Halloween---It's Everywhere!

The sights and sounds of Halloween abound right now, and it can be a pretty scary time for many of us.  Halloween is the kick off in a series of food fests or holidays that don't ease up until after Super Bowl Sunday. Just follow the colors of M&M's and candy wrappers! Black and orange treats are out there right now,which will be followed by Thanksgiving's brown, orange and yellow, and then a quick turn around into the festive green and red.  I think those candies may have the innate ability to jump into grocery carts all by themselves.  

Not a problem, right?  These festive candies are so tiny: bite size, fun size.  Even the name sounds so innocent --just a few can't possible hurt...  

The average fun size chocolate bar has 80 - 100 calories.  If you ate just one of these every day over and above what what your body needs, you will end up gaining 10 pounds in one year.  TEN POUNDS from one little bitty "fun" size bar.  Where's the fun in gaining extra body fat, hmmm?  Many of us would have to walk almost a mile to burn that off.  Are you willing to walk a mile for every little treat? The trick is not necessarily to avoid these treats, but to be very aware of the price tag on each of them.  When you choose to have one, it needs to be eaten mindfully. 

I used to buy Halloween candy several times before Halloween.  The trick was on me: they just seemed to disappear before we needed to pass them out at trick-or-treat time.  I've heard so many of you share the same experience.  One of our MM groupies shared that he buys several bags every year, but only has 5 or 6 trick-or-treaters.  Trick or treat.  The trick is in the treats!

Fun Size Treats: 
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Cup           110 calories          6 g. of fat
  • Almond Joy                                  100                       5
  • M&M's                                           90                      4.5
  • Snickers                                          80                      4 
  • Skittles                                            80                      1
  • Kit Kat                                           75                       4
  • Milky Way                                     75                       3
  • Hershey Bar                                   70                       4
  • Tootsie Roll Pop, 1                        60                       0
  • Nerds                                             50                       1
  • Peppermint Patty                            50                       1
  • Twizzlers                                       45                       0
  • Jelly Belly jelly beans                    35                       0

So, what's a Halloween lover to do? Here's a list of suggestions that have been shared over the years.

Survival Guide to Halloween Treats:     

  • Keep your blood sugar level steady by making sure you eat  regular healthy meals and snacks. If you let yourself get too hungry, it's very difficult to make controlled decisions around that candy bowl.    
  • Out of sight, out of mind.  Those pumpkin shaped candy dishes may look festive and fun, but just seeing those treats will often stimulate your appetite and send you into the see-food-eat-food mode.
  • Buy non-candy treats to hand out.  When my son's were very small, their very favorite treat was from a gentleman who always gave them a packet of hot cocoa mix. They couldn't wait to make that when we got home, and sip on it while we sorted through their stash of candy.  Other ideas include mini bags of popcorn, trail mix, play-doh, stickers, pencils, mini-flash lights.
  • Buy candy you don't like. I always smile when I say this, as I think of all the people who have told me over the years that they've never met a candy they didn't like! Or, choose a candy you don't like as well and won't feel as if you may lose control around.
  • Don't buy any candy until Halloween.  This way, you reduce temptation (you won't hear voices calling to you from the unopened packages) and you have to buy whatever is left. Win-win.
  • Put healthy snacks into the Halloween bowl at work, or at least have your own stash available.  Apples, fat-free hot cocoa mix,  Kashi granola bars, low-fat cheese packages, mini packages of nuts, 100% fruit strips (Archer Farms has one in their organic line from Target that is wonderful--love the pomegranate,) little boxes of dried raisins or individually packaged dried plums (a.k.a. prunes.) This helps you be pro-active instead of reactive.
  • Minimize temptation while passing out candy: Have a healthy meal first, then sip a cup of hot green tea or fat free cocoa, chew gum, or wear gloves (it's really hard to open a mini candy bar wearing gloves!)  
  • Last Trick-or-Treater gets what's left of your treats. Or put the left-overs in your car right away, and take them to a homeless shelter the next day. 

When you do decide to have a treat, do so mindfully.  Sit down, open the treat.  Enjoy the aroma and notice what it looks like. Eat it slowly, tasting, enjoying every bite. Savor your choice.  

Fire Up!  You Can Do It!!   

What are some of your Halloween Survival Tips?