Can't resist Halloween leftovers? Try Dr. Susan Abbey's Tip #4 - put some of the goodies in the freezer so it's not an option when cravings hit. (Photo: LukeJones/Flickr)


So, another Halloween has come and gone, but once again, the same post-Halloween problem remains: leftovers. And not just any leftovers– tasty ones. And there are lots.
From pantry cupboards and kitchen cabinets to front hallways – piles of peanut buttercups, chips and chocolate bars are staring you down.
Do you succumb? Inhale a handful of mini chocolate bars, because really, they’re so mini, right?
For those looking to fight the temptation, Dr. Susan Abbey, Psychiatrist-in-Chief at University Health Network, shares five tips to curb your cravings and keep that indulgence under control.
“Fighting with cravings just makes them stronger. Instead, you might try watching them or working with them,” she said.

1. Setting yourself for up success

Make sure you drink lots of water during the day, have healthy food to eat every few hours, go for a walk and get 7 – 8 hours of sleep. “Your body will crave less and you will have more energy to deal with the cravings,” Abbey said.

2. Watch the craving

Cravings are just like the waves in the ocean. They come and they go. “Many of us don’t get to see that because we act on them as they are coming to a peak. If we can ride the wave of the craving, it will go down and disappear,” Abbey said. Alternatively, if it feels like you just can’t ride this particular craving wave, she suggests trying to distract yourself for a short period of time until it goes down.
“See if you can watch the craving as a simple thought or feeling rather than a command to eat,” she advised.

3. Mindfully indulge the craving

One of Abbey’s favourite tips is easy to remember: MIAT – “Make It a Treat”.  If you are going to have a treat make sure you enjoy it, she said.
Pick two to five pieces of your favourite candy and eat them mindfully, she continued. “Bring your total attention to the candy. Notice its wrapper and the pleasant sensation looking at evokes for you. Feel the experience of unwrapping it. Look at it and enjoy the anticipation of eating it. Eat it with total attention, completely absorbed in the pleasure of eating it. Don’t waste the calories on absent-minded eating – enjoy it!” she said.

4. Get rid of the temptation

Don’t torture yourself by keeping the Halloween candy around – give it away, freeze it to eat mindfully later or throw it out, Abbey advised.

5. Be kind to yourself, let yourself off the hook and get back on track today

Abbey says a final tip is not to worry too much if you’ve had a few too many M&Ms or Fuzzy Peach slices. “If you’ve overindulged, don’t add to your suffering by beating yourself up,” she said. “Just get back on track.”

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