the deprivation mindset. Candy isn’t ONLY available at Halloween — you can have candy whenever you want!  It’s not something in unlimited supply that won’t be there.  I find for many people this “restricted” thinking makes you WANT to binge or overeat.  Candy isn’t going anywhere (the food companies will make sure of that!).  So hey, if you don’t eat a few mini Snickers on Halloween, no big deal.  You can eat Snickers anytime you darn well please.

8 ) Focus on the fun, not the candy. Remember that Halloween is (mostly) for kids.  Sure, as adults we still go to Halloween parties and dress up — that’s the fun part!  Getting all dressed up and enjoying the festivities.  The focus on Halloween isn’t about the candy (though the candy companies will have you thinking differently).  Just like when you were a kid — it was just as exciting dressing up, going outside (after dark!) and playing a character for an evening.  Sure, the candy was great too, but that wasn’t the only reason Halloween was fun.  Get back to the kid-side of yourself and remember and partake in the fun.

9)  Don’t restrict. Don’t fool yourself by thinking you won’t eat any candy during Halloween.  Go ahead — have some!  But really enjoy it.  Don’t stuff yourself.  Take one piece, and really enjoy it.  Eat it slow.  Feel the chocolate in your mouth and savor it.  Treat it like a treat — something to be enjoyed, savored and delighted.  Not overdone.

So don’t let candy haunt your diet.  Remember to know yourself (like if candy is a trigger food for you) and nothing in excess — and you’ll be on your way to enjoying Halloween without the guilt.