Halloween can be the beginning of the end when it comes to holiday calorie madness. Skittles today, mashed potatoes and sugar cookies tomorrow. Ever year my mom sends me a 20 pound box of candy. (I’m not exaggerating; the weight is on the shipping label.) Even after giving much of it away to my friends/sorority sisters/coworkers/homeless people, I’m still left with five pounds. Want to guess where they end up?
If every year you seem to get tricked into eating too many treats, here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way.
First, wait to buy candy. If you are handing it out to trick-or-treaters definitely wait. Those kids aren’t going to come a-knockin’ for another three weeks, but if you buy it now, let’s be honest….there’s not going to be a whole lot left when the kids come. Procrastinate! Buy it the day of and buy just enough for the little ones.
Even if you just like having candy in a pretty bowl on your desk cause you’re festive like that…hold off! I know those fun, oh-so-themey bags are tempting, but trust me…they’ll still be there in a week. And I promise they’ll still be delicious.
Yes, it might be on sale now. Really? Really, you’re going to try that with me? OK, well you enjoy those “BOGO” pounds; I’m going to go ahead and pay the extra $2. (Except I’m really not because something, somewhere is on sale every week!)
When you’re buying candy to share, choose your least favorite options. This doesn’t mean you’re going to starve for lack of Twix – trust me when I say your favorites will still find their way into your life. It just means your mouth won’t water as much as you’re stuffing treat bags.
Limit your choices. The more kinds of candy you have, the more you’ll want to eat. According to research done with jellybeans, we eat more when we have a variety of pretty colors and tasty flavors. Variety is Halloween’s thing. Caramel! Nougat! Milk chocolate! Dark chocolate! No. Pick your favorite and call it a day.
Put the fun back in “fun-sized.” Fun-size treats can be a gift from God…or they can be Satan’s tears. If you can eat just one or two little minis, great! Most fun-sized candy bars have around 70-100 calories, so having two after dinner is a legit dessert.
Legit…until you have two mini Snickers, two mini Kit Kats, and a mini Butterfinger. That’s 370 calories…that’s breakfast.
Keep in mind that a regular Snickers has 270 calories and 13 grams of fat. Knowing this, you probably wouldn’t eat a Snickers bar every day for a whole month. So don’t do it with four mini-Snickers and think that something cancels out.
Now that the numbers are out there, we all have to stop using the “but I’m bad at math” as an excuse for feasting on fun-sized treats. Memorize this equation… 100 x (a fistful of minis after lunch) + 100 x (three minis after dinner) = your jeans are tight.
If you want, try this amazing Snickers substitute (can you tell I like Snickers best?!) from Kaytee at Kaytee Says Eat. I had to try it after I read about it, and, well, YES. I made it last night from just four ingredients and actually shouted, “OH WOW” when I tried the first bite. (I included the dried dates, by the way.) And if, like me, you never met a Snickers ice cream bar you didn’t like, try it as a topping on a little vanilla fro-yo.
I think I’ve finally learned to control myself when it comes to controlling myself on Halloween. Well, OK…that’s a lie. I’ve learned to control my candy intake. I may never learn to control myself on Halloween. I don’t need to be good at math to know that me + tequila – pants x (2006) x (2007) x (2008) = absolute destruction.