Whether it’s at work, home, or even a waiting room, candy bowl temptations are everywhere, particularly around Halloween.
"If you took all the candy that's sold during Halloween week and turned it into a giant ball … it'd be as large as six Titanics and weigh 300,000 tons," according to Vox.
That’s a lot of candy!
“All it takes is an additional 100 calories a day or the equivalent of one snack-sized chocolate bar and most adults will experience weight creep before they even know it,” said Lona Sandon, registered dietician and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
So, how can we stay strong and resist the temptation this Halloween? The following are six tips to do just that.
Buy the candy you don’t love (if you must buy candy at all)
Hate candy with coconut in it? Then, Almond Joy and Mounds bars may be your new best friends.
But you might want to skip any chocolate in the house altogether.
The National Confectioners Association reported that chocolate was reportedly America's favorite variety of Halloween candy, with 70 percent popularity.
If you have a weakness for anything chocolate, consider sour, gummy-textured, and even hard candies that may be not as easy for you to overindulge in.
Candy that’s out of sight is candy out of mind
Resist the “see-food” diet, where if you see it, you automatically eat it.
In the workplace, kindly ask coworkers if available candy jars can be kept in a drawer or cabinet. Or, if they must be out, perhaps they can be displayed in a colored container with a lid so that passersby can’t easily see the candy inside.
It’s common for people to remove the temptation in their homes by dumping that temptation in their workplaces, so don’t be afraid to speak up.
At home, hide that candy bowl from yourself. Another member of the household could hide it if you’re feeling particularly temped, but often, simply placing it high up in a cabinet or other inconvenient spot can be enough to remove it from the forefront of your thoughts.
Set limits for yourself
Life is not about deprivation. You absolutely can make a plan about allowing yourself a set number of pieces of candy per day for a specific period of time.
For example, you can choose to have one piece of your favorite candy per day for the week leading up to Halloween, with the “candy train” ending officially on Nov. 1.
No matter what the commitment, keep the wrappers nearby so that you can quantify exactly where you’re at on your candy count. It’s all too easy to overindulge in bite-sized candy and lose track otherwise. Keep those wrappers in sight to hold yourself accountable.
Crowd out the candy with better food choices
Again, it’s not about deprivation. You can just as easily set out a fruit bowl as you can a candy bowl.
Some specific foods that can help with sugar cravings include (but are not limited to):
The key is to have a plan. Eat your regular breakfast, bring healthy snacks with you to work in addition to a filling and satisfying lunch. Even a hot tea or infused water can help get you past a sugar craving. The more you prepare, the stronger you’ll be against temptation.
Get moving when cravings come for you
An activity as simple as a brisk walk can help you reset whenever a candy bowl craving creeps up.
Remember that movement is an additive behavior that only helps us make better nutrition choices along the way. Embrace that!
So, whether it’s a stretch session, 10 minutes of yoga, a walk, or something else, moving your body whenever you’re tempted to reach for the candy bowl will help you stay true to your goals.
Donate (don’t dump) your Halloween candy
Rather than subjecting your coworkers to the same temptation, you don’t want to have around, consider donating your Halloween candy to one of these causes:
At the end of the day, remind yourself of your “why” and the goals that you have for your health and wellness. We’re guessing that overindulgence in Halloween candy is not part of achieving your goals.
Next time you find yourself reaching for that candy bowl, ask yourself: “Is it worth it?” Take a breath. And make your decision from there.
And remember that you’re not alone in these cravings! They’re a common challenge for all of us this time of year.
Caren Roblin is the owner of Kaia FIT Sierra, which has four studio locations in Reno-Sparks, Nev.