I’ve never been a big fan of the word moderation. I find it very misleading.  Moderation gives you no concrete answers. It only provides allowance to fit anything and all things into your diet. I cringe sometimes when I hear those words “Everything in moderation.” I heard it time in and time out as a dietetic student and have even said it myself (before my hips starting spreading and body parts started shifting).

Worst yet, moderation can often be followed by the action of Justifying. (cue scary music)

And we all know justification can be just plain evil. It plays around in our head, permitting us to do things that we shouldn’t. Toying with us that because we are good people, we are entitled to buy those extra pair of black boots, check Facebook a few more times at work or buy those fresh baked cookies when we’ve ordered the less than 300 calorie sub. (Actually that’s really been studied. We really do add on more calories somewhere else in the day when we’ve eaten a perceived “healthy” meal).

Take Halloween candy for example. Package into their cute little mini foils or “fun size” packaging. How could these sweet morsels be really that bad for us? After all, everything in moderation. 

But just like that small, almost pathetic serving of cake I talked about a few weeks ago here, it takes every once of willpower to not devour the whole bowl of miniatures. I admit there was a time when I had a willpower of steel. My roommates would scoff at my ability to eat half a fun size Milky Way and put the rest in the fridge to sit and become hard; thrown away a month later when I actually got around to cleaning out the fridge.

So how do you combat Halloween candy, diabetes with moderation?

Get realistic with yourself.

If you know that candy is a weakness this time of year, you have 2 choices. You either don’t buy candy (or buy the stuff you loathe) or you can buy your favorites and figure out how to fit it into your meal plan. I actually buy the stuff I like. I noticed that I was still eating the just “ok” stuff and feeling even more guilty afterward since it really wasn’t worth the calories. A mindful exercise I learned years ago actually helped in this category. Check out my post here “How Mindfulness Ruined Chocolate for Me”. 

Once you narrow down your favorite, check out the nutritional facts and pay attention to the serving size. The serving size is what companies think is moderation. Depending on the company this can be excessive or too little. I initially loved the idea of the miniature. Those tiny squares, half the size of the Fun Size that can easily be swallowed after 2 chews. And that’s exactly what happened. I barely chewed it and before you knew it I was eating well over 5 or 6 squares, pushing if not exceeding the amount of a normal size candy bar which I would never consciously sit down to eat.

Ugh! They got me! Darn moderation!

So going back to setting realistic goals, if you know candy is in your future just plan it in. Add it into your lunch sack. Place 2 to 3 mini’s in your desk drawer. If you can stick with 2-3 mini’s, think 1 carb exchange. Anymore and you’ll be interfering with fruit and complex carbs ie fiber, vitamins, minerals as well as any weight loss goals. And of course, risk spiking your blood sugar. Personally I like mini Reese’s peanut butter cups. I can eat 3 for a tad over 100 calories, 9g of sugar (2tsp) and 12g carbs. Plus there’s extra time needed to remove the outer foil and that peanut butter puts a damper on swallowing after 2 chews.

So how do you combat Halloween candy this time of year?? And what’s your favorite?? Leave me a comment below. And don’t forget to sign up for weekly posts and like me on Facebook.

Next week we talk bacon and brussel sprouts. So good and yummy, you won’t want to miss it.

Hugs!