10 Tricks to Avoid Halloween Candy Temptations

Beware those empty calories in the Halloween candy jar.

By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

Halloween unofficially marks the beginning of the holiday feasting season. And for anyone trying to watch his or her weight, the scariest part of Halloween is not ghosts and goblins but the ever-abundant Halloween candy. Sugar and mostly empty calories is what you get in candy, and the truth is that most of us don't exercise enough to warrant those extra calories.

Those cute little fun-size candy bars seem harmless -- and they are, if you can limit your consumption. But that's easier said than done.

"All it takes is an additional 100 calories a day or the equivalent of one snack-sized chocolate bar and most adults will experience weight creep before they even know it," says Lona Sandon, MEd, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

When your cupboards are loaded with candy and the kids come home with bags full of even more treats, it's hard to resist. Many people try to lessen the temptation at home by bringing their extra candy into work, thus setting a high-calorie trap for their co-workers.

"Don't get sucked into the 'see food diet' mentality that makes you want to eat the candy simply because you see it and not because you are hungry," says Brian Wansink, PhD, a Cornell researcher and author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think. "We eat more of visible foods because it causes us to think about it more, and every time you see the candy bowl you have to decide whether ... you want a piece of candy or not.