Halloween: n. the holiday excuse to dress up as a slutty schoolgirl, consume countless grams of sugar in candy and — this may only apply because I live in a college town — drink until you actually believe you are the character of your costume. It’s completely OK to indulge once in a while, and Halloween is the ultimate holiday to do so. However, you can make better choices to have you feeling more like the Hulk the morning after and less like Amanda Bynes at rock bottom.
Best and Worst Halloween Candies for your Waistline
1. Candy bar minis: They’re perfectly portioned for a reason. As long as you don’t eat an entire bag full, eating a couple of mini candy bars are a great way to sample treats without leaving you with a belly full of guilt.
2. Smarties: The smart choice, hence the name. At only 25 calories per pack, these are a better choice to satisfy the sweet tooth.
3. Jolly Ranchers (and lollipops): Because it takes longer to eat, any candy that is meant for sucking is a better option. You will be less likely to stuff your face without realizing it. A Dum Dums lollipop is fewer than 26 calories, zero grams of fat per pop and five grams of sugar.
4. Peanut M&M’s: The healthy fat content in the peanuts will bind with the sugar in the chocolate, slowing down digestion and the subsequent blood sugar spike. Even better: Opt for the dark chocolate peanut M&M’s. One fun-size pouch is 90 calories, five grams of fat and nine grams of sugar.
5. Dark chocolate: This candy actually can benefit your heart. According to WebMD, dark chocolate is great source of antioxidants and has shown to help lower high blood pressure. Just make sure the dark chocolate contains at least 70 percent cocoa.
1. Candy corn: This candy translates to pure sugar. It doesn’t even taste that good (in my opinion). The breakdown: 19 pieces are 140 calories and 32 grams of sugar. Because they are so easy to pop in your mouth, you will likely eat more than you originally intended.
2. Reese’s (yes, that means Butterfinger, too): The sugar content combined with the high fat makes this candy not the best option. One cup is 88 calories, five grams of fat and eight grams of sugar, but let’s be real, you aren’t going to eat just one. For the nutty-chocolate craving, opt for the peanut M&Ms.
3. Mounds: With the highest saturated fat content of any other bar, this coconut is far from the natural “good kind.” One bar is 230 calories, 13 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat and 21 grams of sugar. This tops the worst. I’m sorry, coco-loco-nut people.
4. Skittles: Do not, I repeat, do not taste the rainbow. Rainbows are pretty to look at, but not good for eating. These colorful candies are high in fructose corn syrup, pure sugar and are difficult to portion control. One bag is 240 calories, 2.5 grams of total fat and a whopping 44 grams of sugar (equal to 10 teaspoons of sugar).
5. Milky Way: Like Mounds, this candy will leave you with a load of saturated fat plus some caramel stuck in your teeth. Cute. One bar is 240 calories, nine grams of fat, seven grams of saturated fat and 31 grams of sugar. The same principle applies to Baby Ruth (the candy bar, not the man).
Cheers to thatTips for making better choices while drinking and avoiding the dreaded hangover
1. Stick to clear liquor. Darker liquors contain more toxic chemicals called congeners (created during fermentation) that can actually worsen hangovers, according to Greatist.com. Clear liquors (think vodka, tequila) are generally lower in sugar content than their darker counterparts as well.
2. Shot for shot (I mean water): Chase a cocktail with a 4-ounce shot of water. I’m not kidding. This sounds ridiculous, but it will help prevent overconsuming alcohol (and the calories) and will also keep you hydrated, reducing the likelihood of a hangover. Water dilutes the alcohol and slows the absorption process.
3. Go for light beer or wine over mixed cocktails. You can end up saving 50 to 100 calories per drink. The alcohol content varies between brands and color, not whether it is light. So, don’t overindulge in the light versions thinking the alcohol content is light as well because it’s not.
4. Skip the mixers. Enjoy your drink on the rocks with seltzer water (tonic water is NOT the same thing — it has sugar in it), water and Crystal Light or lime/lemon juice.
5. Say no to energy drinks. These caffeine devils give the false notion that you are sober. According to Greatist.com, “caffeine masks the sedative effects of alcohol that often cue people to stop drinking.”
Stay lean this Halloween with these sweet treat recipes
to make a healthier version of your favorite candies to satisfy the sweet tooth.
- Three-Ingredient Pumpkin Cookies by FreshFitnHealthy
1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/2 cup rolled oats
2-4 tbsp. honey or agave (depending on desired sweetness)
Optional: shredded coconut, chocolate chips, pumpkin pie spice, nuts, etc.
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all ingredients in bowl. Shape into balls. Cook in oven for about seven to nine minutes. Enjoy!
- High-protein healthy peanut butter cups by Miss K’s Kitchen
For more of her recipes, visit MissKJ6.tumblr.com
For the chocolate:
2-3 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/3 cup coconut butter melted
2 tbsp. Stevia or Truvia
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp. all-natural peanut butter
Mix the chocolate ingredients into a bowl, and then pour into 4 silicone muffin molds. Place into the freezer for about 10 minutes. Remove from the freezer, spread the peanut butter evenly in each mold, and freeze for another 15 to 20 minutes.
This recipe makes four. Keep stored in freezer.
* To pack in extra protein:
For the chocolate mixture, you can use chocolate protein powder. Mix one scoop of chocolate protein powder with two to three tbsp. of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and cocoa powder.
- Raw “Bones” Bar by The Skinny-Fat Girl Diary
For more recipes, visit skinnyfatgirldiary.com
2 cups almonds
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tbsp. almond milk
70 percent cacao dark chocolate
First, blend the following ingredients together, using a food processor: dates, one cup of almonds, vanilla extract and coconut oil. Once coarsely ground, mold the ingredients together into a rectangular bar shape and place in freezer for about 10 minutes.
Melt a bar of 70-percent cacao dark chocolate in the microwave for 45 seconds, take out, and stir. Repeat this process until the bar is completely melted.
Add one tablespoon of almond milk to the melted chocolate to thin the mixture and mix until smooth.
Drizzle the bars with the dark chocolate mixture and use the rest of the almond slices as garnish.
Photo courtesy of: www.blendcentralmn.org