5 Tricks to Curb Candy Binges

October 31, 2013
Candy binge: Bucket of Halloween candy pic

Halloween candy is all fun and games for trick-or-treaters, but for the grownups left to deal with the aftermath of All Hallows' Eve, those tiny treats are serious business. Leftover goodies hanging around your house and workplace can derail your healthy diet quicker than you can unwrap a fun-size Snickers bar, and can lead to a binge eating episode that’ll leave you feeling tired, bloated, and ultimately discouraged.

But fear not! These tricks can stop sinister sweets from showing up on the bathroom scale, from November and beyond:

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Trick 1: Keep your taste buds busy
The candy dish that has secured a permanent placement on your coworker’s desk is a lot less tempting when you’re already enjoying the flavor of sugar-free gum. Stock up on your favorite flavors and keep it with you at all times, and before heading into any tempting situation, take a second to remind yourself that you're going to chew it and not the sugary sweets. And for extra protection against a sugar binge, don't hesitate to politely ask your candy-carrying colleagues to store the goodies in a drawer. Out of sight, out of mouth!

Trick 2: Sneak in smart snacks
Toting satisfying snacks with you wherever you go can stop candy cravings before they start. Focus on fiber-filled, protein rich options to help you stay full and prevent blood-sugar dips. Our pick for a quick bite: pistachios. They're perfect for tossing into purses and gym bags, and of all the nuts in the tree, they're one of the highest in protein and fiber, and lowest in fat and calories. We like Wonderful Pistachios, which makes pre-portioned 80- and 100-calorie packs, perfect for on-the-go noshing.

Trick 3: Rework your leftovers
If you weren’t able to dole out all of your Halloween candy, try making your own 100-calorie packs with the remains. Pre-portioned treats will keep you satisfied and prevent overboard eating.  A smart move: commit to having just one bag on days when a candy craving hits. You can make 100-calorie packs from 4 Hershey Kisses, 2 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups miniatures, 2 mini Nestle Crunch bars, 4 Tootsie Roll midges, 4 rolls of Smarties, 3 Laffy Taffy candies, 2 fun-size Milk Duds, 2 mini York Peppermint Patties, or 4 Jolly Rancher hard candies.

Trick 4: Don't toss your trash
Save your wrappers and keep them with you. They're a visual reminder of exactly how much you’ve eaten. There’s no forgetting that you scarfed an entire bag of Snickers minis last night if you're faced with the proof.

Trick 5: Do your research
Learn how many runs and reps you'll have to do in order to burn off your indulgence. Knowing you have to jog for an hour just to burn off a few measly candy bars may be enough motivation to keep your hand out of the bag.

Tammy Lakatos Shames and Elysse “Lyssie” Lakatos—otherwise known as the Nutrition Twins—are registered dietitians, certified personal trainers, and authors of The Nutrition Twins' Veggie Cure: Expert Advice and Tantalizing Recipes for Health, Energy and Beauty