Many of my clients ask this time of the year how to cope with bags full of candy hanging around the house calling their name. Yes, it's hard to eat those little snack-size bites of candy mindfully! The good news is that it is possible. I interviewed a few experts to find the scoop on their best Halloween candy-coma prevention tips.
1. SWITCH IT UP: You often are thinking about the next piece of candy before finishing the one you have. To slow down and enjoy each piece of candy as you are eating it, eat with your non-dominate hand (if you are left handed, eat with your right). This will help prevent you from mindlessly popping candy into your mouth. Research indicates that this simple swap can cut down on how much you eat by approximately 30%. –Dr. Susan Albers, author of the National Bestseller, EatQ
2. HALLOWEEN FAIRY: Robin Treasure, the Wellness Strategist states, “In our home (with a 5-year-old) the "candy fairy" appears at night after every holiday, takes all the candy, and leaves coins. The candy gets chucked mercilessly in the trash.
3. PUMPKIN SEEDS
3. PUMPKIN SEEDS: If you’re super-stressed and anxious you’re going to stress-eat! Here is a great Halloween tip to lower your stress and sugar cravings: enjoy some spicy roasted pumpkin seeds. They are high in zinc and tryptophan so they’ll raise serotonin, your happy and calming brain chemical. They’re also a great snack to help keep your blood sugar stable and mood even. - Trudy Scott, author of The Antianxiety Food Solution and host of The Anxiety Summit
4. TAHINI: Have tahini or coconut oil with any Halloween candy to cut the sugar shock, but also maintain the fatty richness of the candy. Think of adding tahini as making an instant candy-fied version of Halva and coconut oil as a decadent buffer to your sugar buzz.—Dr. Sam from tenpointwellness.com
5. GO GREEN THIS HALLOWEEN: This Halloween, decorate with organic pumpkins and squash and then eat the decorations! With bellies full of nutrient-dense foods, the trick-or-treat candy baskets will remain full too! Elaine De Santos from FamilyForHealth.com
6. PROTEIN: If candy is still in the house post-Halloween, eat a breakfast of protein, such as eggs or turkey bacon, with healthy fat, such as avocado or almond butter, in order to prevent from being too hungry and wanting to reach for the candy. Heather Morgan, MS, NLC, Nutrition Coach, Radio Host, Columnist Owner of Morgan Holistic Health, Sonoma CA
7. AVOID EMOTIONAL EATING: With all that extra sugar around, don’t let stress and overwhelm tip the scales! If you find your hand in the treat bowl, ask yourself if candy is what you need or if there is a better fix for what you are really craving. Are you actually hungry, or are you tired, bored, stressed, or looking for a quick pick me up? Make a pact not to use Halloween treats to feed your hidden hungers. Dr. Melissa McCreery, psychologist, emotional eating expert at TooMuchOnHerPlate.com
8. "EAT DESSERT FIRST": To avoid big blood sugar swings that can keep your kids (and you) awake all night on Halloween, I recommend eating candy first and then winding down the evening with a high protein dinner like chili or grassfed beef burgers. Keeping blood sugar more stable will calm cravings for even more sugar, and keep kids (and moms) from waking up in the middle of the night with a blood sugar drop. Jessica Drummond, MPT, CCN The Integrative Pelvic Health Institute
9. SWEETEN YOUR PALATES. It may sound counterintuitive but actually having healthier sweet treats keeps me away from Halloween candy. Our Halloween tradition: a bowl of homemade chili topped with avocado to keep blood sugar balanced and cravings at bay + a mug of warm spiced apple cider. Spiced cider comforts, warms and aids digestion while knocking out sweet cravings. Using the "switch witch" and tossing out the candy doesn't hurt either! Jen Wittman of TheHealthyPlate.org.
Wishing you a mindful Halloween!
Take Dr. Albers' FREE EATQ QUIZ, which will give you personalized feedback on how to be calm, cool and collected during the holdiays and avoid mindless overeating www.eatq.com. Dr. Albers is the author of the new book, EatQ, a National Bestseller, ranked #1 in weight loss, #1 in emotions on Amazon. Take the Quiz HERE: www.eatq.com
Photo: Anastasia Pelikh from istock.com and Susan Fox on istock.com (pumpkin & seeds)