Will you be filling children’s bags with apples this Halloween? Before you hand out those packs of sugar-free gum because you’re afraid that having treats in your house is an open invitation to a personal snack attack, heed this: you don’t have to be afraid that Halloween will derail your healthy diet! Follow these five tips so you can enjoy the season (almost as much) as if you were a kid again.
1. Keep the sweets in a dark container, out of reach.
Out of sight out of mind? Kind of! In a Cornell study, female faculty and staff ate twice as many Hershey Kisses if they were in a clear container on the desk, as opposed to a opaque container. Women ate even less when that dark container was six feet away.
When the women had to walk to get the chocolates, they thought they ate more than they really did, but when the candies were nearby they thought they ate way less! Just having to put in the extra effort for the chocolates makes you more mindful than when you’re popping them from the personal stash in a bowl on top of your desk.
2. Roast pumpkin seeds from your freshly-carved pumpkin.
Kick off the season with a snack you can make spicy, salty, sweet or savory.
After you rinse stringy pumpkin goo from the seeds, drizzle olive oil on a roasting pan and spread seeds on top. Top with your favorite spice: salt, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper... Bake at 325F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Bonus: Pumpkin seeds are chock-full of beauty nutrients (magnesium, iron, copper and zinc to name a few). For some extra mindful snacking, crack the seed and eat the inside, rather than having it whole.
3. Savor, don't stop completely.
If you want to have that piece of chocolate, go ahead.
“Trying to suppress thoughts about candy are actually counter productive. Dieters tend to eat more chocolate when they try to avoid it all together,” says Susan Albers, Psy.D., author of “But I Deserve This Chocolate: the 50 Most Common Diet Derailing Excuses and How to Outwit Them.”
Opt for an ounce of 70 percent dark chocolate or higher—the darker, the better. If you’re not great at breaking that bar into perfect pieces, try Ghirardelli's Intense Dark Twilight Delight squares (72 percent Cacao), for one square that equals one ounce. There’s even a darker 86 percent Cacao option, if you dare!
The flavonoids in dark chocolate have been linked to a better complexion, and a brand new study found that women who consumed an about 2.3 ounces of chocolate per week had a significantly lower stroke risk than those who consumed little or no chocolate.
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