Alexandra Owens, Allure magazine
Halloween is a day that tests the willpower of even the strongest-and lithest-among us. So though we might resist a triple fudge bar on our best day, few people are above a little professional help when it comes to resisting the temptation of buckets (and buckets) of candy on the 31st. Susan Albers, author of Eating Mindfully and a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic, shared some tricks to keep us from gorging on all the treats.
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Hide it. "Once it's in your house, keep it out of sight, out of mind. Or, as you're passing it out, put it in an opaque jar. We tend to eat less when it's not in a clear jar, because we're not looking at it. We're often triggered to eat just by seeing food."
Don't play favorites. "It's important to buy your least-favorite kind of candy. Buy one you can pass up. If you want to feel good about what you're eating, buy pure, dark chocolate- anything with 60% cacao or above has some health benefits. Nougat and nuts really increase the fat and sugar content."
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Picture something else. "When you start to think about candy, it triggers that neurocircuitry in your mind of craving it. Some studies say if you replace the candy image with a neutral image, like a meadow or a rainbow, you can cool down that craving because it blocks those sensory images."
Actually taste it. "Take mindful bites of candy and focus on what you taste. You may be surprised by what you actually like or don't like. I've done tasting workshops at Halloween with candy corn, and people often realize it doesn't taste as good as they thought it did. It has a weird aftertaste."
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Be less dominant. "Another trick to stop popping those M&Ms in your mouth is to eat with your nondominant hand. There's a study that it can reduce what you eat by 30%, because it stops that automatic motion. It's a very easy tip for a party."
Make a deadline. "Give yourself a deadline for getting the candy out of the house-say three weeks, before the turkey arrives. Or if by two weeks you have too much left, bring it into work or donate it. Have a strategy like when you clean out your closet. And remember, it's okay to throw away candy."
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