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Work vs Work Out ?

I quit my job.

The job itself and the guys I worked for: GREAT!

What wasn’t so great? To sum up: lack of time.

Some women are fantastic at managing a job and family. I am not one of those women, at least not at this point in my life. I knew it was time to leave my part-time job after only four months when both my husband and kids were getting annoyed with me having to go to work.

I’ve decided that my new job is going to be fitness. If I can work out 4 to 6 hours a week then I will be successful. That’s a heck of a lot less time then I was spending in an office.

Of course, there are a few other things that will keep me busy…

D, E,  Hubs and N

Zombie, Cap’n Hook, Smee (my hubs) and Marine

But I think they’re worth some (ok, MOST) of my attention.

Really, my girl (that cute female version of Captain Hook) has already helped me. Last weekend, there was some lots of candy at my house. She and I were eating some a bunch as we watched a show on TV. After the show I said something about how the candy wasn’t that good and how I felt icky. Right there in that moment my beautiful teenage daughter made a pact with me (forced me into a pact?) that we were not going to have any “treats”, except on Sundays and then only 2. It sounded great at the moment, but even as I write this I’m trying to decide if I can make it through the next 36 hours until I get my fix.

Honestly, though, that whole “I’d do anything for my kids” thing seems to have kicked in this week. I am surprised at how many times I had to remind myself, how many times I had to say “No, thanks,” and how many times I probably would have had a treat if I had not made that pact with her.

Each of those decisions piled up to this:

surprised me

I’m embarrassed to say it’s been a year since my weight has been this low. Maybe I didn’t lose it all this week, but considering my last weigh in was 6 pounds heavier… I’m giving Cap’n Hook the credit for keeping me honest.

Now is time for me to get back into those old healthy habits: eating well and working out regularly. I don’t expect to be another 6 pounds down next week at weigh in but I will be sticking to my plan just the same. We will see what kind of rewards await my hard work!

Wish me luck!

 

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Candy – Repost

I posted this last year, but think it’s a good one to repost…enjoy…and  stay away from that candy!!!!

5 Worst Halloween Candies (and 10 Best Survival Tips!)

A cocker spaniel weighs about 24 pounds. You know what else weighs 24 pounds? The heft of candy the average American gobbles down each year, a big chunk of that falling to our waistlines in the days before and after Halloween. Fun size? I don’t think so—unless it’s fun being size 16. These stats could very well turn you as white as a ghost:

  • Three miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups—the kind you find in office candy bowls and trick-or-treat-bags—fill your belly with more sugar than a glazed doughnut.
  • Half a pack of Skittles has more sugar than a scoop of Haagen-Dazs Cookies and Cream Ice Cream.
  • Nine Twizzlers carry as many calories as a Wendy’s Double Stack Burger.

These are some spooky treats. And Halloween is only the beginning of the eating season: Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. If you want to see your feet come January, start by conquering the sugar fest that’s nearly upon us. Here’s your plan for surviving the scariest night of the year for your waistline. (And speaking of frightful food, check out the Scariest Food Creations of 2010!)
Butterfinger Fun Sized BarWORST “FUN SIZE” CANDY BAR
Butterfinger Bar (fun size bar)
100 calories
4 g fat (2 g saturated)
10 g sugars

Again, fun for whom? Your cardiologist? By calling it “fun,” food marketers are cleverly pulling your attention away from the fact that candy bars are flab-inducing logs of concentrated fats and sugars. And Butterfinger is the worst offender—there’s no quicker way to swallow 100 calories.

Eat This, Instead!
3 Musketeers (fun size bar)
63 calories
2 g fat (1.5 g saturated)
10 g sugars

SURVIVAL TIP #1: Toss the candy bowl
Alabama researchers found that people who have snacks within reach when they’re watching TV consume more calories per day overall. But instead of simply relocating the bowl to another table, limit the potential for mindless munching by keeping the candy bagged and in the cupboard.

