Last updated: February 19. 2013 1:16PM - 170 Views

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'Tis the season for ghouls and ghosts, witches and skeletons, and the bane that arrives around fall to haunt our scales and waist lines: the holiday creep — the weight that many of us begin to gain this time of year by over-indulging in holiday treats beginning with Halloween. Here are some strategies:

Skip passing out candy. Glow-in-the-dark necklaces or other inexpensive trinkets can replace the traditional sugary treats.

Buy candy you don't like. Have a weakness for chocolate? Pick up some lollipops to hand out instead. Indulge wisely by allowing yourself one or two pre-portioned candies, then get rid of the rest.

Be kind to your co-workers: find a dumping ground other than the office for unwanted candy.

Question your motives every time you're tempted to reach for the candy bowl. Evaluate your emotional state. If you're eating to soothe stress or sadness, or out of boredom, find another way to cope.

Track your calories, especially on the holiday itself and the days before and after. Keeping food records is one of the best strategies for weight loss.

Maintain your routines throughout the holiday season. 'Tis the season when healthy habits take a backseat to the festivities. If you usually hit the gym or take a daily walk, don't take a holiday from these important healthy priorities.

Set an example for your children. Be sure children eat dinner before trick-or-treating. Come up with a candy quota not to be exceeded. Teach children to manage their treats by giving them an opportunity to choose their favorites and rationing their hard-earned loot so all the candy isn't devoured in a day or two.

Don't make food the focus. Starting with Halloween, emphasize the fun of perfecting that costume and spending time with friends and loved ones. These aspects of celebrations — not the food — should be the main events.

— MCT Information Services

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