For those with health and weight-loss goals, the spookiest part of Halloween is the abundance of sugary treats everywhere you go. Sometimes it feels like sugar is lurking in every corner.

Resisting the urge to raid kids’ giant bags of Halloween candy is one thing, but the season also brings with it an endless amount of other food temptations that include co-workers bringing cookies to the office, candy sales at the grocery store, and seasonal drinks and sweets.

Unfortunately, sugar cravings have the capability to derail even the most determined and health-focused individuals so here are a few tricks to keep you on track.

Here are four tricks to help you keep your sweet tooth under control:

  1. Keep the treats out of sight. The proximity and visibility of food can cause a significant increase of the consumption of that food (1). Instead of keeping the candy beautifully displayed on the kitchen counter, keep it somewhere that’s a little tougher to get to—like the top shelf of your pantry.

  2. Replace candy with healthier sweet options. Use the same logic—that makes candy in close proximity easier to eat—to work for you by keeping healthier options around. Always keep the fruit bowl stocked.

  3. Keep your hunger in check. Plan a healthy meal or snack to eat every few hours. Waiting too long between meals could set you up to give in to whatever food temptations that come your way.

  4. Give in. Just a little! When all else fails, sometimes the best thing to do is just enjoy just one (or two, but no more) of those goodies. Too much deprivation can sometimes lead to an all-out binge, which is definitely more likely to derail your weight-loss goals in the long run.

While the one or two pounds you might gain from eating sugary goodies may not seem too concerning, they can add up over time. Check in with your mindset and be certain that it is not in that mode of thinking that just a little today won’t hurt. Before you know it, you are in the full cycle that can come with overeating and too much sugar during the holiday season. In fact, the small amount of weight gained over the holidays often is the culprit for the total overall weight gain we all experience as we age (2).

References

  1. Wansink B, Painter JE, Lee YK. The office candy dish: proximity’s influence on estimated and actual consumption. Int J Obes (Lond). 2006 May;30(5):871-5.

  2. Schoeller DA. The effect of holiday weight gain on body weight. Physiol Behav. 2014 Jul;134:66-9. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.03.018.