Monday, October 31, 2011

Scary Thought, Scary Stuff

Today is Halloween. The stores have been full of candy for well over a month, and that’s just the beginning. You know there will be leftovers. Here’s what’s really scary about Halloween. We’ve chosen a sample of favorite Halloween candy, and it’s not unreasonable to expect that one person could (would?) eat this much in one day (or one night) if it’s sitting there in the “treat bowl” or if you happen to be raiding your child’s treat bag (but surely, you would never do such a thing).

  • 20 pieces of candy corn
  • 2 Hershey’s Kisses
  • 2 Brach’s caramels
  • 1 mini Tootsie Roll
  • 1 Fun-size candy bar (Milky Way, Butterfinger, Snickers)
  • 1 mini bite-size candy bar (Milky Way, Butterfinger, Snickers)
  • 1 mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
  • 1 Fun Size M&M packet
Total calories: 515

Think of the above as little fat bombs, with almost no nutritional value and a ton of calories. To burn off those 515 calories you will need to walk 5.15 miles or 10,260 steps, assuming you cover one mile in 2,000 steps. And, Halloween candy isn’t just a “one-night stand.” The tempting bowls everywhere you go have been out for weeks, tempting you to have “just one more” as you pass by. Then, after Halloween, your evil co-workers will bring in their leftover candy—all those small, colorful, innocent-looking treats.

It’s true that just a few pieces of Halloween candy won’t derail your long-term weight loss efforts, but it’s the “just one more” temptation that over time will pack on the pounds. 

Scared yet? It only takes nine small fun-size candy bars to put on a quarter-pound of fat.

Keep in mind this isn’t about complete denial, or complete abandon. It’s still about making mindful choices. Each of us on average makes more than 200 food and beverage choices every day. The majority are not triggered by hunger. Maybe it’s something to keep in mind when you look at those cute plastic pumpkins full of treats—or tricks.

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