SURVIVAL TIP #2: Consume drinks before treats
Drinking 16 ounces of water before a meal fills the stomach, quells hunger, and helps you lose weight, according to a study presented at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. Use this strategy to help tamp your candy cravings. Just don’t substitute a sugary beverage for the water or this strategy will backfire: A can of soda has more sugar than two Hershey’s Take 5 bars. (Get more food shockers and instant weight loss tips by following me right here on Twitter, and check out these 20 Worst Drinks in America to learn what other beverages you should avoid.)

Brach's AirheadsWORST FRUITY CANDY
Brach’s Airheads (3 pieces)
140 calories
1.5 g fat (1 g saturated)
19 g sugars

Here’s the basic formula for an Airhead: Sugar and filler carbohydrates, artificial colors and flavors, and partially hydrogenated oils—a source of trans fat. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like our Eat This Instead, Dum Dums, are nutritional paragons, but they do have two noteworthy advantages over Airheads: They have no heart-wrecking oils, and they’re hard candy. That means they dissolve slowly on your tongue, letting you enjoy the sweetness over time.

Eat This, Instead!
Spangler Dum Dum Pops (3 pops)
77 calories
0 g fat
105 g sugars

SURVIVAL TIP #3: Work out on Halloween morning

Lifting weights reduces levels of blood sugar by 15 percent for more than 12 hours after you’ve left the gym, according to research from Syracuse University. Why does that matter? Some of the sugar you consume will stay in your blood stream, providing energy to your cells, instead of pitching a tent in your belly. (For more strategies that will keep you thin and healthy for life, check out The Best Fitness Tips Ever!)

SURVIVAL TIP #4: Switch to dark chocolate
It won’t necessarily save you calories, but dark chocolate boasts a bevy of health benefits that milk chocolate can’t claim. Flavonoids in the cocoa help keep your arteries soft, decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. And according to new research, a compound called epicatechin might help prevent brain damage from stroke. Keep a bar on hand to nibble on any time you have a craving. Seek out those bars with at least 60% cocoa.
Twix MiniaturesWORST MINIATURE CANDY BARS
Twix Miniatures (3 pieces)
150 calories
8 g fat (6 g saturated)
15 g sugars

Twix has the worst saturated fat profile of any candy in your kid’s trick-or-treat bag. Think about it like this: Each one of these bite-sized candies carries 10 percent of the saturated fat you should consume in an entire day. Switch to Tootsie Rolls and you’ll cut your calories by more than half and trim your total fat intake by a whopping 81 percent.

Eat This Instead!
Tootsie Roll (3 pieces)
70 calories
1.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated)
9.5 g sugars

SURVIVAL TIP #5: Chew gum
Sort through any trick-or-treat bag and you’ll undoubtedly discover a handful of Super or Dubble Bubble—those small pink cubes wrapped in old-fashioned, end-twisted candy papers. Instead of plowing through the chocolates and taffies, throw a big gob of the gum in your mouth. The chewing suppresses cravings, and each piece has only about 15 calories.

SURVIVAL TIP #6: Don’t hand out your favorite candy
If your favorite candy is Milk Duds, and you’re handing out Milk Duds all night, doesn’t it seem likely that you’re going to wind up with a pound of chocolate and caramel in your stomach by night’s end? Of course! And that’s not even factoring in how many Duds you’ll plow through as they sit on the counter in the days leading up to Halloween. Choose something less tempting. And for tips to help you stay slim the other 364 days of the year, check out our 25 Best Nutrition Secrets.

Brach's Milk Maid CaramelsWORST CHEWY CANDY
Brach’s Milk Maid Caramels (4 pieces)
160 calories
4.5 g fat (3.5 g saturated)
16 g sugars

“Milk Maid” sounds a lot like “Milk Made,” doesn’t it? Very clever, Brach’s! This candy contains a couple milk derivatives (whey and “lipolyzed butter fat”), but it hardly constitutes a dairy product. Plus, 90 percent of the fat is saturated. That’s bad news for your heart. If you enjoy the challenge of fighting chewy candy out of your teeth, switch over to Now and Later and save more than 100 calories per serving.

