Most people think the ‘holiday season’ starts with Thanksgiving. That’s when they begin to think about their waistline and choose to either not give in to temptation and stay on their healthy eating track, or throw in the towel and wait till the New Year to get back on track.
For me, the temptations of the ‘holiday season’ start with Halloween. Halloween – a scary surge of sugary sweets – has a not so secret way of sabotaging your healthy eating. Even though we’re adults and don’t go door to door asking for treats, we find a way to get in as much candy as the kiddies.
Scary Scenario One: The Office Candy Bowl
We all know that as soon as October hits the candy bowls come out in full force; filled full of ‘snack size’ treats. The receptionist has one, your cubicle neighbor has one, and the break room has a giant bowl calling your name every time you get up for a coffee.
You think one piece here and there is ok, right? Wrong! Although I am all about indulging in moderation, those little bite-sized treats are wickedly deceiving. For example, one snack size Snickers packs about 160 calories and 8 grams of fat. Let’s say you grab one, or two a day You’re adding close to 800 calories a week to your calorie intake, if not more. This doesn’t even take into account your office’s Halloween Day party, or all the leftover candy that your co-workers bring in over the days that follow.
Solution: Be conscious of how many ‘snack-sized’ treats you take in. Although it may be tempting to grab a treat during your mid-afternoon slump, or to snack on during the commute home, you would be better off with a piece of fruit or some nuts. Remind yourself of how those treats add up and do your best to walk away from the candy bowl.
Scary Scenario Two: The Giant Bag of Candy That You Bought For Trick-or-Treaters.
The over-sized bag of candy you bought two weeks ago to prepare for Halloween is dangerous! The longer it sits in your kitchen waiting for trick-or treaters, the more tempting it becomes. It taunts you every time you walk past it. “Just one little piece…” it cackles. The one little piece can quickly turn into a half empty bag and another trip to the store.
Solution: Out of sight, out of mind. Although you want to be prepared, I would suggest waiting till just before Halloween to buy that giant bag of candy. The less temptation you have in front of you, the better. It’s not like stores are going to run out of candy. Wait till a day or two before Halloween and buy your candy then. And whatever you do, DON’T OPEN THE BAG EARLY!!!!!
Scary Scenario Three: The Bucket Loads of Candy Your Kids Bring Home
For me, this is the scariest scenario. The bags of candy from trick-or-treating are unavoidable. Not only do you have tons of candy sitting right in front of you, but you have enough to last for months!!!!
Solution: There’s no reason for anyone to have so much sugar at his or her disposal. It’s not good for you, or the kids. Now, you don’t want to be the evil parent that takes away all the candy. But, you are the parent and you set the example.
My suggestion, go through the candy with your kids and make sure it is safe to eat. Then set up two jars or plastic bags. Mark one for the kids, and the other to be given away. Then go through the candy and divvy it up between the two. I promise your kids will have enough candy so they can’t complain and you can use the remainder for a good cause, like sending it to soldiers overseas. It’s a win-win.
So, remember…ghosts, goblins and scary monsters are nothing compared to the horrors of Halloween candy lurking around every corner.