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Halloween Candy Binge Busting Ideas

Candy Corn
Candy corn makes it's annual
appearance during Halloween.
Just one of several temptations
lurking during the holidays.

It's Halloween, and if you're trying to lose weight, it's not the costumes that are scary. Everywhere you go, you're surrounded by candy and sweets. Your willpower may be tested, but there are some things you can do to avoid going on a binge.

Start by being less responsible. Resist the urge to buy candy early. Wait until the day you need it before you buy it. The longer you have it around, the more likely you'll indulge. A bonus of shopping at the last minute is that many stores will be having sales to try and clear out excess inventory.

Buy only as much as you realistically need. Don't buy five large bags of candy if you only get a half dozen trick-or-treaters stopping by.

Gauge your traffic by how many visited last year and shop accordingly. If you live somewhere new, ask the neighbors how many kids have visited in the past.

Don't buy treats that you crave. If your favorite thing is chocolate bars, buy hard candy. If you're a sucker for lollipops, load up on bubble gum or chocolate. If your favorite is anything sweet, get something completely different. Purchase small toys or gifts to hand out to kids. Most probably don't need the extra sugar and fat anyway.

Look for lower-calorie, pre-packaged "100 calorie" snacks to hand out. Boxes of animal crackers, individual packages of vanilla wafers or ginger snaps. Since they're already packed into lower-calorie, individual servings, it may be easier to eat in moderation.

Avoid treats with sugar alcohols in them, specifically mannitol or sorbitol. They make the promise of being sugar-free, but young children may experience bloating, diarrhea and a laxative effect, especially when eaten in larger quantities. And while sugar-free may seem like a good idea for you, many are still loaded with calories and fat.

If you're still tempted, don't deny yourself. You can eat one piece but fight the urge to binge with paper and pen. Make a resolution that before each piece of candy you eat, you have to handwrite a 500-word essay on why you want it. Put down all the details of what you're thinking before taking a bite. Then project out how you'll feel after you've eaten it.

When you finish writing, you may realize you don't really want the candy after all. At the very least, it will take a while to get that essay onto paper and you won't have enough time to eat everything in the bag.

When trick-or-treaters come around, give it all away. Fill their bags up and you'll be fondly remembered as the cool house by all the neighborhood kids. If it's not sitting around the house, it's a lot harder to indulge.

When that last kid comes to your door, give away everything that's left. Don't leave a couple of bars behind "just in case." When you're finished, turn out the porch light and call it a night. Candy out of your sight is likely to stay out of your mouth.

If you have so much candy that you couldn't possibly give it all away, seal it up in a bag for work. Leave it in the kitchen area for people who take coffee breaks. If you're the one who hangs out in the kitchen at work, see if there's a local shelter, halfway house, church or school that would like the candy. While you're at it, put together some other things you've been meaning to donate like blankets, clothing, small appliances or furniture. Save your waist and trim down the clutter in your home at the same time.

Once you've exhausted every other option, throw the extra candy away. Make a note of how much was leftover, so you don't buy so much next year, then stop feeling guilty about it. It looks much better in the trash than on your hips.

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CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.