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Halloween Doesn't Have to be Scary for Your Diet

FRIDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Trying to avoid eating the entire bag of candy bars you bought for Halloween before the big night arrives? Worried that you won't have the willpower to resist midnight raids on your child's Halloween stash?

Halloween doesn't have to be scary for your diet, according to Kara Smith, special project coordinator for the Loyola Center for Fitness. Smith offered several tips on how to limit empty Halloween calories, including:

  • Buy candy at the last minute and choose treats you don't like to avoid temptation.
  • Choose sour or gummy candy over chocolate. Research shows people tend to eat more chocolate than these alternatives.
  • Make sure your family eats a filling and healthy meal before trick-or-treating so they don't eat as much candy.
  • Chew a sweet, sugarless gum to curb sweet cravings.
  • Save the wrappers of the candy you eat to serve as an accurate reminder of what you've consumed.
  • Set limits on how much candy you and your family can eat and store extras out of sight.
  • Consider giving out calorie-free treats, such as Halloween pencils, stickers, temporary tattoos or vampire teeth.
  • Give out healthier alternatives to candy, such as sugarless gum, instant cocoa, microwave popcorn, 100-calorie packs of snacks, or raisins.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more Halloween health and safety tips.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Loyola University Health System, news release, Oct. 18, 2011

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