Eat This, Instead!
Now and Later (4 pieces)
53 calories
0.5 g fat (0 g saturated)
10 g sugars

SURVIVAL TIP #7: Keep the candy-calorie load to 400
The fewer calories you take in during candy season, the better off you’ll be heading into turkey season. So if you worry that you risk overindulgence, set a caloric limit and hold yourself to it. Four hundred is a good number—indulgent yet not overly destructive. That means you could eat every “Eat This Instead” on our list, and have 65 calories left for one of your personal favorites.

SURVIVAL TIP #8: Don’t skip dinner
A healthy dinner will take the edge off your candy craving, not to mention temper the blood-sugar rush that converts your body into a flab factory and puts you at risk for diabetes. What you want is a meal rich with fiber and lean protein—think chicken breast with vegetables.

Reese's PumpkinsWORST NOVELTY CANDY
Reese’s Pumpkin
170 calories
10 g fat (3 g saturated)
16 g sugars

This one should send your gimmick radar into the red zone. It’s simply an oversized peanut butter cup shaped like a pumpkin. What price novelty? Nearly two-thirds more calories than a regular Reese’s peanut butter cup! Grab two bite-size Reese’s instead—you’ll save more than half the calories, fat, and sugar.

Eat This, Instead!
Reese’s Bite Size Peanut Butter Cups (2 pieces)
72 calories
4 g fat (3 g saturated)
6 g sugars

SURVIVAL TIP #9: Take it outside
The worst thing you can do on Halloween night, after most of the trick-or-treaters have cleared off the street, is set your candy bowl by the door where you can grab a handful every day on your way out. Noshing 300 extra candy calories a day will add a pound of flab to your frame in less than two weeks. Instead, set the bowl on the porch before you go to bed. The leftover candy will be gone by morning, guaranteed.

SURVIVAL TIP #10: Remember: Halloween is a one-day event
A study in the journal of Nature Neuroscience found that eating junk food doesn’t just satisfy cravings—it creates them. That’s right; junk food is addictive. Limit your sugar splurging to October 31. If you start a week early, you’re going to have a serious candy habit to break after Halloween. You might find it to be frightfully difficult.

Bonus Tip! The NEW edition of Eat This, Not That!, completely updated for 2011, is on sale now! Pick up your copy today, and you could lose 10, 20, or even 30 pounds without giving up the foods you love.

Love it, Hate it, Can I Live Without it?

I’m 41, married, a mother to three kids and I live in my own mom’s house. It didn’t happen on purpose and we’ve been here years (YEARS). Some days I have hope (or faith or both) that we’ll get our own home and others I feel stuck. Today is a stuck day. Don’t get me wrong. There are some great things about being here. This is not one of them…

She (Mom) came home from a weekend away for a family funeral and this is what was on the counter when I woke up. She cannot throw food away. It might be a physical impossibility for her. She loves treats, too, and no matter how often I ask her not to bring things like this home….she ignores me and does it anyway.

Oh my mother. How I love her. How she drives me crazy.

This isn’t a blog post to complain about my mother. It’s about all the dang sugar! I have given in to the sugar too much lately. I need a clean slate. I feel totally addicted. I choose easy, grabable (it’s a word), food filled with refined sugar to snack on, to replace an actual lunch, to fill me when I’m tired….need I go on?

I’m diabetic for crying out loud! Iwasn’t even eating candy a few months ago and now I don’t seem to know how to eat without it being something sweet. After seeing the many treats this morning I decided I need to go on a sugar fast. I don’t know for how long. I’m afraid to put a number on it and discourage myself so much that I give up before I start. So I’m doing it for today. Tomorrow is another day. I pray for the courage to stick to it tomorrow.

Wish me luck.

Once Upon A Time…

I had this grand idea that if I became a blogger it would make losing weight fun, exciting, and practically easy. Combining something that I love (writing) with something that is hard for me (losing weight) was supposed to be a magical formula.

Wrong.

