Halloween can be a scary time- not because of ghosts or monsters but because of all the high-calorie, fat-loaded, yummy candy! Halloween candy is some of the worst stuff that you can eat. It is high in saturated fat and the calories can really add up. Because Halloween candy comes in “fun size” or mini bags, people tend not to worry about the calories as much. It’s true that each small piece may not break your calorie bank but when you eat more than one (and who sticks to just one?), the calories add up quickly! Normally we don’t have bags and bags of candy sitting in their kitchens. But on Halloween we are sure to have lots of it on hand. It’s so tempting to sample the candy, but the reality is we don’t want to be eating all those extra calories!
Some strategies can help keep these treats out of our hands (and mouths!). Wait to buy your candy until the day before, or even on the day of Halloween. Why tempt yourself longer than you actually need to? I know that if candy is in my house, I am a lot more likely to eat it! Another strategy? Don’t buy your favorite candy! What’s worse than having candy in your house? Having your favorite candy in the house! Buy stuff you don’t love so you aren’t as tempted to eat the candy while handing it out. It will also make it easier to give away once Halloween is over. Chewing sugarless gum or drinking low-calorie hot chocolate is a great way to your sweet tooth without indulging in unwanted calories. It also keeps your hands and mouth busy and away from the candy treats. If you don’t like hot chocolate, sip a cup of herbal tea instead.
If you decide that you are going to sample from the candy jar, remember that planning ahead is the key. Certain candies are considered some of the worst choices. For example, 3 Twix miniatures have 150 calories and 8 grams fat. Try 3 Tootsie Rolls instead for 70 calories and 1.5 grams fat. One single serving “fun size” Butterfingers has 100 calories and 4 grams fat. Try a Three Musketeer “fun size” instead for 63 calories and 2 grams of fat. One of the worst candies you can eat is Airheads. 3 pieces have 140 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. They also have trans fat which is the worst kind of fat to eat. Try 3 Dum Dum pops instead for 77 calories and 0 grams fat.
A good tip at the end of the night is to set the bowl of candy on your front porch. Chances are the bowl will be emptied by the morning. If you leave it in your house, it’s too easy to grab a handful everyday on your way out or in. These little handfuls can really add up! Snacking on 300 extra candy calories a day will add a pound of fat to your frame in less than 2 weeks. Also, remember that Halloween is a one day event. If you going to allow yourself a little sugar splurge, limit it to October 31st. Don’t make it a week-long holiday. Eating junk food doesn’t just satisfy cravings-it creates them. You might just find it “frightfully” difficult to break the candy habit long after Halloween ends!