The Problem with Halloween: Tricks and Tips for a Healthier Holiday

Written by Jamie, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

According to data from, 95 percent of American households will buy candy for Halloween, spending a shocking $2.6 billion! 

In fact, a major public health organization published a report in 2018 saying that the average American eats at least 2 pounds of candy on Halloween, adding 3,500 to 5,000 calories from sugar and fat.

And if our children are successful in their quest for treats, the candy can stay around the home for weeks — sometimes for months. That makes them hard to resist.

It’s so easy to grab a few tiny candy bars or a handful of candy corns. Plus, for adults, the candy sometimes drifts over into the workplace and can be spotted in bowls on counters, in desks and in office lunchrooms. 

Since each piece is so small, the calorie, sugar and fat levels seem like no big deal, until they add up that is.

It’s a frustrating time for people who work all year to prevent their children (and even themselves) from indulging in sugar- and fat-filled snacks.

While occasional sweets are no big deal, Halloween’s candy crush is nothing short of staggering.

The Truth About Halloween

In fact, Halloween’s emphasis on giving away endless varieties of candy transitions into a beastly focus on Thanksgiving food less than a month later, followed by several weeks of December’s hog-wild holiday food intake. 

Even in October, Thanksgiving dinner ingredients are peeking out from behind bags of Halloween candies. 

Walking through a supermarket is like a minefield of temptations and obstacles to weight loss. We have to exercise a crazy amount of self-discipline to not give in to the impulse buying of holiday foods!

For the candy lover, Halloween is honestly the most difficult holiday to get through without giving up on self-restraint. 

In fact, many adults say they wait until the very last minute to buy their Halloween candy because, if they bring the candy into the house too early, they’ll definitely eat it instead of giving it away.

Fortunately, a low-glycemic and high-protein supplement tackles kooky cravings and off-the-chart appetite, but more on Almased protein shakes in a minute…

But Don’t Be Tricked by Sugar-Free Substitutes

By offering the taste of sweetness without any direct calories, artificial sweeteners look, at first glance, like they could be the answer to effective weight loss. 

But they’re definitely not.

In fact, people who use artificial sweeteners often replace the lost calories via other sources, effectively cancelling out whatever weight-loss or health benefits they were aiming for.

This means that folks who regularly use artificial sweeteners begin to find less wildly sweet foods, like fruit, less appealing and un-sweet foods, like vegetables, pretty much yucky!

Put another way, using artificial sweeteners can make you jettison healthy, satisfying and nutritious foods while pushing you towards more artificially flavored foods with lower nutritional value.

Artificial sweeteners may play another trick, too. 

Research suggests that they can prevent us from associating sweetness with calorie intake. As a result, we may crave more sweets, tend to choose sweet food over nutritious food, and gain weight — not good news for people keeping an eye on their blood sugar levels, or their waistlines.

In fact. participants in the famous San Antonio Heart Study who drank more than 21 diet drinks per week were twice as likely to become overweight or obese as people who didn’t drink diet soda.

Holiday Hankerings

While we know that holidays can be a wonderful time for giant family meals and re-connecting, we also know it can be a very stressful time. 

And that’s before we even dig into Thanksgiving dinner, which averages 3,000 calories! 

But nobody wants to cut out all of our favorite holiday foods and concoctions — just some of it, and small portions of everything else.

After all the effort we put into losing weight, the last thing we want to do is to sabotage our goals. 

So, what can we do to stave off sugar cravings? Here are five proven ways (with the help of Almased) to keep our sugar intake down during the holidays.

1. Go for fruit extracts. When blending your Almased shakes, you can opt for fruit-flavor baking extracts (a better alternative to eating a candy bar), for example: banana, coconut, orange or raspberry extract. 

2. Try to follow the 80/20 rule. For a healthy balance, follow the Almased Diet 80% of the time and if you really need to indulge, only do it 20% of the time or less. For example, aim to make 8 out of 10 meals low in added sugar as much as possible.

3. Experiment with holiday shakes. It’s easy to get creative with our Almased shakes, since they’re so versatile. Shake things up by adding your favorite spices or flavors, such as a teaspoon of pumpkin spice, nutmeg, cocoa or cinnamon to each shake.

4. Eat before sweets. Our parents always used to tell us, “Don’t eat that — it’ll spoil your appetite!” Well, this advice still applies today. Choose to drink an Almased shake or eat a meal, first, before spoiling your appetite with sweets. Chances are when you feel full, you'll likely reach for fewer sweets.

5. Make sweets hard to get to. Keep sweets hidden away or out of easy reach while making sure that healthy foods, and Almased, are in plain sight. Out of sight, out of mind. You'll then be more likely to drink a shake than to grab a handful of sweets.

Arm yourself with these 5 tips and you’ll be better positioned to enjoy the holidays while also sticking to your health goals. 

If you happen to overindulge, remember there’s always plan B - Almased. When you feel you’ve had too much to eat, fall back on using Almased. In fact, Almased is so good for us, we might as well call it “plan A”! 

To take the guesswork out of losing weight and being healthier, the makers of Almased developed the 4-Phase Figure Plan Plus, a way of eating healthier that can be customized to meet individual wellness or weight loss goals. 

Lose a little or a lot, lose it fast, or go slow. You are in control every step of the way – and that eliminates much of the typical diet stress while helping to curb our cravings.

To avoid crushing on Halloween candy and feeling stuffed like a turkey this Thanksgiving, Almased offers us many ways to navigate these meal minefields and hype our health this holiday season!

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