Make Halloween Less Scary For Your Diet
10 tips to help you conquer candy cravings and enjoy the holiday.
Halloween can be a scary holiday for grown-ups, but not because of the
devilish decorations and haunted houses. For people who have been working hard
to shed extra pounds, the holiday that celebrates the fun-size candy bar can be
What do experts suggest at Halloween time for people who are tempted by
candy but trying to trim down?
Believe it or not, "I would recommend eating the chocolate," says
David Levitsky, PhD, a professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell
"There are several reasons for this, but the major one is that if you
tell yourself that you can't have it, you'll crave it," he says in an email
Five fun-size Snickers adds up to 400 calories, which you could make up the
next day by skipping a drink, snack, or dessert, suggests Levitsky. For
example, skipping your usual flavored coffee drink -- say, a 16-ounce white
chocolate mocha -- will save about 500 calories. Forgoing a snack of 1 ounce of
crackers and 1 ounce of cheese saves about 240 calories.
Ellyn Satter, RD, MS, LCSW, author of Your Child's Weight: Helping
Without Harming, says that what's good for children may also be best for
"Treat-deprived girls in research studies load up on forbidden foods
when they weren't even hungry and tend to be fatter, not thinner," she
says. "Girls who were allowed treats regularly ate moderately, if at all,
and were thinner."
What about those people who have a hard time stopping at just a few fun-size
Satter believes this vulnerability to overeating results from people
restricting themselves. The only way to break the cycle of deprivation and
overeating, she says, is to:
- Stop depriving yourself.
- Eat three meals a day (meals you truly enjoy).
- Stop eating when you are comfortable, knowing that you'll have another
enjoyable meal when you're hungry again.
10 More Ways to Make Halloween Less Scary
Besides making sure you don't feel deprived, nutrition experts offer 10 more
tips to help keep you from overdoing the sweets this Halloween season.
1. Buy Candy You're Not Crazy About
For example, if you're a chocolate lover, give away Skittles or Twizzlers.
This doesn't mean all candy you give out has to be unappealing to you, but it
might be easier if you buy just one type you like, in a limited quantity.
2. Give Out Nonfood 'Treats'
Another option is to offer trick-or-treaters small toys, stickers, pencils,
erasers -- even shiny quarters -- instead of candy.
In one study, 3- to 14-year-olds who were given a choice between toys and
candy on Halloween night were just as likely to choose the toys as the sweets.
Do your own experiment this Halloween: Let kids in your neighborhood choose
between toys, money, or candy and see which is most popular.