I gained weight this week.

Again.

I didn’t post Friday (when I’m “supposed” to post) because I could not have cared any less about blogging or weight loss. I sweated this week, serious work my fat off sweat…and not just because we had a few strange-for-L.A. humid days. I zumba-ed, swam, walked, and cardio/weight trained with effort!

But then again…

The week before I did a lot of sitting and enjoying of this scenery whilst beach camping:

I may have indulged myself a time or two in the last two weeks on less than healthy foods. I maybe even ate some candy which means I totally broke my promise to myself to not eat candy until I hit…whatever the goal was. It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten the exact goal. And all I’ve done is gain weight lately. I said at the beginning of this that feeling fat is not a motivator.

Gaining weight when you are trying to lose is not a motivator either. It makes me want to eat the entire carton of mint chocolate chip ice cream in my freezer.

Did you know that tomorrow (3rd Sunday of July) is National Ice Cream Day? I’d like to say that I’m going to have one single scoop, but I think that’s how my indulgences/overindulgence begin…with permission for a “special” treat and then it carries over to the next thing because I’ve already allowed myself other yumminess.

*sigh*

In theory, I know how I should eat and what I should eat. Why is it so difficult in practice?! I love to exercise and to find different forms of exercise to try (especially if it doesn’t aggravate my plantar fasciitis). It’s the food I can’t seem to get a handle on…at least this week it is.

Usually I am much more optimistic. I need to turn this whole thing around and find a way to start again! First thing on my agenda is to make a list of things that DO motivate me in my quest to lose weight/feel happy & comfortable in my body.

Can I really do this? Do I have the willpower? Some days I am not so sure, but I do know one thing. I do not want to give up. I am not ready to give in to the fat. I hate it. It makes me self-conscious all the time. The alternative is to reinvent, to figure out what I CAN do to accomplish my goal.

I want my happy ending.

Wish me luck!

I smell like campfire and look like an alien

This afternoon I came home from five days of camping with the junior high & high school age girls from my church…178 of them. We call it “Girls Camp”. I’ve been privileged enough to be on the committee which organizes and runs it in my local area for the last four years. It might be my favorite week of the year. Today might also be the most tired I’ve been all year, too.

 

A few years ago when we were camping we started calling Red Vines “breakfast”. I don’t know about your camping trips, but ours usually include lots of Red Vines and a variety of candy and junk that’s easy to pop in your mouth. Calories on vacation don’t count, right?

 

 

Wrong.

 

I decided before I went to camp that I was going to avoid all the candy. I am doing that in my regular everyday life, so I should do that at camp! It was much easier than I expected. We had an amazing volunteer organize the food, so I never felt like I was left unsatisfied. Up until last night (when the tired started to sink in) I had no problem ignoring the candy or walking away if I felt like I couldn’t.

 

I had willpower!

 

 

Then last night I gave in to a handful (or three) of peanut M&Ms and some Red Vines. They were not nearly as good as I had expected. I actually had to go find something to get the waxy licorice taste out of my mouth.

 

How weird is that? How wonderful is that?!

 

Now I’m sitting here with a green mask on my face before I shower to get all the yuck out of my pores and trying not to fall asleep. I won’t weigh in until this Friday. Several friends want to work out together this week, so I’m going to try Zumba and a spin class (Heaven help me). But for now I’m going to wash the alien off my face and the smokey scent out of my hair then spend some quality time with my mattress.

 

Wish me luck.

One thing at a time

I’m happy to report I am mentally in a better place…I was such a mess the other day.

I succeeded in refraining from ALL candy during Easter, and plan to keep it out of my mouth until after I am 25 lbs lighter.  I don’t usually eat the stuff, but found I had added it to my “free” days.  Why?  It used to be a treat every now and then, why make it a weekly thing?  So, it’s gone from my “free” day options.  My free day treat was Angel Food cake and fresh strawberries.  It was a delicious treat!

