Halloween marks the official start of the food orgy season, which begins with the first trick-or-treating doorbell sound and runs through Valentine’s Day. (Is it any wonder many folks choose to refrain from sweets during Lent?)
How can weight-conscious individuals keep from packing on pounds on Halloween?
Here are ten tips for preventing Halloween weight gain and saving calories for upcoming holiday celebrations.
Don’t buy Halloween candy in advance.
Retailers begin displaying aisles of Halloween candy earlier each year, usually before schools even reopen in the fall. Sweet-toothed shoppers may find these offerings difficult to resist,
However, procrastination can pay off, if you are a Halloween dieter. If you wait until the last minute to purchase your give-away candy for Halloween, you will face fewer days of temptation to munch such high-calorie items.
Choose to give out Halloween candy you don’t really like.
This is a surefire way to stave off the urge to splurge on Halloween candy treats. What is your favorite candy? Are you a sucker for Snickers, addicted to Twix or a wholehearted Hershey chocolate bar fanatic?
Skip your strongest temptation, and buy a bag of Nerds, Laffy Taffy strips or War Heads. Neighbor kids will love these treats, and you will be more likely to say no to these sweets.
Besides, if you have your own trick-or-treaters, they will probably bring home plenty of your favorite candy.
Try to buy only as much Halloween candy as you expect to give out.
It is easy to overspend and overindulge with Halloween candy purchasers. As a prudent shopper and calorie counter , you might consider how many trick or treaters came around in past years and shop accordingly.
Many dieters are tempted to scoop up candy corn, caramel popcorn, seasonal M&Ms and other Halloween treats – in addition to the treats they intend to give out to costumed callers. Placing these loose goodies in candy dishes around the home heralds a call to caloric disaster.
Have a sturdy meal before trick-or-treating hours open.
Halloween hosts may be enticed to nibble on their own give-away treats, while sitting at home waiting to answer those doorbells.
By eating a hearty meal ahead of time and perhaps making some low-fat popcorn or cut-up apples for munching, you can keep hunger and extra sugar urges at bay.
Walk Halloween trick-or-treating routes with your kids.
Do you accompany your children for trick or treating? Walking briskly through the neighborhood (and up and down each driveway and walkway) can improve physical fitness and burn calories for dieters and the rest of the family.
Many parents drive lawn tractors, pulling carts or wagons with their costumed kids. What happened to outdoor exercise before Halloween candy feasts?
Limit daily Halloween candy consumption.
Plenty of families have traditional rules to cover how much Halloween candy their children may eat each day after Halloween. Why not extend this concept to adult dieters too?
One or two fun-sized candy treats may not damage a diet dramatically, although five or six might lead to caloric consequences and packed-on pounds.
Freeze chocolate bars from Halloween trick-or-treat bags.
Here’s a super secret our own family has practiced for many years. We sort the Halloween candy after trick or treating and stash all of the chocolate bars in an ice cube tub in the freezer. This way, we don’t walk by a big bowl or pumpkin bucket of chocolate all day long.
Frozen Baby Ruths, Heath Bars, M&Ms, Milky Ways, Kit-Kats and other chocolate bars taste extra delicious as well, but they also take a lot longer to eat, which tends to cut consumption.
Take leftover Halloween candy to your workplace.
If you have lots of candy left after Halloween, either from trick or treating or from purchasing a surplus, you might take the sweet supply to your workplace to share with your fellow employees. Stick a basket in the break-room, the kitchen or by the coffee station.
Bake treats to share with leftover Halloween candy.
With the holiday season approaching, creative cooks may come up with delicious baking recipes to use up Halloween candy. By making leftover treats into holiday desserts, dieters can postpone significant indulgence – or even give away delicious home-baked gifts for hostesses or holiday gatherings.
Here are a few examples of fresh-baked desserts you might make with extra Halloween treats: “Make Butterfinger Drop Cookies from Leftover Halloween Candy,” “Make Peanut Butter Cup Pie from Leftover Halloween Candy” and “Make Snickers Fudge Bars from Leftover Halloween Candy” (CTRL-click on each title to read that recipe in a new internet window.).
Donate leftover Halloween candy to a local food pantry.
Most communities have food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and other practical philanthropic outreaches. And many of these groups do welcome donations of Halloween candy, particularly if each piece is still securely wrapped.
Calorie counters can resist temptation and help others at the same time by turning superfluous sweets over to others in this way after Halloween.
Need a few more tips for Halloween candy surpluses? CTRL-click here to read “10 Ways to Use Up Leftover Halloween Candy” (in a new internet window.).