10/31/2012 12:14 EDT | Updated 12/31/2012 05:12 EST

Don't Be Tricked by Treats: How To Avoid Overindulging At Halloween

Flickr: Rochelle, just rochelle

Let's face it: Halloween is a holiday dedicated to candy so the opportunities to derail your regularly balanced diet are going to be all over the place for at least a week. Even longer if, instead of the candy leaving the house with the trick-or-treaters, it's also coming home in the loot bags of your own kids. There's nothing wrong with having a piece of candy or two on All Hallow's Eve, but the trick to avoiding overdoing it with the treats is planning ahead and taking the proper precautions. Here are four handy tips for keeping your cravings under control and and avoiding being scared away from the scale come November.


How to Avoid Overindulging on Halloween

1. Warn Your Office Mates

Inevitably, there is going to be candy and other treats making their way into the workplace the rest of this week, so do yourself a favour and let your co-workers know ahead of time that you would prefer not to be offered any treats. If you don't take this step, they will constantly be offering (as to avoid being rude), but every time they ask, a little bit of your willpower will be chipped away, until eventually you are simply tired of saying no and go for it. Best to be upfront about your goals and politely let them know that if you want a treat you will just help yourself later on.

2. Pick Your Poison

As I said, there's nothing wrong with having a treat or two, but the key to overdoing it is choosing your absolute favourite item and putting a cap on it. Three fun-sized items should suffice if you take the time to focus and really savour them. Also keep in mind that not all candy is created equal, so try to avoid the straight-up sugars like gummies and sours in favour of something like peanut or almond M&Ms, a Resse's Peanut Butter Cup or a mini-Snickers, because at least there's a little bit of real food and protein in there to keep you feeling more satisfied. Better still than hitting the candy bin though, is baking a healthy cupcakes or cookies that will have you feeling like you indulged without the insulin spike and inevitable post-sugar crash.

3. Don't Hit The Streets (or the Halloween Party) Hungry

You may be tempted to avoid eating all day because you know you are going to nosh on loot later in the day. Being hungry will just set you up to overdo it and keeping your body in starvation mode will just set it up to store all those calories as fat. You wouldn't dream of sending the kids out without dinner, so make sure you fix yourself a plate as well and you won't be nearly as tempted to reach into the pillowcases while you are making the rounds.

The same rules apply to those of you headed to a Halloween party. Those empty sugar calories in cocktails are just as damaging to your progress as those in candy, so make your choice wisely (spirits on the rocks or wine and beer are better than mixed drinks with pop or juice), set your caloric allotment and stick with it. Just as with those fun-sized treats, a couple should do it!

4. Put It on Ice

It may be tempting to chuck or donate the kids' candy so they aren't wired all day every day until Christmas and you won't be tempted to raid their stash after they go to sleep, but if that is going to cause a level five meltdown just pop the candy in the freezer. Freezing the treats means you and the kids will have to plan which pieces you want to eat ahead of time and thaw them out. And should a moment of weakness hit, you will be forced to eat each piece slowly if you want to avoid future dental work.