Frightfully effective ways to burn off Halloween treats
Knowing how many calories are found in our favorite Halloween candies may not stop us from eating them. But, would you be as keen to chow down if you knew you'd have to carve a pumpkin for more than 26 minutes straight to shed the calories you've taken in from just three small Tootsie Rolls?
That's what the "Diet Detective" Dr. Charles Platkin is trying to find out. He's a distinguished lecturer and researcher at the Hunter College School of Urban Public Health and the City University of New York School of Public Health, both in New York City. Platkin reviews tape and data charts tirelessly to determine how many calories can be burned by everyday actions, and takes his findings to come up with unique ways to burn off the calories we're consuming during our national "food holidays" (see his Super Bowl guide
for all you Sunday snackers).
Even though you may not be taking in full-sized portions of candy throughout the night, each chomp could add up to a scary number of calories. Keep clicking for Dr. Platkin's tricks for how to burn off the sweet treats this Halloween...
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Fun size Milky Way
One fun size Milky Way chocolate bar contains 80 calories, which Platkin calculates you can burn off by getting ready for the ghoulish festivities.
Specifically, you would need to do your hair, put on your makeup and get that costume ready for more than 27 consecutive minutes to burn off the calories contained in one fun size candy bar.
York Peppermint Pattie
If you're reaching into your child’s bag to sneak only one York Peppermint Pattie, you might want to reach for your bike helmet with the other hand.
You would need to ride your bike between 10 and 12 miles per hour for roughly 7.5 minutes to burn off the 53 calories contained in a single candy, according to Platkin.
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This sugary Halloween staple contains about 25 calories per roll, which Plakin estimates you could burn off in only four minutes.
How? Just reach for an ax and chop firewood -- not only will you stave off that cool fall air, but the roll of Smarties will roll right off in less than five minutes.
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No Halloween is complete without candy corn. Whether you like the taste of the polarizing candies or don't, you're likely going to eat some anyway -- and consume that sugar. Platkin calculated a bag containing 26 pieces of candy corn contains about 140 calories.
If you march your way to your local Halloween parade -- and continue to march for almost 48 minutes -- you can work off the calories taken in from that handful of candy corn.
It's far less caloric to collect the dispensers: a roll of Pez contains about 35 calories. One Halloween-themed way to burn off calories -- which may also save you some pennies -- is by making your own costumes from scratch. That way, you can sew and tailor your way to burning off those 35 calories after only about 12 minutes of work.
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Peeps chocolate covered pumpkins
One of these chocolate marshmallows contains about 120 calories.
If you're looking to exercise those calories off, look no further than your lawn. Raking leaves for between 25 and 26 minutes will do the trick, according to Platkin's calculations.
These popular Halloween treats contain about 22.25 calories per Kiss.
To burn off the calories from eating only one, you may want to watch a scary movie -- scary enough to jump up and down from your seat 114 times, Platkin found.
Dum Dums lollipop
Whether you lean towards the cream soda or root beer variety, you’re still going to be taking in 25 calories from eating one of these Dum Dum lollipops.
Parents carrying their young toddlers from house-to-house to trick-or-treat will be glad to hear that lugging your kid around burns off about 6 calories per minute. In a shade over four minutes, you'll shed off the Dum Dum, according to Platkin.
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Charms Blow Pop or Tootsie Pop
While we're talking lollipops, these two stalwarts contain about 60 calories each regardless of whether chocolate or chewing gum meets you at the candy's center.
Assuming your children also had some candy, you’d need to chase them for nearly 13 minutes straight to run off the calories from just one pop. Platkin notes these calories are only actually burned when you’re active.
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Haribo 5-ounce Gold Bears
A pack of these gummy bears contains about 130 calories.
Instead of chowing down a pack, why not volunteer and pack boxes filled with candy to be sent to U.S. military personnel overseas at Operation Gratitude
? Platkin points out packing boxes of candy for the troops burns off about 4 calories per minute. After about 32 minutes, you’ll have burned off those gummies and have done a good deed.
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Pumpkin seeds pack nutrients including manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin K, zinc and protein, says Platkin. Also included are almost 160 calories per ounce.
You can dance the calories off after 27 minutes, he calculates.
There might be an apple under there, but make no mistake, the candy coating is what's packing the calories -- about 250 per apple, to be precise.
Why not burn off these calories by picking for real apples? Platkin found you would need to go apple picking for more than 71 minutes to shed the calories you'd obtain from eating one candy apple.
One strawberry Twizzler contains about 40 calories.
If you're in a decorating mood, you can burn off the candy after almost 10 minutes of non-stop decorating, Platkin calculated.
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers
A 100-calorie pouch of cheddar cheese goldfish can be burned off by cleaning after the mess left on Halloween. Scrubbing floors on your hands and knees burns about 4.45 calories per minute, so after only 22.5 minutes of cleaning, you’re free of one 100-calorie pouch.
If you're looking to curb a child's calorie intake this Halloween, why not try a toy like bubbles or putty, asks Platkin?
"It might be worth a try, although it might cost a bit more -- at the very least you'll be promoting good health," he said.