Temptation season: Tricks for managing Halloween treats

Tips for keeping yourself in check with Halloween candy

With candy everywhere this Halloween season, the temptation to eat sweets is likely high for many. We spoke with dietician Kimberly Snodgrass to learn more about what we can do to help manage that temptation and keep our health in check.

With candy everywhere this Halloween season, the temptation to eat sweets is likely high for many.

We spoke with dietician Kimberly Snodgrass to learn more about what we can do to help manage that temptation and keep our health in check.

You know how it starts: You plan to have a piece or two, but before you know it, you’ve eaten several hundred calories worth of sugar. So, what’s the best way to enjoy Halloween without overdoing it on the sweets?

Dearborn dietician and nutritionist Snodgrass suggests to anticipate temptation and plan for it by portioning your treats out ahead of time.

“Definitely don’t sit there with the big bag in front of you because you will be tempted, believe me, I know,” Snodgrass said.

Instead of focusing on deprivation -- not allowing yourself to have any candy -- Snodgrass says to focus on moderation.

“It’s the trick-or-treating time, so if you want to have some candy, pick your favorite pieces, put those to the side, have them and savor them,” Snodgrass said. “And then hide your stash for a later time.”

To avoid mindlessly eating candy, which can really add up, Snodgrass suggests starting with some water.

“The first thing I tell people is to hydrate,” Snodgrass said. “People don’t tend to drink enough water, and a lot of times when you think you’re hungry, you’re actually thirsty.”

Another great tip to avoid temptation: Make sure you eat something before trick-or-treating. Snodgrass actually likes to take a snack along with her while trick-or-treating.

“I like to carry a small apple with me and a cheese stick,” Snodgrass said. “Sometimes I may have some homemade granola mix that I made, or even a whole wheat pita with hummus.”

At home, it’s important to keep the candy out of sight and tucked away somewhere.

“It can add up really fast, especially if you’re not counting,” Snodgrass said. “You can sit there and just be watching TV or doing something and before you know it, there’s 10 little wrappers laying on the floor. I’m a dark chocolate fan, and I’ll take out three or four pieces and put them there, so when I look down, if they’re gone, they’re gone.”

Pairing a protein with the candy can also help keep you in check.

“If I’m going to have chocolate, I would pair it with unsalted nuts because the protein in the nuts is going to keep me full,” Snodgrass said. “If I have something sweet, I like to pair it with a little cheese stick -- I love cheese, what can I say.”

Another tip: As you’re eating the candy, leave the wrappers on your table or on your desk as you go, rather than throw the wrappers away as you go. The wrappers serve as a reminder of how much candy you’ve eaten, so you know when to call it quits.


About the Author:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.