Halloween: Will It Haunt Your Waistline?
Halloween can be a diet disaster for even the most dedicated health-conscious folk around. As it is quickly approaching, your homes may slowly be turning into a candyland. Halloween is a fun holiday for all; from ghosts and goblins, to sacks of candy arriving home from little ones. Indulging in some of these bite-sized treats is nearly synonymous with the holiday. However, while the candy piles high so do the empty wrappers of the mindless little chocolate bars you have just downed. As a nutritionist, I certainly am not recommending to take away your candy, however, you may be amazed at how quickly consuming these little treats can get out of control.(Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.com)
The average 8 to 12 year old child arrives home with approximately 7 pounds of candy. The amount of sugar in this sack is equivalent to eating 10 cups of sugar, 475 cubes of sugar, or 47 cans of pop. This total does not take into consideration the amount of fat, which also equates to five sticks of butter. Combined, that totals a mere 14,000 calories! It is no wonder Halloween haunts your waistline like the NHL does the NHLPA.
Did you know that average adult eats 15 pieces of small candy per day after Halloween? This is equivalent to 950 calories consisting of 28 sugar cubes and one third stick of butter daily! It only takes four days of this habit for you to pack on 1 pound of pure fat. It would take the average adult six hours of running to rid 1 pound of this mindless weight gain.
Interestingly, it often does not feel like we may be eating this much, because we tend to constantly pick throughout the day: at work, at home, and after the kids are in bed! Chocolate and candy are comfort foods and are very hard to resist. With a few simple strategies, we can all enjoy the festivity without expanding our waistline to resemble the Pillsbury Doughboy.
Andrea Mawson, BSc, RD, IOC Diploma Sport Nutrition is a nutritionist and private practice registered dietitian specializing in weight management.