Top 10 Tricks to Avoid Overeating on Halloween
Halloween is the best, right? Costumes. An excuse to wear spooky masks. Pumpkin everything. Tons of visitors without needing to cleanup your house or even cook! It’s maybe the perfect holiday. Halloween does have one notable drawback though: binge eating. Lots.
Nothing sours a holiday like guilt--or sour gummies or sour gummies plus guilt. So while maybe you love Halloween too, you might just be dreading how to manage the onslaught of candy piles around every corner. We got you. Here are our top 10 tips to avoid overeating this Halloween:
- Buy what you don’t want. We aren’t usually advocates of buying things you don’t like, but this plan is pretty foolproof. If you have a candy that is absolutely irresistible, and you buy five big bags of it, you want to know what will happen? Um, you will turn off your porch light, put on slow-dance music, and make a night of you and that candy bowl. There are probably candies that you would never eat because they are gah-ross, at least as far as you are concerned. Buy those. Pass them out. You could wear them as a necklace and never be tempted.
- Be unprepared. Yeah, again, this is not our normal advice. But when it comes to Halloween, the best time to get ready is about an hour before ding-dong time starts. Every year, the candy comes out like the first week in September. Do you think the candy bought then just sits on a shelf until Halloween? Nah, that candy is like binge-warmup candy. There’s no cooking involved. It’s an open and serve kind of holiday. Enjoy the efficiency of it, buy at the last minute, and avoid feeling like the candy is calling you from the pantry.
- Don’t start. Sugar is not the kind of thing that we our brains walk away from easily. If you have one candy, the odds are that you will have several. The problem is our brains are also not totally honest. That brain that joneses for more once it has a taste, is the same brain that tells you: “Hey, just one isn’t going to hurt anything.” See, fibby brain. If you decide that you want to forgo candy altogether, we suggest that you tell someone your plan--and then promise yourself that you are going to follow up with them after the holiday to let them know that you followed through. Accountability helps.
- Pick a lane. Many read the last paragraph, and invented a new sad emoji face. So if you are committed to eating some candy on Halloween, it helps to focus. Pick one candy that you like a lot and eat only that candy. It’s best if the candy you choose isn’t EVERYWHERE. But you know those more rare gems that are delicious and limited in the stash you have or your kids bring home? Ideally, you decide the day before Halloween how many of even those you will eat. The point is that you don’t want the day to feel like a free-for-all.
- Pick a healthier treat. Think of something that you enjoy but don’t have often. Maybe it’s a mocha or kombucha. Maybe it’s a cup of pudding or some protein ice cream. (Or our very own FiTONIC Blissed Brownie recipe! Have that healthier-for-you treat at the ready for the holiday. Pro tip: Don’t have that treat AND the candy. You see how that would really defeat the purpose…
- Save the wrappers. If you start eating and you throw away the wrappers as you go, you might start to believe you haven’t really eaten that much. After all, those candies are so tiny! And you just one or two...every five minutes for the last hour. Keep the wrappers in a pile, and don’t throw them away until you are d.o.n.e. eating for the night. That way you will have a good visual reference for how far down the Halloween rabbit hole you’ve gone.
- Don’t be a saver. Saving for retirement: super. Saving for a vacation: perfect. Saving Halloween candy for the next day: wtf? Unless you have Herculean-strong willpower and candy sitting around is no distraction to you, ditch it. Throw it out. Give it away. Whatever. Halloween is about having fun, not making the most of your financial investment in candy. Did you have something for all the kids who came by? That’s a win. Eating the leftovers for the next week, not so winning.
- Plan and eat dinner. There’s no traditional Halloween meal. That doesn’t mean you won’t want dinner. If you wait to figure out what you will be eating until dinnertime, your meal prep might be interrupted every few minutes by the doorbell. Queue throwing up of your hands: “Well, who can cook under these circumstances?! Looks like it will be a chocolate bar sandwich for dinner!” The paces of Halloween are not surprising; we do this holiday on the regular. You know cooking will be tricky, so plan ahead. Even if takeout is what works, think through what you will order before you are surrounded by the bags of sugar.
- Drink hot beverages or chew gum. This isn’t rocket science and it’s help isn’t limited to Halloween. If you are a person who just needs to chew or keep your mouth busy, gum and hot beverages go a long way to satisfying. If you have a strong candy urge, consider agreeing with yourself that you will eat it but only after you finish a hot beverage or chew gum for 10 minutes. Bodies are funny. Sometimes the urge goes away.
- Find the fun that isn’t food. We often eat because eating is THE party. Halloween is a hoot whether you have a lot of candy, a little or none. Decorate your yard and porch, wear a funny or scary mask, play spooky tunes, compliment trick-or-treaters on their costumes or tell them bad Halloween jokes. Enjoy the holiday! And notice what you enjoy about it. Food doesn’t have to be the fun-filler.
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