Halloween can be a stressful holiday for people who struggle with food issues since there’s so much extra candy around. If you’re worried about you (or your kiddos) eating candy, read on for some helpful thoughts!
Reject diet culture’s fear mongering about candy
One of the fundamental principles of a non-diet approach is letting go of food restrictions. ALL foods can fit. That includes Halloween candy! We’ve been taught that sugar is toxic and addictive and should be highly restricted—none of which are true, but that’s more than I can get into in this email. 🙃
I will point out that the more we restrict ourselves, the more we desire what we won’t let ourselves have. Allowing yourself to have candy can eliminate the feeling of deprivation that often leads to obsessing and/or bingeing!
Listen to your body
Your body is an incredibly intelligent system, capable of guiding your food choices. Listen to its cues. If you genuinely desire a piece of candy, enjoy it with mindfulness. If your body signals that it’s had enough, work on honoring those signals and stopping.
Don’t eat just candy when you’re really hungry
It’s really easy to overeat on candy if you eat it when you’re super hungry, because you’re body is giving you cues to eat quick-energy foods. It’s also easier to miss your fullness signals when you wait to eat until you feel starved. Have some candy with something else that’s filling and satisfying if you’re really hungry (especially if it’s mealtime!).
Lastly, try to shift your focus from guilt to enjoyment. Rather than dwelling on the calories or perceived “badness” of candy, focus on the pleasure it brings. One of the principles of intuitive eating is finding satisfaction in food, so eat the kinds of candy you genuinely like… and eat them slowly and mindfully enough to truly enjoy them! Savor the textures, flavors, and sensations that each piece offers. Eating mindfully can lead to greater satisfaction, and you’ll likely find that you need less candy to feel content.
The first step to enjoying Halloween candy without guilt is giving yourself permission to do so. It’s not just about allowing the physical act of eating candy; it’s about granting yourself emotional permission. Tell yourself it’s okay to enjoy treats without any judgment or shame.
Halloween is supposed to be a little scary–but that shouldn’t have anything to do with food! 👻🎃
I’m Cherie Miller, MS, LPC-S, founder of Nourished Soul Center for Healing and @foodfreedomtherapist on Instagram. We offer therapy and nutrition counseling for chronic dieting as well eating disorders like Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, Orthorexia, ARFID, and other food issues. As anti-diet professionals, we are passionate about intuitive eating and Health at Every Size philosophies. Contact us here to schedule a therapy or nutrition appointment.