Let’s be honest: We all say Halloween candy is for kids, but it’s hard not to reach for a piece — or seven — once they’re in your house.
While we can’t come to your house and physically prevent you from housing the whole bag at once, we can offer you some tried-and-true tips to keep your candy binge in check.
1. Hold Off On Buying Candy
Buy candy for trick-or-treaters as close to Halloween night as you can.
“Having treats in the house is a huge temptation and can cost you extra money if you have to go buy more,” says Ann Marion Willis, an R.D. in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
2. Buy Less Candy, Give Out More
And while you’re at the store, “buy less than you think you will need,” advises Willis. “This will help you avoid having leftovers hanging around the house. It’s better for you to run out of treats than to be left eating them yourself.”
If you find that your Halloween candy bowl is still full as the night goes on, start handing out more candy to each costumed kiddo that rings your doorbell.
They’ll be thrilled, and you’ll be saved!
3. Buy the Stuff You Like the Least
One simple way to prevent yourself from eating leftover candy is to buy stuff you don’t like, whether that’s candy corn, atomic fireballs, or Good & Plenty.
“Buying what you don’t like will make you less likely to indulge and reduce the urge you have to sample treats as you hand them out on Halloween,” says Willis.
4. Eat Well
Sugar cravings can strike when you’re hungry and haven’t consumed enough fuel to keep your blood sugar in balance.
Eat protein and fiber-rich meals in the days before and after Halloween, advises Willis. It’ll make you feel less tempted to create a dinner out of mini candy bars.
5. Savor a Single Treat
Mindless eating is a good way to eat way more than you mean to — whether that’s nuts, chips, or candy.
Rather than sitting in from of your TV munching your way through a bag of chocolate, try mindful eating.
Select the one piece of candy that you most want to eat. Tune out all other distractions and focus on savoring the experience of eating it. Chew slowly, let it melt in your mouth, enjoy the sweetness, and notice how it makes you feel.
Cutting that piece of candy into smaller pieces will make the experience last longer, and may even make you feel like you’re eating more.
Make your piece of candy go even further by chopping it into tiny pieces and sprinkling the bits on top of plain Greek yogurt.
6. Keep Your Mouth Minty Fresh
I’ve had adult braces for months and my candy consumption — especially the chewy, sticky stuff like caramels and gummy bears — has drastically decreased.
Installing orthodontic hardware just to avoid eating candy is a pretty drastic solution, but brushing your teeth can be a similar deterrent.
When you’re tempted to unwrap handfuls of Halloween loot, give your pearly whites a quick brush to curb your urge.
7. Just Chuck It
This will likely put you in the running for Worst Parent Ever, but Wills says, “Ask your kids to choose their favorite treats and then donate or throw away the rest. The longer treats stay in the house uneaten, the more likely you are to give in to temptation.”
Some dentists now offer to buy candy off kids in exchange for cash. This way they get a little spending money and you’ll get that sugary temptation out of your house and mind!