Halloween sweets' sour reality

Posted: October 17, 2013

DID YOU know that Halloween is the No. 1 candy-consuming holiday in the U.S., trumping Christmas, Valentine's Day and even Easter?

In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend an estimated $6.9 billion on Halloween this year - and $2.08 billion on candy alone. Unofficially, it's start of the holiday season when Americans will gluttonously eat ourselves silly until New Year's.

To make matters worse, the days are darker and longer, it's cold . . . and here come the winter blues - making some of us crave sweets even more. Talk about a sweet-tooth minefield!

Let's face it. No matter how much self-control you think you have, when that bowl of Halloween candy is beckoning, you just can't say no. Am I right?

And, cumulatively, those seemingly innocuous bite-size treats will take more than a bite out of your caloric budget. Just five little Hershey's Miniatures are 210 calories, total. For a 155-pound person, that's about an hour's walk to burn off.

So, while it may seem sad and unfair, let's have a reality check here. What I'd like you to understand is that it's easier not to consume those tempting treats than to undo the damage later.

How to resist? Personally, I don't buy any Halloween candy. Sorry, I give trick-or-treaters nothing. Zip. Zero. I don't leave a light on, and they don't knock.

I'm not coldhearted, just realistic. I have the most wicked sweet tooth, which threatens to overtake me at every turn. I do not keep sweets in the house.

I'm not anti-Halloween. I would give out my favorite Honeycrisp apples, but I know where they'd end up.

Like other kids, my child goes out trick-or-treating and enjoys the Halloween festivities at school. We let him have a little candy. Then, when he loses interest I hide it.

Then I throw it out.

Again, I have a wicked sweet tooth. Know thyself.

I certainly don't attend adult Halloween parties. And during the rest of the holiday season, I refrain from taking plates and desserts home from parties when they're offered.

At our house, I keep a big bowl filled with delicious seasonal fruits on the table. It's perfect for snacking - and provides cheap home decor.

At right are five additional tips to help you avoid packing on those scary pounds this holiday season, starting now.

Kimberly Garrison is a wellness coach and owner of One on One Ultimate Fitness in Philadelphia. Her column appears Wednesdays.

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