Be Fit For Life

with Ellen Cohen-Kaplan

Don’t let Halloween candy scare you away from your goals!

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BOO ! Halloween is one of my least favorite holidays. Blame it on the fact that candy is omnipresent.  I love chocolate, and those “fun size” candies (what’s fun about packing on needless pounds?) invite many more servings than necessary. Here are some ways I’ve found to resist temptation.

  • Buying only those candies that don’t tempt me. Starburst, hard candies, gummy ______ (fill in your animal here), and  malted milk balls make the cut.
  • Freezing the bags of candy beforehand provides enough of a deterrent
  • Eating one often leads to eating more, and if I don’t start, then I can’t continue
  • Making sure I’m never too hungry during the day so the convenient candy is easier to resist
  • Staying hydrated- often thirst masquerades as hunger, and drinking a glass of water or sipping tea instead of eating will do the trick
  • Buying candy late- I’m not too worried about what will be left the day before Halloween.  There’s always something left on the shelves (maybe I’m a Halloween scrooge). I’m more interested in avoiding weight gain than about children not getting the primo treats!
  • Before going to a Halloween party, making sure I’m not hungry,- I eat a healthy meal or snack so I don’t gravitate to the high calorie foods
  • Storing candy in a place that is out of sight, and not frequented, like a front hall closet where I don’t have other food.  Because I get it only 1 day ahead, I pray I remember where I put it!
  • Avoiding the office/workplace trap of grabbing a piece of candy from the jar.  Bring your own leftover candy (that you’re not tempted by) or decide ahead of time just how many pieces you’ll consume that day (try to keep it to 2 or fewer).
  • Making an overall strategy of deciding how many pieces you’ll eat for the whole Halloween week. Last year I decided on 5 pieces total, and stuck to it. One piece a day over the course of the week, then when it was gone, it’s gone.
  • When all else fails, I chew a piece of gum. If I’m craving sweets, I’ll chew some Orbitz, Trident, or some other sugar free gum that is sweet enough, but  allows me to still feel virtuous.
  • Once Halloween is over, get rid of any extra candy. There are many places that will take your remainders- many schools, places of worship, food pantries, shelters and charities will accept it.  In a brilliant twist, you can trade the excessive candy your children collect for cash and prizes from some dentists!  Also, you can send the candy directly in care packages  to support our troops. Check these websites for great causes that are win-win solutions.   Go to and
  • Knowing the calorie count of each piece helps me realize that it’s not worth it

One of my favorite go-to websites, calorie king,  illuminates just what it takes to burn off just one piece of Snickers, Almond Joy or Mounds fun size candy in terms of exercise. This mere 80 calories for one bite, delicious and chewy as it is, warrants the following choice of activities to burn it off:

  • 22 minutes walking
  • minutes jogging
  • minutes swimming
  • 12 minutes cycling

That’s a LOT of work for one decadent bite of candy. It keeps me very honest. Let’s take another favorite- a Hershey’s milk chocolate “fun size” bar. Five of the miniatures are 210 calories, so you fare a bit better with a straight chocolate than with the peanuts, caramel, coconut, etc. Once again, when looking at the amount of saturated fat (35%), ask yourself if it’s worth it.

With a little will power and some strategic planning,  you too can avoid the ghoulish prospect of Halloween weight gain!



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