By Denis Faye

Halloween kind of sneaks up on you, doesn't it? One minute you're fretting over how to eat healthy during the upcoming holidays. Then, suddenly, BANG! It's late at night on October 31st, and you're dressed as a giant M&M and going through your kid's trick-or-treat booty looking for a little treat before bed. They're just little Snickers—you can eat three or four guilt-free, right? Wrong. You may be putting your P90X®, Turbo Jam®, or Hip Hop Abs® results at risk if you keep indulging in that hard-to-resist booty. Oh, the shame.

Well, okay, so maybe that exact thing hasn't happened to you, but something close to it has, surely. So what's a giant M&M to do? As usual, Beachbody® has come up with a few suggestions.

Candy ain't that dandy

Instead of trick-or-treating . . . How tough do you want to be on your youngsters? Trick-or-treating is right up there with Easter egg hunts and Santa Claus visits for most kids. Deny them that pleasure, and you might have a revolution on your hands. But if you must, try replacing candy gathering with a trip to an age-appropriate haunted house or some other community event. Then you can stop somewhere for ice cream on the way home. No, ice cream isn't good for you, but it's much better than a giant bag of candy (that can last for weeks!), and it keeps your brood from feeling cheated.

Eat a healthy dinner. If you decide to allow trick-or-treating, the first thing to do is to make sure kids hit the sidewalk with a big, healthy dinner in their bellies. This can inhibit urges to sample the loot en route. When the kids get home, insist they turn over the goods. Then, you can dole it back out to them a few treats at a time over the next few weeks.

Throw out half the treats. If you really want to get Machiavellian about it, once your kid hits the hay, throw half of his or her candy away. Your kid will never know the difference.

Lead by example. Just because your neighbors are handing out sugary junk doesn't mean you need to. Although we live in an age when giving out homemade snacks or fruit is frowned upon, your local discount shop should have all kinds of cool little doodads that any kid would be happy to have, from crayons to rubber spacemen to our favorite, Chinese finger traps.

Customize your costume

Trick-or-treating is dandy, but for many, Halloween is a chance to let their hair down and recognize the night for the pagan bacchanalia it was meant to be. It's a chance to put on a mask and be someone you're not.

It's all in the outfit. It's all about the costume, man. So the first thing we advise is that you throw out that aforementioned M&M outfit. You've been working out all year! You've got a fit body now so don't hide it! America needs fewer M&Ms and more shirtless barbarians and cheerleaders!

Prop it up. While you're designing your costume, think props. Idle hands are the snacker's worst enemy. If you're a naughty devil carrying around a pitchfork all night, it's a lot harder to get your hands on those nachos. The same goes for masks. There's no way around it; you're going to eat and drink less if you wear a gorilla mask.

With a few simple shifts in thinking and a little planning, Halloween can be turned into a pretty healthy holiday. If you can get by all those candied apples and individually wrapped snacks without gorging, congratulations. Thanksgiving is going to be a snap!