Trick or Treat

Can You Pick Something Good to Eat?


Holiday merchandise hits the shelves earlier and earlier every year. Halloween is no exception. The specially packaged candy has been in the supermarkets since September. It silently screams at you, “pick me, pick me.” And whether you have kids or not, you probably want some candy in your house in the likely event of ghosts and goblins knocking on your door. So how do you make sure you don’t ravage all that sugary goodness up yourself? Well, just like anything in life, it’s good to have a plan. If you can’t say no, at least arm yourself with some tips to help keep the damage to a minimum. Liz Vaccariello, author and editor-in-chief of Reader’s Digest, has seven to help you navigate the scary waters of Halloween.1

1.     Buy candy the day before Halloween

Minimize the number of days the candy is in your house before October 31. Research shows just looking at food triggers the brain circuitry that makes us imagine eating it, says Susan Albers, PsyD, a psychologist and author of the book Eating Mindfully. If you’ve already bought candy, keep it out of sight in the back of your pantry until your doorbell starts ringing.

2.     Look at sugar grams, not just calories and fat

Many of us avoid fat-laden candies thinking it’s healthier to stick to fat-free choices, but those tend to be loaded with sugar, which isn’t exactly a diet free pass. (Your liver converts some sugar into fat, which your fat cells then store).  A serving of Gummy Bears, for example, has 30 grams of sugar, according to Hollywood fitness and nutrition expert David Kirsch (source: Compare that with the 9 grams of sugar in two or three red licorice strips.

3.     Act like a kid

Remember when you’d get home, dump out your entire loot, and sift through it creating multiple piles: candy you love, candy you sorta like, and candy you hate/want to trade? Apply that same filter when you’re about to dig into the office candy bowl. If it’s not on the “candy you love” list, don’t eat it.

4.     Ditch the pillowcase

The smaller the bag your kids trick or treat with, the less candy they’ll tote home, and the fewer sweets lying around you’ll be tempted to eat.

5.     Turn trick-or-treating into a workout

Walking around for an hour or so does burn calories! So as long as you have a good, safe place to do it, don’t drive your kids around to satisfy their sweet tooth. Take advantage of the many health benefits you’ll reap from a leisurely neighborhood stroll.

6.     Know what 150 calories of candy looks like

This is a relatively harmless amount to enjoy. But it’s easy to overdo it with those fun size treats. Keep this list in mind: 150 calories is approximately three mini York Peppermint Patties, or two fun-size packages of milk chocolate M&Ms, or six mini Musketeers, or six rolls of Smarties, or seven Hershey’s Kisses, or five snack-size Twizzler twists (from

7.     In a candy coma? Give yourself a clean slate.

If, despite your best efforts, you still wake up in with a candy hangover, don’t beat yourself up over it. Have a filling breakfast with fiber and protein to help steady your blood sugar (try oatmeal with some berries and nuts) and go for a nice, normal, healthy workout at your usual time. Don’t use exercise as a punishment, but rather as a way to recharge your energy levels and confidence after a not-the-best eating day. Bring healthy snacks from home so you can avoid temptation at the office candy bowl.


When all else fails, sweat it out. So you overdid it. Halloween candy happens. Pick yourself up and hit the gym or the pavement the very next day. And definitely get rid of the extras lying around…temptation is the mother of all evil!







8 Replies to “Trick or Treat”

  1. Great tips. Especially liked #6, gives us a small break if we need a piece of Halloween candy. Of course we know we will pay for it in our workout.

  2. Did you put this up just for me?!? You knew this holiday would be a temptation. Thanks for the tips!

    I also try to buy something "fantastic" that is not edible for trick or treaters. This year I haven’t found anything that could rank in the "fantastic" category. Any ideas??

    1. E!, I wish I’d have replied before Halloween. You could have given them a special Halloween Advanced Physical Training push-up program 🙂 Just what every tricker treater wants right?

      Stay Strong!!

  3. Excellent information! I am always the first one to overdo the exercise the next day and then I feel really sore and achy. Giving ourselves permission to err is human and divine!

  4. Thank you for tip #6! Those amounts are way more than what I allow myself, so it is good to know that the 2 mini chocolates that I eat is not too damaging! We usually get rid of most things that are not chocolate…but the chocolate stays!

    1. No, your 2 mini chocolates are not going to kill you! You’ve always been a great model of moderation Erin. But you can see how quickly those calories add up. A couple handfuls here and couple bites there and you’ve added 300+ calories. Not you and your mini’s though, great to hear from you!

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