By now most of us have bought our bags of mini candies, ready to hand out to the trick-or-treaters who will be at our doors tomorrow night. You may be experiencing a sense of anxiety having all that sugar at your fingertips. Maybe you are feeling like you don’t have control over yourself around those readily accessible treats. Those feelings are generated from your thoughts about the candy and it is not a fun way to feel. It doesn’t have to be that way and when you shift your attitude, you can change your behavior.
I am not going to analyze which types have the least sugar, fat, calories or whatever. It’s negligible and if you eat Smarties when you really want a Snickers, well what’s the point? Let’s face it– all of it is mainly sugar and the bottom line is too much of that does not fit in with a healthy lifestyle.
I am not here to tell you to eat mini boxes of raisins this holiday. I’m going to go ahead and suggest you actually have some Halloween candy…. IF that is what you really want. Why would a dietitian ever do that?! When you give yourself the message that you CAN’T or SHOULDN’T have a particular food, you tend to want it even more. In reality, you have a choice to eat what you eat. You also have (hopefully) an image of the healthy person that you want to be and are perfectly capable of determining whether a few pieces of Halloween candy fit into that picture.
Everyone always wants to know if XYZ food is “bad” or “good”– but there is no simple answer to that question. It is not an individual food that is bad or good, rather it is your diet as a whole that matters. I think we would all agree that apples and spinach are “good” foods, right? But… if that was all your diet consisted of, of course that would not be considered healthy. The same thing goes for a couple of pieces of Halloween candy. I certainly would not suggest eating the bag for dinner but what if you allowed yourself to have a certain amount? What if you prepared yourself a nutritious meal, knowing that you have made room for a little treat after? There is no magic number here either. Remember, it’s your body, your decision and everybody is unique. One may be enough. Maybe you choose to indulge and have several, just for this one day. That is ok! Perhaps you decide that the ingredients in Halloween candy don’t jive with the person you strive to be and so you enjoy some dark chocolate or make your own sweet goodies with more wholesome ingredients. Whatever you decide to do, the important thing is to do it consciously and feel good about it.
No feeling bad about yourself this Halloween!!