Susan Albers Psy.D.

Comfort Cravings

6 Ways to Avoid Overeating Halloween Candy

How to avoid bingeing on Halloween candy and eat mindfully.

Posted Oct 19, 2015

Source: istock

Halloween can be a "scary" time for stress eaters.  Many of my clients ask how to cope with bags full of candy hanging around the house that seem to be calling their name. Here are six tips to help you remain mindful this Halloween. 

1. Switch It Up:
You often think 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-dominant hand (if you are left-handed, eat with your right hand). 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 percent.

2. Halloween Fairy:
Try out the "candy fairy" or the “switch witch,” which appears at night, takes all the candy that has been sorted out as the non-favorite candy and leaves coins, small toys and fun coupons. The candy gets thrown in the trash or re-gifted to others.

3. Pumpkin Seeds:
Does simply chewing on something make you feel better?  Try gnawing on leftover pumpkin seeds that you dry and roast.  Not only are they chewy and will satisfy your oral fixation, pumpkin seeds contains L-tryptophan which helps naturally combat depression and the blues. 

4. Protein:
If you're struggling with candy consumption the day after Halloween, eat a breakfast with a healthy dose of protein.  Try eggs, turkey bacon, avocado, almond butter, or peanut butter in order to ensure that you don't get overly hungry and grab for those little candy bars!

5. Cinnamon Tea:                                                                                                            Help yourself calm and soothe your nerves with cinnamon tea rather than candy. Cinnamon is shown to help regulate blood sugar.  And it’s a warm comfort on a cold Halloween night!

6. Redefine Treats.                                                                                                 Research shows that kids are just as happy to receive pencils, erasers, stickers, etc. Also, kids are savvier than you think. Many are wise to the fact that they can't (and shouldn't!) eat the whole bag. Be mindful of your relationship to candy. If candy is just too hard to have around this time of year, skip it all together and by non-food treats. For those that must buy candy, avoid purchasing super-sized bags. Or, wait until Halloween to buy candy. Stick to bite-sized treats.
By Cleveland Clinic psychologist & New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Albers

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