This week I will be focusing on water.  I am seeing through bubbles right now, I’m so full of it.  I dread all the bathroom stops this will stir up, but it will also hopefully be the thing that keeps other things out of my mouth.  I have been very lenient with my water routine and found I didn’t get nearly enough in each day, and confess a few days I missed it entirely.   The candy was easy to fix…water will be different.  I know eventually I will love it again, but I’m not a fan usually..grabbing a DC instead.

I’m finally feeling a bit better so I’m also going to hit the gym.  I don’t plan on doing a strenuous cardio, but I’m going to get back in the routine of regular exercise.  After 2 weeks off, I know I’ll be feeling it!

Next week I will focus on another area that needs improvement…but for now, this will do.  Tackling it one at a time and getting it down.  One day, the scale will be my friend…not there yet.

Jellybeans & Peeps & More….OH MY!

Today many of us will be walking through store aisles filled every kind of candy Mars, Hershey, Cadbury, and the other candy companies can think of…shaped into eggs, chicks and bunnies. Don’t give in just because the candy is cute! The calories count double when the candy is cute. Honest.

Do what I do: buy the kids a little bit of candy, but make sure it is the kind you can resist. If you’re house is like mine there is so much candy that much gets thrown away in a week or two anyway. I’ve got some little toys, coloring stuff for the youngest, hair pretties for the teenager…stuff that lasts more than a couple of weeks. One friend told me they fill their eggs with coins and cash. There are ways to get around the candy and still enjoy Easter.

(Of course, Easter isn’t really about the candy anyway. Hopefully, you’ll spend some time talking about our Savior and not just about the Easter Bunny. If you need help, I offer this link to an 8 minute video about His sacrifice.)

All this talk of candy leads me to my latest decision. I’m off candy again. I lost the most weight last fall when I was skipping on the candy. I didn’t think that I ate a lot, but maybe being off candy just causes me to pay more attention to what I am eating. Weighing in yesterday showed I’m at my lowest weight (by 1/5th of a pound) since I started.

That was awesome news for me since I had the time to and worked harder this week than I have in a while. Now I have 3.2 lbs to lose until I reach 20 lbs total lost and I reward myself with a pedicure! Going back to school this week may make it harder to get as many workouts in, but I’m going to put in a valiant effort.

Eating healthy and exercising. I’m still working hard to fit those things in my life….or to fit my life around those two things…whichever.

Wish me luck!

…and have a beautiful, happy Easter!

Forget the Christmas countdown…

I’ve got 7 days until I go back to the doctor for my 3 month check-up since being on medication for diabetes. My goal has been to show him I’m serious with the weight I lose and to minimize the amount of sugar and carbs I intake to help with my blood glucose level. Well this week I am down another pound or so…

Which is awesome! So this week I’ve got to put a good effort into my weight loss efforts before my first self-imposed deadline. Wouldn’t it be great if I could go to the appointment and be 220 something?! (So stay away from me with your tempting holiday dishes)

I realized today that it is December. Ok, well, I realized that yesterday, but the implication of it being December didn’t hit me until I was shopping with my dad and he wanted chocolate. My commitment to not eat candy is O.V.E.R. I went almost a full two months without having any candy. Two months that were surrounded by holidays where we stuff our faces with junk!!! Go ahead and applaud. No, really. Do it! Ok, fine…if you are afraid of what other people might think when you randomly start clapping while sitting alone in front of your computer then I am letting you off the hook. But for all of my “Who cares what the world thinks” friends….I curtsey in gratitude.

When I texted Rae in excitement she politely congratulated me (hey, clap for Rae too while you’re at it. this was her hair-brained idea!) and then reminded me not to go “hog wild”. I love her. Here’s the crazy thing. I didn’t. My hubs reminded me of the stash of peanut M&Ms from the after Halloween sale (I have no idea where they are and threatened to kick Har out of my bed if he kept eating them in front of me), and when we got home he slipped away for a bag and handed it to me. But I was so full from eating half of my dinner at Claimjumper (I forgot how big their portions are!) that I had no desire to really eat them. I put them up and in the back of my mind kept thinking, “I need to eat a few M&Ms today just because I can!”

