10 Tricks for a Healthy Halloween

It's that time of year again. We're bombarded with sweets and high-calorie foods that have the potential to undermine weight-loss or maintenance goals, if we're not careful.

It begins with Halloween. From bowls of candy lying around the house to plates of cookies lining the break room at the office, it seems like there's temptation everywhere you look.

Don't cave. Instead, use these tricks to stay strong and healthy during the spookiest time of year.

1. Just say "no": Even though all the grocery-store circulars might be touting their candy sales each week, you don't need Halloween treats in the house throughout the month of October. If you're going to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, buy it a day or two before Halloween.

2. Hide it and forget it: Put your stash of candy in the back of a closet or a cabinet until Halloween afternoon. If it's out of sight, you'll be less likely to eat it.

3. Swap it: Rather than offering candy to trick-o-treaters, give them gum or small pieces of fruit, such as clementines. Another idea: Take your change, dump it in a bowl, and let them take a handful of coins. Who wouldn't want free money?

More: 11 Tricks to Avoid Halloween Treats

4. Lighten up: Look for ways to lighten up treats you're baking for your child's class party. You can often swap out oil for applesauce in cakes and cupcake recipes.

5. Avoid the area: If your co-worker has a candy jar on her desk and you have a hard time avoiding a mini-Snickers bar (or 10), avoid her desk. Yes, you may need to take a longer route, but most of us need the extra steps anyway. If you need to interact with the candy-jar maven, ask her to come to you or put the candy jar away when you go into her office.

More: Nutrition Tips for a Healthy Halloween

6. Tell yourself, "It's not my food": Wouldn't you feel bad if you ate something that wasn't yours? Then mentally label any food that's gifted to you or your office as not yours. When someone brings in a communal plate of pumpkin-shaped cookies, tell yourself, "not my food." This psychological trick will help you not eat it.

More: Halloween Detox

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About the Author

Penny Wilson

Dr. Penny Wilson is a registered and licensed dietitian, board-certified specialist in sports dietetics, and owner of Eating for Performance. She works with athletes to help them perform their best. She also works with non-athletes to help them fit healthy food and eating habits into their lives. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Dr. Penny Wilson is a registered and licensed dietitian, board-certified specialist in sports dietetics, and owner of Eating for Performance. She works with athletes to help them perform their best. She also works with non-athletes to help them fit healthy food and eating habits into their lives. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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