Fitness Weight Loss Nutrition

How to Work Off Your Halloween Candy

Brian Kent, NASM-CPT, CES, PES | Stay Updated with NASM!

Before you grab a Halloween fun size candy out of the cauldron, here's the creepy calorie count that will have you haunting the gym.

October is known for homecoming, pumpkins and pumpkin-flavored everything, postseason baseball, the Chicago Marathon, and Halloween. Always has been, always will be. With Halloween creeping up on the 31st, there is an excellent chance your teeth will find their way into some coveted Halloween candy. Whether you're trick-or-treating or handing out candy, take pride in your decision-making. No one wants to waste their time--or their calories--eating bad candy.

If you choose to stay home and hand out candy, be a great candy-giver. Your candy selection reveals your true character. Have great candy at the ready? The Halloween ghouls will smile upon you. Knowingly have a horrible candy selection? Beware the wrath of angry trick-or-treaters. Just remember: under NO circumstances is it acceptable to hand out raisins.

But, how do we stay disciplined amidst such sweet temptation?

First, allow yourself a small treat. Staring down a bag of Snickers while testing your willpower to see how long you can NOT have one is a little extreme. It's OK to eat one Snickers. But, if we lose self-control and shovel buckets of candy into our mouths, we will need a contingency plan. This plan starts by knowing how many candy calories we're ingesting and what we need to do to burn them off.

According to the CDC, the average adult man (over the age of 20) weighs 195.7 pounds, while the average adult woman weighs 168.5 pounds, and for this article we’ve simplified by using a weight near the middle of 180 pounds. Using this number, we’ve balanced it against some popular Halloween candies, their calorie count, and what needs to be done to scare it off.

  1. Snickers

Do you know anyone that hates Snickers? Neither do I. For instant neighborhood credibility, hand out Snickers on Halloween. Just know that each Snickers Fun Size candy bar has 160 calories, so each of those leftover Snicker Bars will require 15 minutes of pushups to burn off (that’s if you go hard since calorie burn ranges between 4 to 11 per minute!).1

  1. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Does life offer any better combination than chocolate and peanut butter? Correct answer: no. Before you argue with me that the peanut butter in Reese's Peanut Butter Cups has protein, and is therefore healthy, be aware that the Fun Size Cups are owners of 110 calories. You'll be jumping rope for 27.5 minutes (or vigorously jumping for 8) to clear that cup.1

  1. Skittles

Rainbows are magical, and if we could take a bite out of one, it surely would taste like Skittles. Along with being visually appealing, these multicolored fruity candies are adding 60 calories per fun sized bag (though the serving size says 3 bags!). Taste the rainbow, then punch a heavy bag for 7.5 minutes (or 22.5 minutes if you eat the 3 bag serving,). 1

  1. Butterfinger

If your job is to catch footballs, having butterfingers is bad. If you're a candy bar, that was once associated with The Simpsons, having Butterfingers is good. With only 85 calories packed into the Fun Sized version, you'll need to swing the kettlebell for anywhere between 4 to 21 minutes to avoid a Homer Simpson belly.1,2 (Make sure you don't have butterfingers when swinging your kettlebell.)

  1. Twix

While a chocolate/peanut butter combo is always right (see #2 above), Twix is close in the ranking with its own genius paring. Caramel and milk chocolate are classics, and handing out Twix means you have the "cool house" on the block. But, each Twix fun size bar that finds its way into your mouth is 80 calories. Get ready to do 8 minutes of box jumps to tweak the Twix.3

  1. M&Ms

M&Ms are basically the chocolate version of Skittles. They are about the same size and have the same visual appeal. Some might think, "Since M&Ms are little, I'll just eat the whole bag, and it's OK because they're little!" Bad idea, buddy. Those little bags of M&Ms are 73 glorious calories (serving size is 3 bags), so hit the treadmill for 7 minutes (whole 3 bag serving you’ll need to increase that to 21 minutes) at a 5% incline at 4 mph.2

  1. Sour Patch Kids

Even though they are not my favorite, the Chicago Tribune recently listed Sour Patch Kids as the number one ranked Halloween candy in Illinois, so they made this list. Sour Patch Kids are a fantastic mix of chewy and sour. While a 5 oz. bag has 150 calories, consider the amount of work your jaw has to do just to chew them up before slamming battle ropes for 13 minutes.4

Enjoy the fun of the season, but remember these Halloween bullet points:

  • If you’re going to eat candy, eat good candy, but know the calorie content and know how to burn it off
  • Never, ever, ever give raisins to trick-or-treaters (and by the way, those little raisin boxes have about 129 calories)

Happy Halloween!

If you are interested in helping to consult clients with nutrition, become a certified nutrition expert with NASM today! 

Calorie reference tools and sources:


The Author

Brian Kent, NASM-CPT, CES, PES


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