'Tis the season for tricks and treats -- and while it's probably inevitable that you'll sample a treat or two with so much around, the real trick is making sure you don't go overboard with the calories. With a bucketful of "bite sized" candy, what feels like only a bit can actually add up to a 500-calorie candy binge.
"Put your mind to work and be mindful of what you are eating," suggests registered dietitian and American Dietetic Association spokesperson, Toby Smithson, founder of DiabetesEveryDay.com. She recommends keeping your Halloween treat to under 100 calories. "If you start adding an extra 100 calories/day, you can gain 10 pounds in one year."
Here are her tips for keeping Halloween night in nutritional check:
1. Don't eat straight out of the bag of candy -- portion it out onto a napkin or a snack-sized bag.
2. "Studies show we tend to choose (to eat) the first thing we see," Smithson says. Store candy out of sight on a high shelf to make it a two-step process to get more. After Halloween, try storing it in an opaque closed container or in the freezer -- you'll have to wait for it to defrost before you eat it, giving you time to consider whether you really want it.
3. "Keep your eye on the candy so you will have better control of how much you are eating," she says. "A good cue to how much you are eating is to actually keep the wrappers from the eaten candy. If the wrappers are in front of you, it is easier to do a count of how much was eaten."
But what does a real portion look like anyway? See if you can eyeball one by taking this candy quiz:
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