By Alyssa Kolsky Hertzig,
Now that you’ve got your costume under control, take a moment to consider this Halloween factoid: Americans buy 600 million pounds of candy the week leading up to the big day. Want to avoid gaining 600 million pounds? Then, nibble on this:
Curb your candy buying. Sure, you need some for the trick-or-treaters, but do you really need ten jumbo-size bags? Buy only what you’re likely to dole out to the neighborhood kids, and go for something you hate—that way you’re less likely to pilfer from your stash. “If you’re a chocolate person, buy something like SweeTarts or gummies,” suggests Lauren Slayton, a registered dietician and founder of Foodtrainers.
Choose the lesser evils. When it comes to candy, there’s bad, and then there’s bad. “If you’re dying for chocolate, try 3 Musketeers or Tootsie Rolls, which are lower in calories than most,” says Slayton. Lollipops are another good choice. “Of my 15,000 patients, no one has even gained an ounce from them,” says Stephen Gullo, a weight-loss expert in New York City. “They take a long time to eat, and they’re harder to binge on.”
Get rid of temptation. The average Halloween bucket holds 250 pieces of candy and 9,000 calories—so don’t let it linger in your house for weeks. Slayton recommends keeping a snack-size Ziploc baggie’s worth of candy at most, and then getting rid of the rest. If you can’t bear to toss it, consider donating leftover candy to a local hospital or to an organization such as Operation Gratitude that will send it to the troops.
Stay strong at the office. Others are surely going to tote their leftover candy straight to work—avoid the office stash, especially around 3 and 4:30 PM. “That’s when blood sugar dips and resistance plummets,” says Gullo. Instead, arm yourself by bringing healthy snacks to work; nonfat Greek yogurt or Chocolite bars are great, filling options.