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5 Tips for Handling Halloween Candy Cravings

Published on Oct. 13, 2021

Halloween is fast approaching, which naturally means bags of candy, caramel apples, and other sweet treats may make their way into your home! But if you’re watching your sugar intake or you live with diabetes, treat-heavy holidays like Halloween can feel more stressful than fun – especially as you try to navigate these temptations.

As with most nutrition recommendations, moderation and mindfulness are key. Use the tried-and-true tips below to enjoy your Halloween while still staying on track with your health goals.

1. Focus on the fun

Halloween gets a reputation for being all about the candy, but it doesn’t have to be! Focus on other fun aspects like decorating your house with ghosts and cobwebs, putting together creative costumes, visiting a haunted house, and carving pumpkins.

2. Eat the best, give away the rest

Everyone has their favorite Halloween candy, whether it’s Snickers, Laffy Taffy, or M&Ms. Choose a few favorites from your trick-or-treater stash and enjoy them mindfully in the few days on or around Halloween. Then simply pass out the rest on Halloween, donate leftovers to a worthy cause, or get creative! For example, you can freeze chocolate candies for yummy baked goods that you can whip up around the holidays.

If you don't pass out candy, rather than purchasing a bag of fun-sized favorites, consider treating yourself to a regular size candy bar so you don’t have excess candies laying around tempting you.

3. Maintain balance

Watching your calories? You may be tempted to replace your meal with candy or other sweet treats. However, when it comes to sugar, it’s far better to consume foods rich in sugar alongside a balanced meal (think protein, veggies, and healthy fats) rather than eating sugary foods alone.

That’s because adding protein and fat to your meal helps minimize blood sugar spikes that can cause (or worsen) conditions like insulin resistance, prediabetes, and diabetes. Remember: There is no harm in ending your balanced lunch with a small treat from time to time.

4. Let yourself enjoy treats.

Many people have been conditioned to think about food in terms of good or bad. This kind of mindset can set you up for failure, especially when you attach guilt, self-criticism, and other negative feelings to what you may label as “bad” foods.

If you struggle to enjoy a single treat without negative thoughts popping into mind – or the mindset that you “might as well” just binge now – consider exploring mindful eating. Eating mindfully can help you retrain your brain (and stomach) to crave foods only when you’re truly hungry, feel good about whatever you do decide to eat, and truly savor what you’re chewing.

5. Make it a family affair

Whether or not you have diabetes or another health condition, excess weight to lose, or you’re just maintaining your health, eating too many sweets isn’t good for anyone – whatever your age or goals. Encourage the whole family to be mindful of their candy consumption following Halloween, not just those who’ve been advised to cut down on sugar or are dieting.

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