How to enjoy Halloween candy without gaining weight

by Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D., C.D.E.

Unless you’ve been hiding behind a scarecrow, you’ve probably seen the bags of candy crowding the grocery store shelves. And if you’ve shopped with children lately, you’ve likely had bags mysteriously jump into your shopping cart. The junk food season which starts before Halloween and doesn’t end until Valentine’s Day is upon us.

So what’s a parent to do? How do we temper the candy frenzy with our kids? How do we handle it for ourselves? Without a plan, a lot of pounds can be gained before Cupid visits us.

Take steps before the candy enters the house. Here’s a place where the word moderation is important. Decide on an appropriate amount of candy for both you and your children. Fortunately, holiday candy is typically in a safer, small size, but don’t let that lure you into eating more than a couple pieces. Instead, think of it as a tool to limit calories, saturated fat and added sugars. Enjoy one or two pieces daily for several days, but that should probably be it.

Keep it out of sight and out of reach. The easier it is to grab, the more likely you are to eat it. To illustrate: when researchers placed chocolates in the workspaces of secretaries, the office workers ate an average of nine pieces a day when the candies were in plain sight and within easy reach on their desks. If the secretaries had to open their desk drawers for the candy, they ate only six pieces. They ate only four pieces, however, if they were forced to get up from their desks to get the treat.

Have a concrete plan for this stretched-out holiday season. A good game plan can bring success. Winging it rarely does.

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2 Responses to “How to enjoy Halloween candy without gaining weight”

  1. FatFighterTV Says:

    I am an expert at hiding chocolate from myself at home! It really works, even thought I know where it is. I usually put it in my jewelry box which is not always in my view. :)

  2. lhubbard Says:

    Ha ha ha ha! I love that tip, FatFighterTV. Hide it from yourself. Must be kinda fun if you forget where you put it and then discover it later, too. ;-)

    Leigh Ann Hubbard
    Managing Editor
    James Hubbard’s My Family Doctor

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