Podcast Episodes

The Candy Dish Phenomenon: How to STOP Overeating Sweets

October 27, 2022

Self-Paced Course: Non-Diet Academy


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A Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) with a master's degree in dietetics & nutrition. My passion is helping you find peace with food - and within yourself.

Meet Katy

Let’s talk about “The Candy Dish Phenomenon.” Have you ever noticed that some people are able to have a bowl of candy or some other sweet treat just sitting out, untouched? Meanwhile you can’t resist grabbing one every time you walk by (and that’s why you couldn’t possibly keep an open bowl of treats out in your home, right?)

Now let me ask you one more question: Do you feel guilty for eating candy? Most people would put it in the category of “junk” food. That’s because diet culture tells us things about candy like:

  • It’s “bad” for you
  • The sugar will turn into fat
    Too much sugar causes diabetes (that’s actually not how diabetes works…)
  • You’ll binge on it because sugar is addictive like cocaine (stop it with this nonsense!)
    You can’t trust yourself to keep candy in the house

I’m here to reassure you that you CAN – and probably should – keep candy in the house.

“But Katy, I’ll end up eating waaaaaay too much candy and then I’ll gain weight and feel even worse than I already do about myself!”

I hear this almost every day – not only from clients but also friends and acquaintances who believe that there are certain foods that have so much power over them that they are destined to overeat that food if they bring it home.

Here’s the irony – it’s the act of not allowing themselves to have that food that makes the statement true.

Let’s slow down and take a deep breath. I’ve got you.

Candy is just a type of food. Yes, it tastes good, but there’s nothing magical about it, so we need to chill out. Candy breaks down into carb, protein and fat just like all other foods. Your body knows what to do with it.

The ironic thing? Avoiding candy actually makes you MORE likely to go overboard with it.

That’s because our brains want us to rebel against deprivation.

Deprivation makes the brain want what you tell yourself you can’t or shouldn’t have.  Studies show that simply thinking about going on a diet (i.e. restricting/depriving yourself) leads to overeating – before any actual deprivation has occurred!

It’s the person who keeps the candy dish always filled at home who rarely overeats on candy.  Their brain knows they can have the candy any time.  There’s no threat of deprivation.  The person who never allows themselves to have candy is likely to overconsume from the candy dish initially, until desensitization occurs.

Trust me when I tell you – you CAN learn how to keep candy in your house, and you can learn to eat it without going overboard. It just takes some strategy and practice!

Next time you think “I can’t keep that food in my house,” consider the ways in which you’ve created a paradox where you overeat it when you do have it because you wouldn’t let yourself have it.  Frustrating, I know.  It’s so freeing to show yourself that you can have any food you want without losing control. 

In episode 45 of the Rebuilding Trust With Your Body podcast I’m talking alll about the Candy Dish Phenomenon – and how you can handle sweet treats this Halloween without going overboard.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Why avoiding candy makes you want it more
  • The strategy that will help you feel at ease around candy
  • How to eat (and enjoy!) your favorite Halloween candy without overeating, and without feeling guilty

Sound good? Head on over to wherever you listen to podcasts and give it a listen!


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Search for episode 46 -The Candy Dish Phenomenon (And Why Halloween Candy Doesn’t Have to Freak You Out)

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What I didn’t know I needed! This podcast really helped me understand intuitive eating and how to incorporate it in my life. Katy’s approach to helping us understand and trust our bodies is like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”

If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing my show! This helps me support more people — just like you — move toward healing their relationship with food and their body image. 

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