IMG 1627 (Last year, 2012) 

It’s hard to resist candy during this time of year. You buy a large bag of candy to pass out, have a couple before Halloween, have a few during Trick-or-Treating, and then are left with a bowl of extras when the last kid leaves your house.  Each day you may only have 1 or 2 but they add up.  Here are a few tips on staying out of the candy rut.

If you have been good all month, avoiding the candy and caramel apples and (oh-so-yummy-but-so-filling) pumpkin bread/muffins/pie, you deserve a little treat – with “little” being the operative term.

A few tips to avoid candy overload:

• Wait to buy candy until the day before Halloween

• Give it away: Fill up those trick-or-treaters’ buckets or take it to the office

• Fill up on healthy, high-protein breakfasts to reduce your temptation to snack

• Limit yourself to one piece a day

Count What You Eat

The thing about miniature candy bars is that it doesn’t seem like you’re eating anything. “Oh, just one more,” we think. Before you know it, half the bag is gone and you have to run to the store to buy more candy for trick-or-treaters. Then you open that bag, and the cycle repeats itself. Before unwrapping another piece, consider these calorie counts for your Halloween fun-size favorites:

• Mini Snickers, Milky Way, Twix and 3 Musketeers: Average 38 calories a piece

• Fun-size Hershey bar: 67 calories

• Plain M&Ms: 88 calories

• Nestle’s Crunch: 50 calories

• Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: 88-100 calories

• Butterfinger: 85 calories

• Skittles: 80 calories

• Twizzlers: 32-40 calories

• Candy corn (11 pieces): 70 calories

Don’t feel like looking up every piece you pop? It’s a safe bet that any fun-sized treat you put in your mouth is packing around 60 calories or more – roughly the equivalent of running half a mile.

Run It Off

So those 10 pieces of candy you had while you watched TV? That’s enough calories for a full meal. Yikes. Good thing you have options to run off those calories. Consider these great workouts:

• Do speed work. You can burn up to 500 calories in 30 minutes by alternating running at your comfortable pace for 3 minutes and 5K pace for 1:15. Sandwich that routine between a 3-minute warm-up and 4-minute cool down.

• Run a race. There are more races than we can count during the fall. Let’s say you ran the Rock & Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon in two hours – that’s more than 1,400 calories burned. Or, in terms we like, 35 fun-size Snickers bars.

• Jog for 30 minutes. If you run at a 9-minute mile pace for 30 minutes, You can burn upward of 300 calories.

Generally, if you keep up with your regular running routine, a piece or two of candy won’t hurt.

But if you have a sweet tooth, make sure you find balance so you avoid putting on pounds this Halloween.