Friday, February 23, 2018

4 Ways to Avoid the Halloween Sugar Rush

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

Candy is available in full force right now. Here’s how to scare away those sugar cravings …

The scariest part of Halloween isn’t the onslaught of trick-or-treaters knocking at your door.  The real danger lies in the abundance of sweets that surround this holiday. It is hard to resist the extensive variety. You may not have enjoyed some of these since childhood. Retro candy often makes a comeback this time of year, enticing us even more with its limited availability.

Tame candy-binging with these four tips. After all, Thanksgiving dinner is quickly approaching. You don’t want to outgrow your wardrobe by year’s end.

1. Fight Fire with Fire

Scary healthy.

Satisfy your craving with naturally sweet foods. Put away the candy dish, which may have grown to bowl size thanks to Halloween. In its place, keep fresh, washed fruit conveniently ready to grab. Make it festive. Add plastic spiders, goblins, and mini pumpkins to the display. Mix up dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries, and apricots. Mini-packs make great giveaways.


2. Walk the Neighborhood

Move among the ghosts and ghouls.

Whether with trick-or-treaters or on your own, this gets you moving and away from the candy exchange. You’ll still feel part of the festivities. You may even enjoy experiencing the holiday from curbside. Along with avoiding a night partnered with a candy bowl, you get the added health benefit of a walk. Offer to carry the kiddos’ sweet loot for added resistance work.


3. Know When to Indulge

Some strong-willed fanatics can resist all sugar. They simply stop consuming the stuff, cold turkey. If you are not among these warriors, do not berate yourself.

One savored indulgence is better than a handful of treats.

Sugar has addictive qualities. It can trigger the release of endorphins, feel-good hormones, with a burst of (albeit it short-lived) energy. From birth, humans recognize it as a pleasant taste. We also associate it with pleasing experiences—a reward, social events, or relaxing in the evening. Whether celebrating or self-soothing, sweets are often involved.

To banish sugar from your life can be a daunting task. Instead, enjoy your favorites in moderation. Dig in the pumpkin candy bucket to find your favorite. Set it aside, along with the time to mindfully enjoy it. This will be more satisfying than a pack (or was it two? Three?) of mediocre candy eaten as you rush through your day.

4. Counter It

Undo the splurge.

For every sweet you consume, counter it with a healthy habit. Can’t resist a handful of M&Ms? Allow it only after a full glass of water. Have a weakness for caramel apples? Only on a day you hit the Fitness Floor. What about those pumpkin cupcakes? Yep, right after BodyCombat™ class.

Keep in mind the work it takes to undo your indulgence. Here is a little refresher of how much it takes to burn off some popular Halloween treats. Estimates are based on a 150-pound exerciser:

  • Two fun-sized Snickers bars (160 calories): 45 minutes of weight training
  • Candy corn (about 20 pieces/140 calories): 35 minutes of brisk walking
  • One Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup (105 calories): 25 minutes of cycling
  • Fun-sized Kit Kat bar (210 calories): 20-minute run on the treadmill

Compare workout times to the time it takes to consume these treats. Still craving?

Halloween seems to have proven a scary fact: Every action does not trigger an equal and opposite reaction. Otherwise, we could burn off that fun-sized candy bar with a walk to the mailbox.




American Council on Exercise.

“The Best Way to Burn Off Your Halloween Candy,” by Malia Frey at

Image Credits

Halloween fruit:

Night walk:

Coffee & chocolate:


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