Have a Healthier Halloween: Detour Around Candy Cravings

Halloween is upon us and kids have their trick-or-treat plans set, while adults pretend the glass bowl of goodies on the counter is no temptation.  Control is the key here, for everybody. To stop temptation before it starts, establish healthy habits this Halloween season. Here’s how:

Satisfy candy cravings

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend choosing fresh fruit or vegetables for Halloween party snacks. At the office, try crudités with cottage cheese or plain low-fat yogurt or a nourishing and energizing protein shake. Before you leave for work, pack your snacks like a convenient protein bar so you don’t go wander off your nutritional track when cravings call.

See no candy

Put candy in the cupboard—out of sight, out of mind. Consider participating in your community’s Halloween Candy Buy Back where it will be collected—usually at a local dentist’s office—and shipped to our troops overseas. Go ahead and save one piece a day to enjoy for a couple of weeks.

Make a pledge

You and your best work pals can pledge to help each other ignore the holiday temptations to come, starting with Halloween candy. There’s a reason support groups are so popular. If they do it, so can you.

Walk it off

Mid-morning and mid-afternoon are traditional “slump times” at work when it’s easy to crave a tempting, unhealthy snack for a sugar rush. Go outside for invigorating fresh air and more cardio than you’ll get just sitting. Now you’re refreshed and ready to tackle that next challenging task. If the weather is bad, plot a walking course in your building and invite others to take a break and join you.

Stay the course

If you’re not hungry at all, then you won’t be hungry for between-meal candy. Dietitians recommend you eat three meals every four hours. Don’t let yourself get dehydrated—drinking enough water can help you feel fuller. In fact, a 2016 study in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics found that increasing your intake of water by just one percent causes you to ingest fewer calories and reduces intake of fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol.

Give boredom the Boo!(t)

You eat more when you’re bored, so take advantage of fun Halloween activities to keep your mind off candy. Carve that winning pumpkin, head out to a hayride, bob for apples, binge your favorite scary movies or TV shows or bake some healthy pumpkin bread.

Remember it’s not forever

Tempting packaged candy is just not worth interfering with your normal healthy eating routine. Eat 100 more calories a day than you require and you could gain an extra 10 pounds by year’s end. Stay in control and you’ll have a happy, healthy Halloween.

Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND –Sr.Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training

Susan BowermanM.S., R.D., CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Sr. Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training

Susan Bowerman earned a B.S. in biology with distinction from the University of Colorado, and received her M.S. in food science and nutrition from Colorado State University. She is a registered dietitian, holds two board certifications from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as a certified specialist in sports dietetics, and a certified specialist in obesity and weight management, and is a Fellow of the Academy.