For many emotional eaters, the holiday season’s over indulgences begin with Halloween. The sheer volume of candy and delectable treats lining supermarket and drugstore shelves and home pantries is in itself downright spooky! And to add insult to injury, candy is being handed out every where you turn.Candy manufacturers seem to be oblivious to the obesity epidemic as they dream up new ways to combine sugar, fat and salt into small, miniature packets of ecstasy.

For those with food sensitivities/allergies and those prone to food addiction, it can take a herculean effort at this time of year to resist the pull of favorite treats that elevate brain chemicals and conger up blissful childhood memories. Unfortunately, dreaded weight gain and unpleasant dental visits aren’t enough to combat the powerful pull of these drug-like edibles.

With a little forethought,however, the following five tips can help you avoid starting the season off on the wrong tooth.

Tip #1. Once Halloween is over, remove all holiday candy from the house. It’s okay to keep a few choice pieces for yourself or the kids.Once you remove the bulk of it, you will ensure that you won’t continue to eat it through Thanksgiving.

Tip #2. Stick to unprocessed, whole plant foods for the first few days after Halloween. Unprocessed plant foods, like fruits, veggies, beans and lentils, are full of fiber and will help cleanse and re-balance your system.Complex carbohydrates like yams and brown rice and simple sugars found in fruits will help satisfy any lingering cravings for sugar and starch.

Tip #3. Stay well hydrated. Flush out toxins found in chemical-laden treats with lots of fresh water. Try to drink at least eight glasses a day. And yes, tea counts.

Tip #4. Sweat, sweat and sweat. Moving your body is the best way to do this. Even though you may be short on time, don’t scrimp on exercise at this time of the year. Even a short, brisk walk can help move toxins out and keep your brain chemicals elevated, minimizing the chance that you’ll turn to candy for a lift. If you have access to a sauna or steam room, this is another great way to release toxins.

Tip #5. Plan some time for nourishing self-care activities.With the holidays fast approaching and stress beginning to build, it’s even more important to practice taking care of yourself now in non-food ways. Check in with yourself when you want to grab candy or junk–if you’re experiencing unpleasant emotions like anxiety or frustration, remind yourself that overeating won’t resolve these feeling states. Try soothing and comforting yourself by writing loving, supportive phrases and affirmations in your journal and practicing deep-breathing exercises. Take a bubble bath, or read your favorite uplifting spiritual passages.

Rather than allow Halloween to hangover and mark the start of an eight week spiral down into serious emotional eating, nip it in the bud early this year. Then applaud yourself for being willing to care for yourself in non-food ways this coming holiday season.

Author's Bio: 

Julie M. Simon, MA, MBA, MFT is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Life Coach with a full-time private practice specializing in the treatment of overeating and associated mood disorders. In addition to her education and twenty plus years experience as a psychotherapist, she is a Certified Personal Trainer with twenty-five years of experience designing personalized exercise and nutrition programs for various populations. Julie is the founder and director of The Twelve-Week Emotional Eating Recovery Coaching Program, an alternative to dieting that addresses the mind, body and spirit imbalances that underlie overeating. Julie offers individual, couple, family and group psychotherapy as well as classes and seminars. In addition to overeating, Julie offers psychotherapy and coaching for the following issues: relationship challenges, including marriage and couples, career development and transitions, work related stress, self-esteem, childhood dysfunction and trauma, grief and loss, co-dependency, self-care skills, and assertiveness training. Julie is the author The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual—A Practical Mind/Body/Spirit Guide for Putting an End to Overeating and Dieting. Visit her website at