The major holidays have passed, but the candy aisle at your grocery store is as full as ever. The variety and amount of candy available is staggering. One day, just for fun, I counted over 100 different types of candy in my medium-sized grocery store. If you are trying to lose weight, candy may be a temptation for you. I know it was for me, and at certain times of the year it still is. I finally broke the candy habit for good with some simple tricks.
Why Should You Stop Eating Candy?
I do believe in moderation when it comes to weight loss and weight maintenance, but most candy is just so bad for you that I usually recommend people avoid it altogether.
You should avoid candy for three reasons:
1. It contains lots of calories in a small package.
2. With some exceptions, it has no nutritional value.
3. It often triggers cravings for sugary foods.
These three reasons alone make candy a poor choice when losing weight. As a quick illustration, here is the nutritional information for a single ounce of jelly beans.
Calories: 105Fiber: 0 gSugar 20 gCarbohydrates: 26 gFat: 0 gOther Vitamins: Basically zero
This candy, because it has so much sugar, does not have any fat. Other candies, such as chocolate bars, are not fat-free but are equally high in calories and sugar.
Real-Life Tricks To Stop Eating Candy
It’s one thing to know candy is bad for your weight loss and another thing entirely to actually stop eating it. Believe me, I know. It wasn’t uncommon for me to consume a large bag of M&M’s over the course of two days. I’d tell myself I was just going to have two or three candies. Then I’d reach my hand in the bag again and again and again until I had two or three candies about 50 times.
Here are some of the tricks I used to break myself of the candy habit for good.
Look At Candy Like Poison
It sounds extreme, but I used the same technique on candy that people who are trying to quit smoking use on cigarettes. I stopped thinking of candy as pleasurable but instead as dangerous to my health. The M&M’s calling my name weren’t good for me–they were bad for my health and weight.
Educate Yourself On Calories
Candy is high in calories but how high? I was very good at not looking at the nutrition label and instead just eating candy here and there, even if I was dieting. “A little couldn’t hurt too much,” I justified to myself.
Once I decided to eliminate candy from my diet, I looked at the nutrition labels carefully. Even I was surprised to find that a relatively small candy bar had about 200 calories. That’s a big chunk of your daily calorie allotment, especially if you don’t stop at just one candy bar.
Acknowledge That Candy Isn’t Necessary
Some foods are necessary, such as fruits and vegetables. Candy is not. I realized I would rather spend my calorie allotment on foods that were necessary for life, not junk food.
Realize Candy Triggers Cravings
Candy, because of its high sugar content, often triggers cravings for more sugary foods. When you eat candy, are you suddenly satisfied, or do you want more?
You probably want more.
Quit eating candy for 10 days and assess whether you craving for sugary foods has decreased. I’d wager that it has. If you keep away from candy, the cravings will stay away as well.
As with many things, there are some exceptions to the no-candy rule. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, has some benefits to your health and may help you avoid feeling deprived if you cut out all other candy. Some research, including a research letter published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that people who ate a small amount of chocolate each week and exercised regularly had a slightly lower body mass index than people who did not eat chocolate as regularly.