It’s getting late now. We put our boys to bed and sent my dad home (he came up to take my hubs and I to an early birthday dinner…hubs turns 38 on Monday) and I was debating opening that bag of candy before I settled in. Then the thought came to me, “They will still be there tomorrow.” How brilliant! I was almost going to force myself to eat candy just because it was there and I can. But isn’t the point of having a handful of M&Ms to enjoy them?! I wasn’t going to enjoy them if I ate them tonight I was just going to be checking something off my list. “Ate candy – check!” I am so grateful for that epiphany!

So maybe tomorrow I’ll enjoy a couple of M&Ms…maybe I won’t. After all I have a big date with a scale in the doctor’s office next friday…SEVEN DAYS!

Wish me luck!

i might be crazy

I don’t feel like writing. Getting dressed for church today I felt fat in everything. Ok, so the skirt I wore was actually barely staying on. Still felt fat. Why does feeling fat make me want to eat my weight in chocolate?

I weighed myself on Friday…

This claims I’ve lost more than 12 lbs. total. I think it was kind of cheating since I had a stomach virus. And 12 lbs doesn’t feel like a whole lot. I know. I know. It is. It’s a big deal. 12 big deals. But I feel more like: big woop.

What? Oh, I’m sorry. Your distracted by what’s on my feet? They’re shoes. No, not water shoes….although, I’m pretty sure they’d be fine in water. They’re Vibram Five Finger shoes. My husband heard about them from a colleage and so we did a little research and decided they might be good for me because of some of the foot problems I’ve had. It’s almost like working out/walking/jogging barefoot except with grip & protection on the bottom of your feet. No padding. I love them. LOVE THEM. I’d been working out barefooted and not doing much walking/jogging, but I like both much better with these.

I don’t like running. I barely can make myself jog. Why get a pair of shoes that is meant to help one run more naturally if I don’t like running? Cuz I’m fat. Need to lose (more) weight. Doing lots of stuff I don’t really like. Hoping to start liking it more. You know it’s funny after a month (or so) of not eating candy that sweet stuff is almost too sweet. I’ve also noticed that my tendency is to reach for candy when I want a quick snack…or I’m bored….or tired. I’m hoping this period of abstinence helps me to retrain my way of thinking and keep avoiding candy. Sorry. Sidetracked. This is how my brain works.

So, I’ve got the fancy shoes, and I hate to run. So why not sign up for a half marathon. Well, at least that was the plan. Hiccup in my plan is that the race I wanted to run (same one my friend who just lost her husband is planning to do the full marathon) well, it sold out in an hour. Had the half marathon in my cart, walked away to help a kid get ready for school, came back, hit submit…SOLD OUT.

Maybe I should take it as a sign.

My sister doesn’t think so. She was going to do the half with me. Do you know how long a half marathon is? 13.1 miles. Crazy, right? Run that all at once. Well, crazy runs in my family. My sister is gung ho. We’re finding a half to do next Spring (Summer would be too hot – and let’s not add something else I don’t like into the mix or I might lose my motivation). So we are looking for a Saturday half marathon in May or June that isn’t too far away (although, I did see one in Ireland I liked)!

Wish me luck.

CANDY!!!

I’m working on the same 1-2 lbs up and down.  Right now I’m back at 172 so I thought I’d add inspiration from another source.  I love the Eat This, Not That site.  Here’s some of the worst choices for this month’s candy fest and some ideas to help you through…  I’ve still not had a piece yet…going strong on that goal at least.  It’s all the carbs I need to avoid now.  Here’s to a better, more conscious week!

5 Worst Halloween Candies (and 10 Best Survival Tips!)

A cocker spaniel weighs about 24 pounds. You know what else weighs 24 pounds? The heft of candy the average American gobbles down each year, a big chunk of that falling to our waistlines in the days before and after Halloween. Fun size? I don’t think so—unless it’s fun being size 16. These stats could very well turn you as white as a ghost:

  • Three miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups—the kind you find in office candy bowls and trick-or-treat-bags—fill your belly with more sugar than a glazed doughnut.
  • Half a pack of Skittles has more sugar than a scoop of Haagen-Dazs Cookies and Cream Ice Cream.
  • Nine Twizzlers carry as many calories as a Wendy’s Double Stack Burger.

