So this will be a first for me...instead of hitting a Halloween party tonight, we'll be heading to a wedding. There's no Halloween theme - I guess they're worried about drunk people showing up, dressed as sexy zombies - but it does save me from having to find a costume this year. Interestingly enough, we had our Halloween costume party at work yesterday and a group of us dressed up as an "awkward family Christmas photo." Since my hubs and I attend an ugly Christmas sweater party every year, I had plenty of costume options already at my fingertips. It was a pretty awesome group effort, considering we pulled the theme together almost overnight, and donned clothes from the closet. The kicker was, one of my colleagues glued together a giant fake picture frame with a backdrop and Olan Mills sign in the corner, so we could pose in the frame, awkwardly smiling into the distance. P.S. If you've never looked at the Awkward Family Photos website, you're missing out on a lot of laughs.
Moving on, though...seeing as how we won't be home to hand out goodies to trick-or-treaters, I've been able to escape the temptation of all those cheap bags of candy at the grocery store this year. I'm sure we'll have our share of wedding cake (and, ahem, liquor) tonight, but at least I won't have mini-Snickers sitting around the house for the days to come.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent packing on the pounds while still participating in spooky festivities. According to the Calorie Control Council, 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. 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:
- 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."
- After trick or treating, allow your children to choose a designated amount of candy (such as five pieces) to eat that night.
- Use sugar substitutes and applesauce to replace oil and sugar when baking treats for Halloween. Explain that you are using these substitutions to make these treats more healthy.
- After Halloween is over, let your child pick one treat to eat each day.
- Choose candy that is sugar-free or is made with a sugar substitute, or is reduced-fat.
And for all you trick-or-treaters tonight, here's hoping you don't wind up with any rocks in your candy bag, like poor Charlie Brown.