Thursday, October 14, 2010

Frighten Away those Halloween Pounds

Although I'll be in town for the first time in almost a month, this weekend is going to be insanely busy. Between concerts, sports (big day for my beloved Badgers - even ESPN College GameDay will be in Madison on Saturday night - u-rah-rah!), a surprise birthday party for a friend and a trip to see the air show, I won't have much downtime. And did I mention that we'll be shopping for Halloween costumes AND attending a neighborhood Halloween parade this weekend? Like I said, no rest for the weary!

Speaking of Halloween, I know it's still two weeks away. But if you're anything like me, you're already fighting the temptation of all those cheap bags of candy at the grocery store. Between the holiday parties and baskets filled with high-calorie treats, Halloween can be less than kind to the waistline. So how do you prevent packing on the pounds while still participating in all the spooky festivities?

According to this article from the Calorie Control Council website, foods and beverages containing low-calorie sweeteners provide a simple way to enjoy your favorite treats without the additional calories. For example, choosing sugar-free chocolate will save 50 calories a day. Over the course of a year, that daily calorie savings could result in a five-pound weight loss. Drinking a diet soda can shave off 150 calories a day - or 15 pounds - by year's end.

Here are a few more tips to surviving Halloween without gaining weight, courtesy of CCC:

* If you are throwing a party, serve reduced-fat popcorn or fat-free pretzel twists or sticks. Toss in some chocolate candies, as an added treat, but watch portion sizes.
* Instead of caramel apples, try serving whole or sliced apples with fat-free caramel sauce.
* Cut out bread (try a reduced-fat or light version) with a Halloween cookie cutter. Serve with smoked turkey, reduced-fat cheese, tomato, lettuce and other sandwich "fixings."
* Use sugar substitutes and applesauce to replace oil and sugar when baking treats for Halloween.
* Choose candy that is sugar-free, reduced-fat or is made with a sugar substitute like sucralose.

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