These are some spooky treats. And Halloween is only the beginning of the eating season: Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. If you want to see your feet come January, start by conquering the sugar fest that’s nearly upon us. Here’s your plan for surviving the scariest night of the year for your waistline. (And speaking of frightful food, check out the Scariest Food Creations of 2010!)
Butterfinger Fun Sized BarWORST “FUN SIZE” CANDY BAR
Butterfinger Bar (fun size bar)
100 calories
4 g fat (2 g saturated)
10 g sugars

Again, fun for whom? Your cardiologist? By calling it “fun,” food marketers are cleverly pulling your attention away from the fact that candy bars are flab-inducing logs of concentrated fats and sugars. And Butterfinger is the worst offender—there’s no quicker way to swallow 100 calories.

Eat This, Instead!
3 Musketeers (fun size bar)
63 calories
2 g fat (1.5 g saturated)
10 g sugars

SURVIVAL TIP #1: Toss the candy bowl
Alabama researchers found that people who have snacks within reach when they’re watching TV consume more calories per day overall. But instead of simply relocating the bowl to another table, limit the potential for mindless munching by keeping the candy bagged and in the cupboard.

SURVIVAL TIP #2: Consume drinks before treats
Drinking 16 ounces of water before a meal fills the stomach, quells hunger, and helps you lose weight, according to a study presented at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. Use this strategy to help tamp your candy cravings. Just don’t substitute a sugary beverage for the water or this strategy will backfire: A can of soda has more sugar than two Hershey’s Take 5 bars. (Get more food shockers and instant weight loss tips by following me right here on Twitter, and check out these 20 Worst Drinks in America to learn what other beverages you should avoid.)

Brach's AirheadsWORST FRUITY CANDY
Brach’s Airheads (3 pieces)
140 calories
1.5 g fat (1 g saturated)
19 g sugars

Here’s the basic formula for an Airhead: Sugar and filler carbohydrates, artificial colors and flavors, and partially hydrogenated oils—a source of trans fat. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like our Eat This Instead, Dum Dums, are nutritional paragons, but they do have two noteworthy advantages over Airheads: They have no heart-wrecking oils, and they’re hard candy. That means they dissolve slowly on your tongue, letting you enjoy the sweetness over time.

Eat This, Instead!
Spangler Dum Dum Pops (3 pops)
77 calories
0 g fat
105 g sugars

SURVIVAL TIP #3: Work out on Halloween morning

Lifting weights reduces levels of blood sugar by 15 percent for more than 12 hours after you’ve left the gym, according to research from Syracuse University. Why does that matter? Some of the sugar you consume will stay in your blood stream, providing energy to your cells, instead of pitching a tent in your belly. (For more strategies that will keep you thin and healthy for life, check out The Best Fitness Tips Ever!)

SURVIVAL TIP #4: Switch to dark chocolate
It won’t necessarily save you calories, but dark chocolate boasts a bevy of health benefits that milk chocolate can’t claim. Flavonoids in the cocoa help keep your arteries soft, decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. And according to new research, a compound called epicatechin might help prevent brain damage from stroke. Keep a bar on hand to nibble on any time you have a craving. Seek out those bars with at least 60% cocoa.
Twix MiniaturesWORST MINIATURE CANDY BARS
Twix Miniatures (3 pieces)
150 calories
8 g fat (6 g saturated)
15 g sugars

Twix has the worst saturated fat profile of any candy in your kid’s trick-or-treat bag. Think about it like this: Each one of these bite-sized candies carries 10 percent of the saturated fat you should consume in an entire day. Switch to Tootsie Rolls and you’ll cut your calories by more than half and trim your total fat intake by a whopping 81 percent.

