Dear Fitness Coach,
I am really very careful about what my 6- and 10-year-old consume over Halloween: they hand over the candy bags after trick-or-treating, and I ration out the candy over the next couple of months. I allow them two fun-size treats every other day: either for lunch or after-school snack. This way they do not overload on sugar, and they don’t feel deprived. Unfortunately, I am not that disciplined with myself: I pick at the bag, convincing myself that just one piece isn’t going to do much damage. But it turns out to be a couple of pieces a day, and I inevitably pack on 5 pounds. How do I avoid this?
Here’s a scary fact: The US Census Bureau estimates that a large portion of the 25 pounds of candy consumed annually by each American happens around Halloween. And while those sweets are definitely tasty to eat, they don't do much for your health or waistline. Before you dive into the candy bowl, here are some ideas to make this Halloween lower-calorie for you while keeping it fun for the entire family.
- Fill up on a healthy meal before the kids come home with their bags of candy. Pair a protein with a complex carb (chicken stir-fry with lots of veg), and you will be too full to be tempted to snack.
- I am not generally a big fan of diet soda, but if it’s a choice between that or consuming thousands of extra calories from candy, choose the diet soda. The carbonation from the soda will help make you feel full.
- Immediately portion out the candy in Ziploc sandwich bags: it’s not as easy to mindlessly snack when you have to open up the bags to get at the candy.
- Arm yourself with low-cal snacks and sweets. Low-sugar chocolate-chip mint ice cream (100 calories a cup), low-cal hot chocolate (25 calories a cup), frozen grapes (70 calories a cup), sugar-free caramel hard candy (8 calories each), air-popped kettle corn (100 calories a cup), and no-pudge brownies made with Greek yoghurt (110 calories per serving).
- Throw away the trigger candies: Maybe you don’t care for skittles, but can’t resist M&M’s. Don’t let yourself be tempted... out of house, out of mind!