Halloween, unwrapped

You may think your candy-coated worries are over come November 1st, but the days after Halloween can pose as much, if not more, of a threat than the weeks leading up to it. Not only is your home a hotbed for treats – both what leftover from what you bought to give out and the candy your kids collected – but your workplace also becomes a dumping ground for everyone unwanted stash. To offset that annual Halloween hangover, consider these sweet (and even sweeter!) strategies for starting the month with a clean slate.

Sweet store the candy that my kids collected in a cabinet: Out of sight, out of mind. Sweeter! Remove the temptation completely within 24 hours of the holiday. Have your kids each choose ten of their favorite items to keep, then give the rest to a dentist buy-back program (kids are given a dollar for every pound of candy they hand over) – or donate the goodies to a children hospital or homeless shelter. It a win-win: You won steal your kids snickers, and they won end up with cavities.

Sweet take just one piece from the candy stash in the office break room» Sweeter! One is tough, so be realistic. Go ahead and help yourself to two fun-size chocolates or fruity chews (see a Treat!»above for the most sensible options). But don’t trash the paper in which they wrapped. Instead, keep the wrappers on your desk as a reminder not to go back for more. People cat less when they leave evidence of what they have already eaten in plain sight, reports Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (Bantam, 2010).

Sweet of the candy is marked down at my supermarket after Halloween, so I’ll avoid that aisle for a week.» Sweeter! Shop online for food the first two weeks in November, when it nearly impossible to resist the discounted candy sneakily displayed near checkout counters. Ordering groceries through a delivery service is more than just convenient: Studies have shown it reduces the number of unhealthy food purchases and can help with weight loss. If delivery is not available in your area, increase your chance of a successful supermarket visit by arming yourself with a shopping list that includes lots of colorful produce, whole grains and lean proteins – and avoid showing up at the store hungry.

Costume conscious

Whether you’ve lost a little weight or a lot, consider these WWM readers clever, figure-flattering strategies when creating a costume (hint: think corsets).

Use fabric wisely «I’ve worn my Renaissance gown several times, both while I was losing weight and after I lost it. The layers of material flow nicely over curvy hips, and the lace-up bodice is easily adjustable, depending on my weight.

Play up your assets «After losing 20 pounds, I wanted to show off my smaller stomach, so I wore an 80’s – inspired costume and added a corset top and a wide belt, which drew attention to my waist. I felt proud when friends commented on how great I looked!»

Show some skin «I was always very reluctant to bare my arms and legs, but after losing weight, I did just that in a Wilma Flintstone costume. I wore a one-shoulder dress that I sewed using a pattern, and was surprised by how confident I felt.»

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