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Binge Eating Halloween Candy? Here's some Advice from an Eating Disorder Dietitian

Advice for your post-Halloween Binge from a Dietitian

Before you go down the path of beating yourself up for binge eating Halloween Candy and blaming yourself for lack of willpower and control, I want you to consider the science of eating.

I want to share with you the scientific evidence approach because this will help you cultivate your food declaration for the upcoming holidays.

First, don’t blame yourself for eating more candy than you initially told yourself you would.

If you label food as good vs bad food, this will set anyone up to feel out of control with what to eat.

Remember, food is not an exact science (we know many of you want it to be.) Instead, think of food as a continuum with more gray areas than rigid black-and-white (good versus bad) food rules.

As an Eating Disorder Dietitian, I know that those who classify foods as good or bad will often experience overeating and binging on these “bad” foods.

Tip #1: Don't Blame Yourself for Binge-Eating Halloween Candy

Instead of self-loathing and blaming yourself for the post-Halloween candy binge, consider this:

  • How often are you around this food?

  • If often, do you allow yourself to eat it?

If you answer NO to BOTH of those questions, point the finger at your lack of food exposure versus lack of self-control or willpower. Why? Because you need to understand the concept of Food Habituation, a form of learning where repeated exposure to certain foods helps decrease your response to them (i.e. eating). The idea is to practice by choosing the food you currently feel out of control with but want to feel calm around. By allowing yourself to eat it and have it available, it becomes less exciting- less of a "forbidden fruit". Eventually, you can create a peaceful relationship with that food that doesn't include restriction OR out-of-control eating.

So now that you know about habituation, please don’t blame the food after the candy binge; blame it on FOOD DEPRIVATION!

The more we restrict that certain food, the more our brains fixate on it.

Tip #2: Restriction and Deprivation = Setting Yourself Up for a Binge

If you found yourself binge-eating Halloween candy, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I been dieting?

  • Have I been limiting my intake and variety?

  • Have I been disregarding hunger?

If you answered yes to the above, then based on the science, again, it’s food deprivation to blame and not yourself.

When we view food choices with permission, we begin to experience healthy ways of relating to food. This concept comes from Intuitive Eating.

What’s that you say?

Well, it’s life-changing work that starts to blame diets, food rules, and body hate for the reason you have a broken relationship with food NOT your lack of willpower or self-control.

We dive into this in our Ditch Diet Culture Bootcamp.

It’s a self-paced online program you can take from the comfort of your home, with interactive modules and bonus features. And let’s not forget the chat feature with like-minded individuals working on the same goal in mind – FOOD FREEDOM.

Don’t miss the introductory rate of $198 (payment plan available) and start working on repairing your relationship with food and yourself TODAY!

For the parents in mind, our sugar series on Raising Intuitive Eaters is also available. Help prevent your child from chronic dieting and disordered eating down the road but setting the foundation for a healthy environment NOW. You have not broken them if you are struggling yourself with chronic dieting.

If you would like to learn more about eating disorder recovery and becoming and Intuitive Eater, contact us today!


As a reminder, the Branz Nutrition blog is nutritional information and not medical nutrition therapy or professional consultation. Branz Nutrition cannot provide medical nutrition therapy to individuals who are not our patients. If you have questions or concerns about your health, please schedule an appointment with our team.


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