Note: A version of this post originally appeared on my blog two years ago. But it’s a good one and still relevant (any many of you weren’t reading me back then anyways…). If you’ve read the original, see if you can spot the differences!
Ever since I was a kid, Hallowe’en has been one of my favorite holidays of the year.
Is it the pumpkins that make it so special? Although I love cooking with pumpkins, I don’t particularly care for carving them (too goopy).
How about the costumes? Nope, more stressful than fun really (so much pressure to come up with a really unique, show-stopping costume, year after year).
What about the fact that you don’t have to buy anybody presents for it? That’s a good one, but not it.
The candy? You guessed it! More specifically, the chocolate.
Mmmmm. Those teeny, tiny squares of chocolaty perfection. There’s chocolate with peanut butter. Chocolate with marshmallow. Chocolate with almonds. Chocolate with coconut. Chocolate with caramel. Chocolate with bubbles. Chocolate with chocolate! Each one, a little bite of heaven in a crinkly wrapper.
A little bite with a whopping 40-80 calories and 5-15 grams of sugar!
Not so bad if you only have one. But who ever stops at one? (If you’re one of the few who really and truly can, you need not read any further; the rest of you, whose brains encourage overconsumption, keep reading)
Over the years, I have developed some strategies to save me from Hallowe’en weight gain. Here’s hoping you find something on this list to help you out this year!
- wait until the very last minute to purchase the treats you’ll be handing out to the goblins and witches that ring your doorbell. Don’t worry that the stores will run out (they won’t) or that you’ll forget (as if you’re children will let you). I used to buy early, but always ended up having to buy ‘replacement’ candy at the last minute (once the big bag is open, my husband loses all sense of self control)
- don’t buy your favorites. Always give away something you don’t really like. Something that won’t tempt you while you wait for the next round of trick-or-treaters to arrive. Black licorice and gummy body parts are my treats of choice; I wouldn’t eat either unless absolutely starving, and maybe not even then.
- give generously on Hallowe’en night. A handful or two to each child. Aim to have nothing left at the end of the evening. If you run out early, blow out the pumpkin, turn off the lights and treat yourself to some air-popped popcorn.
- send leftovers to work with your spouse (not for them to eat, but to leave in the lunch room to tempt their co-workers, evil I know)
- throw out the extra. Not just in the kitchen garbage. Take it immediately to the curb where you will be much less likely to try and retrieve it later. Imagine what your neighbors would say if they saw you pulling a George Costanza?. If this last one is difficult for you because you grew up in a household where wasting food was a mortal sin, remind yourself that candy is NOT REAL FOOD.
What about the pillowcases full your children will bring home?
My strategy is to let them eat what they want for the first week or so (only after a healthy dinner and never packed in their school lunches; teachers have actually thanked me for this) then hide the rest for another week or so (just in case they remember that there’s still some left), before throwing it out.
If you can’t resist sneaking a piece or two, remember to count it as one of your 3 or 4 weekly ‘treats’. Then, go brush your teeth before you cave and raid your children’s stash (81% of parents do!).
Do Hallowe’en treats tempt you?
What’s your favorite childhood candy?
If you’re a fabulous, over-40 woman whose having difficulty with weight gain and muscle loss, despite resisting the temptation of Hallowe’en treats, think about joining the upcoming session of my 40+ Female Online Training Program. Add your name to my newsletter list to make sure you don’t miss the registration deadline.