The leaves are changing colors and falling. The days are getting shorter so night falls much more quickly. Oh, oh... something wicked this way comes!
And that something wicked for the dieter is that candy-fueled tradition of Trick or Treat!
This year, don't be tricked into eating too many unhealthy treats.
Funny how those "bite-sized" and “fun-sized” candy bars are called goodies – even when there's little good about them. (Well, other than the taste, of course!)
The National Confectionery Association says 9-in-10 of us will magically transform into goblins this Halloween... as in, we'll be gobblin' our kids’ stash of candy as soon as it reaches our home!
This year, stare down your fears of fat-inducing treats and instead treat yourself to a happier Halloween with these tips from the fine folks at TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly).
Buy the treats as late as possible. Shop no sooner than two or three days before Halloween. If you can hold out, shop the day of the holiday!
Don’t buy treats that you like. If you’re a chocoholic, get bags of chewy fruit candies, licorice or even small boxes of raisins.
Indulge, but count your portions carefully. Seven mini versions of a chocolate candy bar equals one full-size bar.
Let the wrappers pile up! Save the empty wrappers as you eat the candy. Seeing a pile of them can really bring you back to reality.
Don’t be misled by “low-calorie” ingredients. Plain air-popped popcorn is a great snack, but store-bought popcorn balls are high-cal, sugary diet demons. Caramel apples have about 300 calories each, and the super-stacked ones with chocolate and other goodies like peanuts and marshmallows will gum up your diet with 800 calories or more.
Run from leftover candy at the workplace! Co-workers like to bring in their extra candy after the big day? Steer clear of the goodies stash. When you need sweet, try a stick of gum or a cup of coffee with artificial sweetener.
This year, instead of sugary treats why not TRY to hand out a few candy alternatives. Hey, it's worth a try, right?
Peanuts in the shell
Dried fruit leather
Individually packaged almonds
Individually wrapped dark chocolate
Popcorn, baked corn chips, rice chips, plantain chips
Individually packaged raisins, dried cranberries, banana chips
Individually packaged crackers or rice crackers
Okay, so now that you are armed with a few anti-treat tricks of your own, go forth and enjoy the festivities with your head held high... and your teeth firmly clenched!
John McGran has been a writer/editor for about as long as he's been battling his weight. During his 25-year career, John has written for several newspapers, tabloids and Web sites. You may recognize his name and style from the seven years he spent writing a Worst of the Worst Foods column as Mr. Bad Food. If you have any topics you'd like John to tackle, feel free to write him at email@example.com