An Action Guide to Not Overindulge
Halloween is just around the corner! It’s easy to catch yourself eating the fun-size candy on a regular basis because it can be everywhere! So, in order to avoid your hand regularly reaching into the candy bowl, I’ve come up with some strategies that have helped me make eating Halloween candy a hassle versus a habit this holiday season.
The first step to being successful with this is to be aware where you’re finding the Halloween temptations. Is it in your home? Is it at work? We tend to eat more Halloween candy when it’s clearly visible. Once it becomes visible, sometimes we forget how much we are actually eating. Whether the candy is in a bowl on the kitchen counter or sitting on a desk at work, every time you see the candy bowl, you have to decide whether you want a piece of candy or not. Imagine seeing this bowl, 5x an hour. This would require saying no 5x for the first hour, 5x for the second hour, 5x for the 3rdhour and so on. After so many attempts of saying no, that little voice in the back of your head could start telling you something else, especially if your mood, stress, or peer pressure comes into play. That voice may be telling you, “okay, just one piece…or two, three, four.”
Here are a few ideas that helped me cut down on the constant question, “should I have a piece?”
- Move the candy to an area that’s not visible.
If the candy is at home, stuff the candy in hard to reach places or have a family member stash it away until Halloween night when the trick-or-treaters arrive. It’s always best to buy candy for your trick or treaters a day or two ahead of time versus weeks ahead. You’ll be less tempted to open up the bag! If candy is at work, see if you can move the candy into an area that’s not frequently visited.
- If the candy bowl can’t be moved, move around it.
This can be great if you find the Halloween candy is haunting you at work. If it sits on a particular desk, make a new route to do your job around the bowl so you simply don’t see the bowl walking by.
Don’t skip meals
Skipping meals not only makes us hungry, but it also increases our cravings! This can be the perfect recipe for a fun-size candy binge when our eyes make contact with the candy bowl – you’re hungry and you’re craving. I know when I’ve over eaten candy, it’s because I was hungry! Harnessing your willpower at this point can be very difficult. So, make it a priority to eat meals on a timely basis. When you’re not hungry, it’s easier to pass up on the candy. If you plan to hand out candy on Halloween night, be sure to eat a filling dinner. When you’re not hungry, you will be less likely to overeat the candy.
Keep Your Mouth Busy
Sometimes hunger can be misleading. When you think you are hungry, you can be actually be thirsty. If a candy craving strikes, try drinking a glass of water or sipping on unsweetened tea. My go-to lately is hot water + lemonade. This may be your trick to avoid giving in. Keeping your mouth busy in general can be a great tool to use to avoid eating the candy too. Chewing gum is another option!
Wait until the end of the work day or evening to enjoy a treat
The fun-size candy can add up quickly, especially if you start eating them in the at the start of the day. If you really want to enjoy your favorite piece, then choose a better time to eat it. Typically, if you wait until the end of the day, you have a less chance of over-eating because you’re not constantly asking yourself, “should I eat this?” during your day. Choose to enjoy your piece after dinner and sit and savor it. When you take your time and savor your candy, you may find it’s very satisfying! This works particularly well for me with one fun-size Hershey bar. I break it up in three pieces and let each piece melt in the back of my mouth. The eating process lasts much longer and I’m satisfied with one piece!
Don’t Buy Your Favorite Candy
Pretzel M&Ms are my favorite and I’ve learned it’s best not to buy an entire package of them. If you’re worried about overeating, it might be best to not buy your favorite. When you buy something you don’t like, you may find yourself not wanting any candy.
One last thing: if you plan to have a few pieces of candy on Halloween night
If you’re a candy lover, enjoy your favorite but with appropriate portions. To help overeating, focus on eating a dinner that’s filled with plenty of vegetables and lean protein. Skip the starchy carbohydrates like bread, pasta, rice, or potatoes. Your candy of choice will act as your carbohydrates and when you stick to a serving size, you won’t blow your diet.