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Don't Be Tricked by Treats

Halloween is coming. Do you have a weakness for chocolate or sweets? Read on to learn of some tips and tricks to survive trick or treats.

There is Halloween candy everywhere!

Like kryptonite to Superman, my strength disappears. Yesterday I actually ate a bag of laffy taffys. I think my original intention was to buy it for the kids. All that is left now are the banana flavored candies. I have to draw the line somewhere and now my health and wellness is at stake.

According to History.com, Halloween has long been thought of as a day when the dead can return to Earth, and ancient Celts would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off these roaming ghosts. It began to lose its religious connections in the 19th century and became more of a children’s holiday. Now we have a day which has developed a marketing pattern with stores pushing costumes and candy as early as August 31.  

Not all candy is created equal. There are specific differences between them. Look at the ingredients. That can be a great buffer between you and eating too many. Of course sugar, fat and carbohydrates are a concern but what else is in candy? Because it doesn't grow naturally on trees, watch for sodium levels, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats and carnauaba wax! Trans fats are considered the worst fat. They block arteries and are banned from most eating establishments. Carnauba wax is a main ingredient in non-edible household supplies.

You might find it helpful to see where your favorite falls within nutritional guidelines before indulging. Fortunately, Caloriecount.com has the majority of these differences listed for you. My regular indulgence of peanut M&M’s got a D. That’s a good reminder that they are high in sugar. I know I am eating them for enjoyment, not for nutritional needs, so I have to limit my intake. And while dark chocolate is considered good for an oil serving, only a small portion is recommended.

Portion is important. In order to not get sabotaged by candy, you have to maintain control. And if you don’t have control then keep it out of the house. Most mindless snacking occurs at home and it can really add up the calories, sugars and fats.

I literally just experienced it myself. I walked into the kitchen to get lunch and found my hand picking up the last remaining Halloween peep on the table. It was instantaneous. It happened before the control area of my brain had a chance to put up the stop sign. Once I realized what was happening, I was able to successfully put down the peep. And I survived. It’s a battlefield sometimes but the more often you put down the peep, the easier it gets.

Make a plan in advance. Do not buy any candy until last minute if you think are going to eat it before October 31 even arrives. Then you can bring the extra candy to work or give it away if you do not hand it all out. No sense leaving it at home as a temptation.

What do you do if you have to get the sweets earlier because you couldn’t resist the sale? Be sure to buy candies that you do not like. I’m not suggesting to short change the kids with a fruit cake concoction but rather, if you love Reeses, do not buy Reeses. Keep a supply of something that is not a sugary invitation for you. Your waistline will thank you. And you are preparing for the remainder of the ‘feasting’ holiday season to start.

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