You don’t have to be scared on Halloween
Is Halloween scarry to you? No, not the little witches and characters that come to your door on October 31st. I’m talking about the brightly colored sugar and fat-laden bombs of treats that line the aisles of stores this time of year. They look so little and cute, and after all, one won’t hurt. What makes it scarry is can you stop at one? Does one little treat size (less than a normal bite) satisfy you and allow you to walk away without digging into the entire bag? For most of us, one is too many and the entire bag is not enough. This is scarry at Halloween or anytime that our food triggers are set off.
One night of indulgence in Halloween candy might lead to digging into the leftover stockpile of candy for weeks on end that leads into Thanksgiving and follows up with the holidays in December. Don’t allow Halloween to be the trigger for three months of unhealthy holiday eating. Let’s start off right by taking a closer look at Halloween candy. Even the size references imply calorically that they are a party in waiting – “snack size” and “fun size”.
Some of the most popular Halloween candy is calorically loaded with sugar and fat, and nutritionally void. The calorie values listed below are based on one serving of Halloween snack or fun size packages, not full sized servings normally found in the candy aisles. Ask yourself before popping in a piece of candy – “Can I stop at just this one? Will this set me up for wanting more? Are these high number of calories worth the seconds of temporary good taste?”
Butterfinger (1 snack size bar) = 100 calories
Milky Way (1 snack size bar) = 90 calories
Milk Duds (1 treat size box) = 40 calories
Almond Joy (1 snack size bar) = 90 calories
Nestle’s Crunch (1 fun size bar) = 70 calories
M&Ms (1 fun size bag) = 90 calories
Snickers (1 fun size bar) = 80 calories
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup (1) = 80 calories
Twix (1 fun size bar) = 80 calories
One of the problems Halloween candy poses is that it reminds us of good times we had trick-or-treating as kids ourselves. Change the way you think about Halloween and the reward of trick-or-treat candy. Rather than associate Halloween candy with the fun, carefree feeling, instead consider them as something that will raise your blood sugar, derail your hard work and efforts at weight loss. You’ve eaten healthy before Halloween, keep it going forward by making Halloween just another day. Focus on the kids and making it fun for them.
Eliminate the problem by giving out non-food items for your trick-or-treaters. Give our pencils, stickers, party favor toys, trading cards, or erasers. You could also promote your own healthy lifestyle by giving treats of individual packages of nuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or small packages of crackers and cheese. Another option is to purchase candy that you DON’T like. Purchase your candy the day before or, better yet, on Halloween so it isn’t laying around available for grazing.
Halloween can be a preview of coming attractions of Thanksgiving and the holidays. Kick off your next couple of months packed of holiday parties and eating to be healthy and a reflection of what you’ve done the rest of the year. Remember, January 1 will come soon. Enter the New Year feeling proud of your healthy lifestyle and choices you made. YOU are stronger than any little piece of Halloween candy!!
All the best,