Some specific strategies from TOPS and McDowell:
*Buy the treats as late as possible; ideally, two or three days before Halloween, or even the day of the holiday. (By that time, most of the tempting stuff will be gone, anyway.)
*Don’t buy treats that you like. If you’re a chocoholic, get bags of chewy fruit candies, licorice or even small boxes of raisins.
*If you’ve got any candy left over at the end of the evening, wrap it up and donate it to a food pantry the next day. If you think you’ll cave before then, toss it in the garbage. That’s harsh, but it’s not as bad as a last-minute binge.
*Do you just have to have some chocolate? Count your portion carefully. Only seven mini versions of a chocolate candy bar equals one full-size bar, according to TOPS. (Want to be more hard-core? Try this BettyConfidential technique: Save the empty wrappers as you eat the candy. Seeing a pile of them can really bring you back to your senses.)
*Don’t be misled by the inclusion of supposedly low-calorie ingredients. Plain air-popped popcorn is a great snack, but store-bought popcorn balls are high-cal, sugary diet derailers.
*Caramel apples have about 300 calories each, and the super-stacked ones with chocolate and other goodies like peanuts and marshmallows can top out at 800 calories each. Instead, try apple slices with peanut butter or low-fat caramel sauce.
*As for the final temptation: if co-workers bring in some extra candy after the big day, take a deep breath—and chew some gum or have a cup of tea.
Jane Farrell is a senior editor at BettyConfidential.