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Halloween is great… but not the weight!

By Alecia Sexton
Staff Writer

Happy November, here’s to another Happy Halloween come and gone. Hopefully some of you checked out ‘Blood Manor” at the Nassau Coliseum, but if not, it’s likely that you went to a party or had a celebration of some sort. No matter the case, you all were probably exposed to candy, and rightly so! A once a year candy spree is fine, right? Well, yes and no. Some of you may be shocked to find out some terrifying truths about Halloween and candy eating.

Photo by Alecia Sexton

According to a seven year long study done by the University of Colorado and quoted in 2016 by Seth Gregory at FOX 31 news, Denver, the Halloween season has lasting effects on the waistline. Whether it’s candy from going trick or treating yourself, candy from a party, or any leftovers from Halloween night, the average child, ages 8-12, gains around 2.2 pound from Halloween candy each season. Considering that one pound is 3500 calories, this means that a whopping 7700 extra calories are being consumed and leading to weight gain most often in the belly area.

What happens to the metabolism of adults over time? That’s right, it slows down. So who knows how much weight that would mean for us? Just to give an idea, a fun size MilkyWay bar is 77 calories. While none of us are going to go and eat 45.5 MilkyWay minis in one day, if we take to indulging in five MilkyWay mini’s per day after Halloween, it will take just NINE days to gain one pound. That can escalate very quickly, especially considering that Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are right around the corner, and who’s really going to turn down a piece of Grandma’s apple pie or seconds on Thanksgiving Day?

Now that certainly does not mean that we should deprive ourselves of any Halloween treats; that would just be cruel. 2014 studies done by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating show that depriving ourselves of indulgences here and there actually encourages binge eating behaviors and increases depression and irritability.

So instead, try to adopt some of these tips for beating away the real scary part of Halloween.

– Don’t keep candy in plain sight. Try throwing a piece in your school bag, console of your car, on your night stand or in a closed jar. This will stop you from mindlessly throwing a piece in your mouth every time you walk past. Open bowls can be a danger zone!

– Keep a regular eating pattern. Eat proper meals with carbs, ber, protein and fat before going for a piece of candy. That way you won’t over eat because you’re hungry; it will be a well deserved after dinner treat.

– Ditch the candy that you don’t LOVE. Having a lot of different types of candy around tricks you into thinking you can have another piece because there’s so much there! Only keep your absolute favorites.

– Actually look at the candy wrapper and its nutrition panel (if it has one). Keep in mind that we often consider low fat candies to be better for us, but what companies that boast about low fat candies don’t tell you is that the liver converts some sugar into fat! Choose candy that has lower sugar, trans and saturated fat content. These are less likely to cause spikes in blood sugar and rapid weight gain.

Finally, think about the fact that the satisfaction factor that candy elicits on the brain (an increase in dopamine, the body’s pleasure inducing neurotransmitter) lasts for a total of three minutes. If you don’t absolutely love the taste of a candy, put it down!

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