It’s almost Halloween. If you’ve ever struggled with binge eating, emotional eating, or overeating, it can be an especially scary holiday. And it’s not because of creepy costumes, ghost stories, or horror films.
Are you dreading that big bowl candy worse than anything this Halloween, afraid that you’ll eat your way to the bottom of it?
If you’ve ever struggled with your body and your food, I’m guessing that’s a YES.
Tell me if you’ve ever had this happen…
That candy bucket is sitting by your door. All you’re thinking about is tearing into a chocolate bar or a popcorn ball, but you fight to control yourself. Eventually, you cave, thinking that you can handle just ONE piece…
Then before you can say “BOO!”, you’re triggered to have another. Then another after that. Pretty soon, you figure that you’ve blown your diet anyway, so you may as well get to the bottom of that plastic jack-o-lantern.
You end up feeling bloated, miserable, and ashamed. Then the judgment kicks in…
Maybe you’re addicted to sugar. Maybe you just can’t have sweets at all, because you always lose control. Maybe you need to be even stricter with yourself.
So you say NO to candy, again. Only to give in to food-focused thoughts and cravings. Again.
Then you find yourself at the bottom of the candy bowl. Again.
Tired of that same old scary cycle every year? You’re in the right place!
Read on and find out how to enjoy Halloween candy (or sweets altogether) without losing control. It’s time to take back your power over sweet treats instead of letting THEM dictate your fun this year.
Here’s a hint: it’s NOT about telling yourself NO. It’s also not about making sugar or carbs your enemy or setting stricter candy rules.
Find out how to let yourself enjoy a few Halloween treats without mowing your way through the candy bag. I’ll show you how to make Halloween (and the candy) FUN again!
Now before I get into my best candy-management tips, let’s get real about one thing.
How many times has the “no Halloween candy” willpower-based strategy ever actually worked for you?
And when I say “worked for you,” I mean something that has worked for life. Not a carb-cutting plan that worked for a month or two. Not a candy restriction plan that helped you lose 10 pounds (only to gain it back).
Trust me, willpower never worked for me, either. Not on Halloween, and not on ANY other day of the year. Willpower is a strategy that fails us all, sooner or later.
If you don’t think so, try a little experiment this Halloween and watch what happens. That experiment goes something like this…
Keep an eye on the Halloween candy bowl for a few minutes, whether it’s at your office, a party, or wherever it might be. Then notice what people say as they help themselves to a piece or two.
You’re sure to hear comments like “I worked out today, so I can have this.” Maybe something like, “I’m going for a run after I eat this!” or “I’m cheating on my diet, don’t judge!”
People have these conversations around food all the time, and it does more harm than good. They pit you against your body and your food, and they always end the same way.
I’m here to tell you that there is a far better strategy!
We’re talking about a strategy where you don’t have to fight cravings. Where urges to eat candy aren’t even a thing. You can have a piece of candy without worrying that you’ll gorge on the entire bag. You’re not white-knuckling through your day, willing yourself not to eat candy or sweets.
Judging, abstaining, and depending on willpower make it worse. These strategies activate survival mechanisms in the brain, making it think it’s either feast or famine.
Then when you do give in and eat that forbidden candy, your brain is invested in making you eat it. So it sends you a little hit of the neurotransmitter dopamine as a reward.
That only makes you go back for more candy. And more after that.
Before you know it, you’ve created a pattern of repetitive behavior.
So what do you to stop those destructive patterns, and finally let yourself have a bit of candy without going down a guilt and shame spiral?
Try these 3 steps to help you have a happy Halloween, no candy-shaming required!
Step #1: Fuel your body properly throughout the day. Be sure that you’re not tempted to gorge on candy because you’re genuinely hungry. Keep your body adequately fueled by eating enough food each day.
Eat a variety of foods so that you’re getting all the nutritional support you need. Make sure you’re not already in starvation mode before you even contemplate the candy.
Step #2: Allow yourself to have special treats at any time. This one might surprise you, but hear me out and it’ll all make sense.
Nothing makes something more alluring than the word NO. The more you tell yourself that you can’t have candy, carbs, or sweets, the more that you think about them.
Then when you finally crack and let yourself have a bite, it never stops with just one bite.
But what if you allowed yourself to have a piece of Halloween candy (or any other kind of treat) any time you wanted?
Now, “allowing yourself” to have Halloween candy at any time doesn’t mean going on auto-pilot and eating an entire bag in one sitting. It just means that there’s no restriction on when you can have it.
Think about it. If you believed that you had one chance at the candy before it disappeared, you might be easily triggered into a free-for-all. But if you knew it would be there tomorrow, it helps you make a more supportive choice.
Which brings me to the next step!
Step #3: Make a present-moment choice. Once you lift all restrictions, the next step is to ask yourself how you truly feel about the candy. It’s the moment to pause, connect to the real you, and make a present-moment choice about whether you honestly want it or not.
Here’s how to put this step to work for you:
Knowing that you could have a piece of Halloween candy at any time, ask yourself if you really want it right now. Is it the most supportive choice you can make for your mental, emotional, or physical well-being?
Maybe a few pieces of chocolate wouldn’t support your physical well-being that much. But mentally and emotionally, they might be just what you need. Perhaps experiencing Halloween with your friends, family, or kids is what you want, so a few pieces of candy are perfect for you in the moment.
It’s about finding that blend of honoring your body and honoring your mental and emotional well-being.
This might look like enjoying one, two, or maybe three pieces of candy. Then when you’re done, simply going back to your day. You can choose to have a piece of candy tomorrow if you like. None of that “now or never” pressure.
Then again, you might not feel the need to indulge in candy at this moment, and you might prefer to wait for another time. Either way, it’s OK!
You know that you can have the candy any time, Halloween or not. That “all or nothing” compulsive dieter’s response doesn’t get in the way anymore, and you honor your needs in the moment.
Doesn’t that sound like a more fun way to deal with special treats all year around?
This is what life on the other side of restriction, dieting, and food-shaming looks like. It allows you to enjoy special days, holidays, and life in general without fear. It’s beautiful, fun, and you deserve it!
I hope you have a fantastic Halloween, and you put these tips to work for you! If happen to be reading this after Halloween, know that these tips work all the time, holidays or not. The key is allowing yourself freedom and fun in life while honoring your needs at all times.
Now, if you’re not quite there yet and you’re looking for a little support, I’ve got you!
Click the link below, and I’ll send a special training directly to your inbox. It’ll help you break the cycle of food-shaming once and for all, and set you up for what we call Food Freedom Forever.
Grab that training at the link below!
Now, leave me a comment and let me know–do you struggle with food guilt and fear around Halloween? How about other holidays or special occasions?
Let me know and tell me what your biggest takeaway from this post was! I’d love to hear from you, and how I can support you in enjoying your life and feeling free with food all year round!
Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments below!