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Managing the Temptation to Candy-Binge this Halloween


If you are recovering from a binge eating disorder and candy is one of your temptation foods, you might be nervous about the approach of Halloween.

However, people who have previously faced this dilemma have discovered and shared steps you can take to reduce temptation and stay on track with your treatment goals.

12 Spook-tacular Tips for Halloween Candy Management

The tips that resonate with you – and maybe the ones that really annoy you – are likely the suggestions you will find most helpful.

  1. This year, do not hand out candy. Instead, give away items such as small toys, books, crayons, colored pencils, jewelry, stickers or a handful of pennies.
  2. If you decide to give away candy on Halloween, buy it at the last possible minute on Halloween day.
  3. When purchasing Halloween candy, do not choose your favorite kinds. If there is a popular candy that you dislike, buy that one.
  4. Be generous when passing out the candy so there is little left over. Also consider keeping the candy bowl outside your front door on Halloween.
  5. If there are candy leftovers, immediately give them away to neighborhood children, drive them to a donation center (e.g., a children’s hospital) or toss them into a garbage can outside.
  6. Keep store receipts so you can return unopened bags of candy.
  7. Do not entertain the idea that Halloween is "the one day each year I get to eat all the candy I want." Think about your recovery goals and how you will feel after Halloween if you allow yourself to binge.
  8. Make recovery your priority. Have someone on standby who you can call should you feel tempted to binge, or have a trusted friend hang out with you while you hand our your treats. Remind yourself frequently how great you will feel tomorrow if you do not indulge today.
  9. Make up your mind that any open bowls of candy you see at school or work are off limits or surrounded by a force field that you cannot breach. Do not keep open bowls of candy in your home.
  10. If your recovery plan allows for some sweet indulgence, reward yourself with one or two pieces of Halloween candy after eating a healthy meal.
  11. If your recovery plan does not include occasional candy treats, then reward yourself for keeping recovery goals with non-food items such as new clothing, books, fun apps, a spa day or whatever makes you happy.
  12. If you start eating Halloween candy, remind yourself that you can stop. If you do not stop and end up binging, relax. You cannot change what has happened. Just breathe, refocus on your goals, talk to your doctor or nutritionist about it, and go forward.