Is the thought of a kitchen filled with Halloween candy giving you the heebie-jeebies?
Are you feeling frustrated, and helpless, about your annual binge on fun-sized bars?
Perhaps you’re thinking of boycotting “Trick Or Treat” this year, just to avoid the temptation…
I get it. Those mini chocolate bars have a way of getting themselves eaten, and the guilty feelings that follow are as horrid as a Wes Craven movie. But that’s not going to happen this year.
In today’s post I’m sharing the tricks that I use to avoid bingeing on treats. Read on for three strategies that you can use this year to stop overeating Halloween candy (and avoid holiday weight gain).
Halloween should be scary for the movies, the costumes, and for your husband’s terrible attempt at pumpkin carving. But, for many of us, the real fear comes from premonitions of uncontrollable candy binges.
Memories from last year — snacking on Snickers and crunching on Kit Kats — is enough to induce the ghost of a belly-ache. Not to mention a wave of pre-emptive guilt; your assumption is that it’ll happen again.
And it’s not only Halloween night that causes concern; that leftover loot has a way of making eyes at you from across the kitchen counter all week long.
If you have, or have ever had, a problem with over-eating, emotional-eating, food-addiction, or sugar-addiction, then being faced with an oversized bowl of bite-sized candy is a recipe for disaster.
Since you can’t rely on willpower to get you through Halloween night, let alone the whole holiday season, you’re going to need a strategy. So let me break this thing down, and make it as simple as 1, 2, 3…
How To Stop Overeating Halloween Candy
Tip One: Buy Yourself A Real Treat
Have you ever declined dessert at a restaurant or dinner party, only to go home and raid the cookie cupboard? When it comes to food, willpower can only take you so far, which is why deciding NOT to have any treats isn’t always a smart move.
But that doesn’t mean giving in to the wrong temptation.
The problem with Halloween candy is that it’s just downright crappy. Unless you’re giving out organic, Fair-Trade, single serve dark chocolate bars — thereby killing your “cool status” with the neighborhood kids — the stuff that you’re sharing is low in quality, high in sugar, and often made via third-world child labor (1).
Normal Halloween candy is wreaking havoc on your blood sugar, messing with your metabolism, and generally making you feel pretty bad about yourself. It’s simply not worth the splurge.
(P.S. Have you grabbed your copy of my Boost Your Metabolism Guide? It’s free! You can grab it .)
If you’re going to indulge, then I recommend doing it properly! Buy yourself a small, high quality treat, and savor every mouthful. Whether that’s an expensive chocolate bar or a ridiculously beautiful pastry from your local bakery, eating something decadent should feel sensuously satisfying, and be an event to be (fondly) remembered.
Tip Two: Do You Really WANT More Candy?
Food should make you feel good: physically, mentally and emotionally. Overeating food that doesn’t tick all three boxes is a sign of self-punishment, not self-love.
The “Want Test” is something that I share with my clients when it comes to eating treat foods. You can eat anything you WANT, in the amount that you WANT, if you’re eating from a place of self-love, emotional clarity, and epicurean delight.
Feeling guilty about eating often leads to overeating; you may have had the thought of: “I’ve already blown it by having some, so I might as well have the rest…” In doing so, you’re telling your body that (a) it doesn’t deserve a little treat from time to time (it’s not good enough / thin enough / fit enough to warrant anything special); and (b) that your body is basically a trash can, a place where unwanted food gets tossed.
This is why one donut leads to five, or two chocolates leads to ten; and it’s what holds you hostage to the food that you eat. In the past, that way of thinking has seen me empty a box of cereal or polish off three bowls of ice cream; not exactly actions that speak self-contentment, are they?
The “Want Test” puts you back in a position of power by choosing what, and how much, you eat.
If you find yourself starting to unwrap another piece of candy this Halloween, take a moment and ask yourself:
- Do I really want this?
- Why do I want this?
- Do I want this for my taste buds (will it taste any better than the last)?
- Do I want this for my body?
- Do I want this for myself emotionally?
As you answer these questions remember that there is ALWAYS more food, you can always have another treat tomorrow, and your decision making is more powerful than your sweet tooth.
Tip Three: Discard The Leftovers
The morning after Halloween is when reality hits you — last night’s sugar binge, and overeating food that you didn’t actually want, feels pretty ordinary the following day. The morning brings with it that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, and the negative self-talk that yells: I can’t believe you did this again.*
You’re left with no choice but to get the leftover candy OUT OF THE HOUSE.
Here’s what not to do:
- Don’t take it to work (you still have access, and your co-workers might not feel so thrilled)
- Don’t try to hide it for later in the holidays (come on, we all know that doesn’t work)
- Don’t stand in the kitchen eating it while trying to come up with a solution.
Here’s what you can do:
Throw it out — in the outdoor trash if you have to do. Worried about waste? Don’t be. Worry about your health. My mum taught me that it’s wasted food anyway, if you eat it but you don’t want it.
*Of course, hopefully this year you can wake up to a bright and sunny morning feeling totally at peace. You implemented tips one and two from today’s blog post, and you DIDN’T eat too much candy. Well done you! But don’t be a hero; get that leftover loot outta there.
I hope that these three strategies can help you tackle Halloween, and the entire holiday season, with a sense of calm. Trust in your body and, no matter what happens, remember to be patient and kind to yourself as you continue to tweak your healthy-living routines.