Tricks For Treats

Our best strategies for resisting the Halloween haul.

Halloween is scary. But forget the ghouls and goblins: we’re most freaked out at the prospect of overdosing on all our kids’ candy (and, let’s be honest: we have all snuck a piece or three out of their bags when they weren’t looking).

This year will be different.

Why? Because we’ve pulled together 12 of our favorite tricks to help you skip (most of) the treats.

AT HOME
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1. Be lazy.
If you plan to give out treats to trick or treaters, wait until the last minute to buy candy so you aren’t tempted with it in the days and weeks prior.

2. Skip your favorites.
Choose treats you don’t like to reduce temptation. If you’re a chocolate lover, consider offering hard candy or licorice. Or forgo the candy and hand out festive toys.

3. Store it out of sight.
In the days leading up to Halloween, store candy out of sight (read: not in the kitchen!) so it’s not in plain view or easily reachable.

4. Don’t skip meals.
The key is to plan your meals, rather than grabbing on the go. Plan a nutritious dinner with protein and fiber before trick or treating so you are less tempted to snack on candy along the route.

5. Stay hydrated.
Thirst often masquerades as hunger. Keeping sipping water or your favorite zero calorie beverage.

6. Be active.
Keep moving, especially over holidays and special occasions. Exercise releases feel-good hormones and helps you de-stress, so you less likely to dip into the candy jar when needing a boost.

AT WORK OR PARTIES
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1. Bring your own healthy treats.
Aim for lean protein and veggies at meals, such as soups, stews, and colorful salads, and come prepared with low calorie snacks such as apples and low fat popcorn.

2. Don’t arrive hungry.
Plan to have a nutritious meal or snack before you arrive.

3. Choose a small plate and limit yourself to one trip.
Enjoy what you take, but when you’re done, be done. If you do decide to indulge on something rich or high calorie, practice the “three bite rule” for rich, high calorie sweets.

4. Position yourself away from the food.
Don’t linger by the buffet table or kitchen where you are tempted to snack mindlessly.

5. Call for reinforcements.
Tell a close friend that you’re trying to avoid a face-plant into the pumpkin-spiced cheesecake and that you’re recruiting them for moral support. When you feel even a little bit accountable to someone else, you’re more likely to keep your promises (even if they are only to yourself).

6. Focus on the fun.
Parties aren’t just about the food. Enjoy Halloween functions for the costumes, decorations, and friends. Arrange activities that don’t revolve around tempting sweets by planning a trip to a haunted house, pumpkin patch, or a hay ride.

See? With just a handful of tricks up your sleeve, Halloween doesn’t need to be quite so scary, which means you can focus on other things. Like, what’s that funny sound coming from the attic….?