Trick-For-Treat: How I’m having my treats without blowing my calorie budget

Halloween is a time for good food,  family togetherness and of course Halloween treats!  It wouldn’t be Halloween in my house without candy corn, chocolates, and this year caramel apples.  Halloween is definitely one of those holidays that I splurge on and it seems that my calorie counting flies out the window.  Plus, I’ve noticed now that the weather is getting colder I am being a lot more generous on my food intake and less cautious about working out.  I don’t know about you, but this year I won’t have time to work out those extra calories I am anticipating to pack on this weekend.  So before the festivities begin I am taking a look at the collateral damage before I decide to indulge.

Thank goodness all those chocolates I like come in bite size, because I can only imagine the damage I would do if I ate them in their entirety.  I vow not to fall into my usual trap of helping myself to all flavors merely just to “taste” them because I checked: all those bite size pieces pack in over a 100 calories each.  My trick for treat will be eating dark chocolate instead.  Dark chocolate is better for me and has less calories then milk chocolate.  Also by choosing plain chocolate over chocolates that have nuts or caramel will save me some calories too.  If I want the chocolate taste but not the chocolate calories that come along with it, I am going to go to fall back on one of my favorites: tootsie rolls!  At a “can’t refuse” calorie count of only 13 calories per roll I can indulge without the guilt factor.

I never have lollipops any other time of year besides Halloween.  My usual culprits are Dum-Dums, Tootsie pops, or Blow pops and these serve as my sugar in between my sugar.  So which ones are better than others for me to indulge in?  They are actually all relatively the same amount about 60 calories each with Dum-Dums coming in a little bit lower at 50.  My search shows me that lollipops are okay anytime of year when you want just a little something sweet.  (Sugar-free gum does the trick too, but this isn’t my usual spiel)..

Everyone knows there are two types of candy: chocolates and then all others.  The “others” I’ve enjoyed growing up include Smarties, Skittles, Good & Plenty, and Dots to name a few.  If I want a treat and not necessarily the calories or fat I would chose from this “other” category.  Let’s put it this way: I can have 7 straws of Pixy Stix’s to meet the same amount of calories in my bite size piece of chocolate.  Not bad for a sweet tooth craving, huh?   Hard candy lasts longer than the chewy ones too so if I feel like binging I will suck on Gobstoppers, Runts, and Nerds instead of Starbursts, Dots, or Skittles.

Candies aren’t the only treats I enjoy at Halloween.  What about Rice Krispies treats, popcorn balls, and Starbucks’ Pumpkin spice Latte?  There is no way I am going to do without these this Halloween season but if I am feeling guilty or plan to go out to eat later I can skimp on the extras like no whipping cream in my latte or use “low fat” butter or brown puffed rice for my Rice Krispies.  If I make my treats at home I can tweak the ingredients (for the better) and have the option of cutting smaller portions.

So as I am making the right choices about the treats I am about to eat this weekend I am also keeping in mind that I have to keep up with my weekly work outs and maintain eating healthy.  I will limit myself to only a couple of treats a day and above all practice self-control.  I know Halloween is just the beginning of my holiday eating habits so the more stress I put on not blowing my calorie budget now the shorter the list my New Year’s Resolutions will be.  The only extra chores I want this Halloween are flossing and brushing my teeth.

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