It’s scary, frightening actually.

We are T-7 days from Halloween, the sugary sweet holiday that officially kicks off the holiday season–the season that most consumers dread because of weight gain and slim wallets.

While you make think that Thanksgiving is the actual starting line to the detour from your healthy habits and prolonged fitness goals until the New Year, sunshine, think again.

And if you don’t believe me that Halloween haunts you with two-snack-size-Snickers-a-day-is-not-going-to-hurt-me, then let me back up my belief with some alarming stats:

  • Americans buy 90 million pounds of chocolate the week of Halloween
  • based upon popular candy labels, on average a child accumulates 3,500 to 7,000 calories worth of treats on Halloween night (to burn that, a child would have to walk 44 hours!)
  • the average pillow case can hold almost 1,700 pieces of candy! 
  • and for kicks and giggles–it would take you nearly 150 minutes of trick-or-treat walking to burn one Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte

Now, I am not saying that you or those special little ghosts and goblins in your life shouldn’t enjoy the fall festivities, but I am suggesting that you prepare and plan before the celebration turns into fright night.

Here are a few suggestions to keep you on-task with your health goals this Halloween:

  1. When selecting Halloween candy, choose candy that your trick-or-treaters will enjoy, but that you do not prefer. I typically buy Jolly Ranchers, Laffy Taffy, and other “sticky” candy that the kids like (and I don’t) to keep me from overindulging.
  2. When you eat a sweet treat, be empowered–make a choice to do so. Do not let a stressful day at work or an argument with a loved one send you seeking comfort in the candy jar. Give yourself permission to have a treat or two, and make the decision not to feel guilty or beat yourself up afterward.
  3. If you overindulge, do the next right thing! Get back on track immediately. Don’t wait until tomorrow or next week to make healthy choices again–start right away.

I’d love to hear if these tips helped you or if you have other suggestions that help you stay on track over Halloween (or the other upcoming holidays), sunshine.

With love for a great final week of October,

P.S. Have excess candy and want to teach your kids about helping others? Over 1,000 dentists nationwide buy candy from kids–$1 per pound–and then ship it to U.S. troops overseas via Operation Gratitude as part of a Halloween Candy Buy-Back program.

Soldiers receive toothbrushes, floss, and mouthwash with each handful of candy so that they can brush thoroughly afterwards. Now that’s something to smile about! Oh, and double bonus! You can have your kids use some of the money to buy a holiday present for child in need at Christmas. WIN, WIN, WIN!