October 29, 2015

Trick or Treat! 4 Ways to Manage Your Halloween Candy Overload

General Health


How cool is it that Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, and many local communities are doing trick-or-treat on Saturday night? I love it!

This time of year is fun for everyone! The trees are beautiful, and there’s an abundance of fall produce (which means hearty cuisine). Everyone gets to enjoy an extra hour of sleep for daylight saving time. Plus, Halloween brings out the creative juices with costumes (I went as a vegetarian butcher, and my fiancé went as bacon. Oh the irony!).

However, with Halloween comes a boatload of candy. Everywhere you turn, there’s a candy dish or aisle of brightly colored wrappers tempting your sweet tooth. Add in your child’s bag of goodies after a successful trick-or-treat session and WOW, sugar overload!

If you’re like me and you can’t resist one or 17 mini-chocolate bars, this time of the year can be especially treacherous for your waistline and wellness plan. Here are some of my best tricks for dealing with your Halloween candy cravings.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

If you are expecting trick-or-treaters, you probably buy your candy in bulk and buy it ahead of time. It can be easy to sneak a treat here or there up until Halloween, and it is especially hard to resist when the candy is in sight and within arm’s reach.

Put the candy in an opaque bag and hide it in a cupboard or a closet until it is time to hand it out. While you know where the candy is, it won’t be out in the open. If it’s a co-worker who has the candy on his/her desk, either ask them to move it or take a different route around the office to avoid seeing it.

What if you buy 10 bags of candy, end up with four trick-or-treaters total, and are stuck with a bunch left over? What are you supposed to do with the extra candy?! (Eating it is not the correct choice!) Many dentist offices and businesses offer a candy drop off, and the candy is shipped overseas to the troops—a win for your pants and our military!

Another option for avoiding left-over candy is to take your best guess for how many kiddos you will see on Halloween and only buy enough candy for that number of trick-or-treaters. If you run out of candy, so be it. You won’t run the risk of having extras in your house.

Finally, skip the candy altogether and hand out fruit, pencils, temporary tattoos or other knick-knacks. Leftover fruit for the win!

Portion Control

One of the nice things about Halloween candy is that it is usually ‘fun sized,’ which makes a piece just enough of a treat for you if you have a craving for sweets. This does not give you permission to have 14 fun-sized pieces, though. Allow yourself a set amount (one to three pieces) and don’t deviate from that. If a craving hits, you can help eliminate it by chewing gum, having a glass of water or doing a task that will get your mind off of the craving. Try something new to see if it works!


You know your cute niece/nephew, grandchild or neighbor kid who gets dressed up each year to go trick-or-treating? Ask if you can join them on their walk around the neighborhood to get extra steps and enjoy all of the cuteness.

If you accidentally binge on candy or other Halloween treats (I get it!), take an extra walk, jog or bike ride to help combat the extra calories that you ate. Commit to moving more during the day, and take a moment to think about why you did eat the chocolate. What was the trigger?

Get Back on Track

If a candy binge happens, recognize that it’s ok! Remind yourself that you have not failed and that you can start again fresh the next day. Drink extra water and find ways to sneak more movement into your day.

Make a plan for the next time a craving hits. Having a plan can help you feel in control and each time you resist, it becomes easier and easier.


Halloween is a great time of year, one that many people look forward to. Have your fun, but remember that candy carries an extra punch with fat, sugar and calories. Be conscientious about how much you are eating.


A great way to sneak in some post-Halloween exercise is by taking on the Frosty Rock Challenge! Join us for the 12K challenge or 5K run/walk. And get the kids active, too, with the 1-mile Kids Run. Learn more and register at FortHealthCare.com/Frosty-Rock.