Post-Halloween Nutrition Tip: Fight Fire With Fire

The foundation of my house is creaking under the weight of all the candy my kids hauled in last night. Literally thousands of calories are hunkered in grocery bags in the cabinet above the fridge. In years past, this candy has called to me, and I inevitably binged on mini-chocolate bars until finally the shame of pilfering my kids goodies caught up with me.

Not so, this year. I haven’t been tempted nearly as much. My secret weapon — a small stash of dark chocolate. After reading a study that showed a number of health benefits arising from eating dark chocolate (including one in which mice showed increased athletic performance when all juiced on the dark stuff), I bought a bar –a nice 72% cocoa — not the extreme and painfully dark stuff — and found that I love the stuff.

A little goes a long way — more than a small square and the benefits diminish the studies show — and besides, you don’t want a whole ton of the dark stuff. Alas, milk chocolate also won’t do the trick (sorry). In my experience, I have found that a small square right when I wake up really takes an edge off my hunger. That’s all I eat in the mornings pre-run or workout. And it also satisfies my sweet tooth. No cravings driving me to trick or treat.

Does it help my “athletic performance?” Not in any way that I can tell. But it does serve as a nice little reward for getting out of bed for an early morning run. And it’s kept my hand out of the plastic pumpkin.

Do you have any tricks for avoiding the Halloween treats?