Eat This Instead!
Tootsie Roll (3 pieces)
70 calories
1.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated)
9.5 g sugars

SURVIVAL TIP #5: Chew gum
Sort through any trick-or-treat bag and you’ll undoubtedly discover a handful of Super or Dubble Bubble—those small pink cubes wrapped in old-fashioned, end-twisted candy papers. Instead of plowing through the chocolates and taffies, throw a big gob of the gum in your mouth. The chewing suppresses cravings, and each piece has only about 15 calories.

SURVIVAL TIP #6: Don’t hand out your favorite candy
If your favorite candy is Milk Duds, and you’re handing out Milk Duds all night, doesn’t it seem likely that you’re going to wind up with a pound of chocolate and caramel in your stomach by night’s end? Of course! And that’s not even factoring in how many Duds you’ll plow through as they sit on the counter in the days leading up to Halloween. Choose something less tempting. And for tips to help you stay slim the other 364 days of the year, check out our 25 Best Nutrition Secrets.

Brach's Milk Maid CaramelsWORST CHEWY CANDY
Brach’s Milk Maid Caramels (4 pieces)
160 calories
4.5 g fat (3.5 g saturated)
16 g sugars

“Milk Maid” sounds a lot like “Milk Made,” doesn’t it? Very clever, Brach’s! This candy contains a couple milk derivatives (whey and “lipolyzed butter fat”), but it hardly constitutes a dairy product. Plus, 90 percent of the fat is saturated. That’s bad news for your heart. If you enjoy the challenge of fighting chewy candy out of your teeth, switch over to Now and Later and save more than 100 calories per serving.

Eat This, Instead!
Now and Later (4 pieces)
53 calories
0.5 g fat (0 g saturated)
10 g sugars

SURVIVAL TIP #7: Keep the candy-calorie load to 400
The fewer calories you take in during candy season, the better off you’ll be heading into turkey season. So if you worry that you risk overindulgence, set a caloric limit and hold yourself to it. Four hundred is a good number—indulgent yet not overly destructive. That means you could eat every “Eat This Instead” on our list, and have 65 calories left for one of your personal favorites.

SURVIVAL TIP #8: Don’t skip dinner
A healthy dinner will take the edge off your candy craving, not to mention temper the blood-sugar rush that converts your body into a flab factory and puts you at risk for diabetes. What you want is a meal rich with fiber and lean protein—think chicken breast with vegetables.

Reese's PumpkinsWORST NOVELTY CANDY
Reese’s Pumpkin
170 calories
10 g fat (3 g saturated)
16 g sugars

This one should send your gimmick radar into the red zone. It’s simply an oversized peanut butter cup shaped like a pumpkin. What price novelty? Nearly two-thirds more calories than a regular Reese’s peanut butter cup! Grab two bite-size Reese’s instead—you’ll save more than half the calories, fat, and sugar.

Eat This, Instead!
Reese’s Bite Size Peanut Butter Cups (2 pieces)
72 calories
4 g fat (3 g saturated)
6 g sugars

SURVIVAL TIP #9: Take it outside
The worst thing you can do on Halloween night, after most of the trick-or-treaters have cleared off the street, is set your candy bowl by the door where you can grab a handful every day on your way out. Noshing 300 extra candy calories a day will add a pound of flab to your frame in less than two weeks. Instead, set the bowl on the porch before you go to bed. The leftover candy will be gone by morning, guaranteed.

SURVIVAL TIP #10: Remember: Halloween is a one-day event
A study in the journal of Nature Neuroscience found that eating junk food doesn’t just satisfy cravings—it creates them. That’s right; junk food is addictive. Limit your sugar splurging to October 31. If you start a week early, you’re going to have a serious candy habit to break after Halloween. You might find it to be frightfully difficult.

Bonus Tip! The NEW edition of Eat This, Not That!, completely updated for 2011, is on sale now! Pick up your copy today, and you could lose 10, 20, or even 30 pounds without giving up the foods you love.

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