Fall is here–and so are the trips to the grocery store, consisting of hands tight in your pockets and your eyes carefully averted away from the shelves all but bulging with Halloween candy. With their alluring colors and familiar brand names, they might throw you back to a simpler time when sorting through entire bags and eating Halloween candy before bed without thinking twice.

But now, nearly an adult, those moments are far and few between–we might regret eating that entire chocolate bar while studying, or that pack of Twizzlers right after a workout. This Halloween can be different. A lot of times it’s not about avoiding eating candy, but knowing what to eat and how to eat it. So here is to eating Halloween candy and loving every second of it.

Eating in Moderation

Amanda Wahlstedt

It’s not about what you eat, but how much of something you eat. Following a healthy lifestyle, and avoiding gorging yourself on a few nights of the spooky season, doesn’t necessarily mean cutting all the bad things (and the fun) out of eating and snacking. In fact, not all calories are the same–studies prove that reducing sugars and starches versus eliminating them completely is safer and healthier. So don’t freak out and strictly prevent yourself from some candy when the holiday season comes around.

Instead, learn to eat it in moderation to other more beneficial foods. Have some after a good grade on an exam, or after accomplishing your goals for the day. Or decide to eat it only after a meal or a specific part of the day. In sum, a few pieces a day will prevent an all out binge, and let you enjoy it for longer.

Fuel Up Prior–Don’t Snack

cutie, tangerine, clif bar, studying, snacks, study snack, textbook, notes
Jocelyn Hsu

College can be hard. Meals are skipped, stress is a constant companion, and late nights are unavoidable. Exhaustion, not eating enough, and emotions are all common factors to increased snacking. However, hard-core snacking can be avoidable.

I’m guilty of loving to snack–I might even say it’s my favorite meal of the day. Despite this, I’ve learned there are tricks to snacking less, even if I don’t want to snack better (a.k.a eating Halloween candy ). Eating regular, full meals a day will keep your stomach full and your mind strong against the insistence of snacking. Staying hydrated and eating slower and mindfully will also decrease the need for snacking. Both are filling and register an awareness to your brain of how much is being put in your body. This way, you'll fill up from a nutritious meal, and leave room for a small candy snack.

Eat Small

chocolate, candy, sweet, milk, milk chocolate, cream, cookie, Oreos, Cookies
Anna Arteaga

I don’t just mean portion-control, either. With today’s candy options, every type of candy you can imagine can be found in a miniature/fun-size version, making consuming it both more appealing and easier to do. No more full-sized Hershey bars. From snickers, to almond joy, and skittles, eating Halloween candy doesn't have to be a big deal. The miniature versions of your favorite childhood candies can still be eaten without the fear of easily eating too much.

Trick Yourself

chocolate, peanut, nut, candy
Christin Urso

I’ve found if I don’t want to mindlessly snack, chewing gum while I’m working or studying gives my mouth something to do and temporarily quenches that insatiable desire. If this doesn’t work, hide the candy away into opaque bowls so you’re less willing to see the contents within and be tempted, or place the candy in a place out or reach, so you’re less inclined to be motivated to use the energy to bring it down. Even better is to mix candy items with fruits or nuts like trail mix in order to feel fuller & happier with your decision, and you can continue eating Halloween candy while practicing moderation.

Be Smart About What You Eat

parsley, Bag, shopping, baguette, farmer's market
Caroline Ingalls

If even eating miniature versions freaks you out, then perhaps choosing the healthiest candies in terms of nutritional value is your best bet. According to a study done by nutritionists and dieticians, their pick on a few select candies by their calorie, fat, and grams of sugar content is ranked below from best to worst:

#1 Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers

#2 Snack-Size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

#3 Charms Blow Pop

#4 Snickers Miniatures

#5 Twix Caramel Cookie Bars Minis

#6 Kit Kat Minis

#7 Twizzlers Strawberry Twists

#8 Tootsie Roll Minis

#9 Brach’s Candy Corn

Want even healthier options? Try Whole Foods treats, or 2018’s healthy candy and treat options