When Halloween time rolls around each year, we are all likely to try and convince ourselves that this year we will have a little bit more will power than the last when it comes to our candy addictions. Making a quick pit stop to the local pharmacy presents a whole new set of temptations as we are forced to walk by aisles upon aisles of all our favorite childhood confections in order to get to our intended destination. And then when the holiday arrives, we are barraged with goodies at events, parties, and even right at our own front door. So how does one avoid the seemingly inevitable weight gain that follows Halloween? Well, it’s almost impossible for anyone with a sweet tooth, but you can make smarter decisions while still enjoying the delicious treats that October 31 brings.
We broke it down into all the major candy categories and put our favorite candies head to head to prove that you can still get the taste you crave while making healthier choices. But we warn you, this article may or may not make your mouth water.
Sugary Candies (above): Candy Corn vs. Sugar Babies
One pouch of sugar babies will set you back 190 calories, while 22 pieces of candy corn is plenty to satisfy your sugar craving while only adding 140 calories to your belly. Both options are low in fat, but we say opt for the more Halloween appropriate choice; just make sure to stay aware of how much you’re consuming so you don’t get carried away!
Nutty: Snickers vs. Reese’s Pieces
While a whole package of Reese’s may seem sinful, it only packs 210 calories and 10 grams of fat, as opposed to a Snickers bar which contains 280 calories and 14 grams of fat. This is great news for us, as we love to savor every little bite of our Reese’s bags. How do you eat your Reese’s?
Sour: Sour Patch Kids vs. Nerds
Remember chomping away at those colorful boxes of Nerds back in the day? Well it’s time to stop. At 188 calories per box, the mini rock-shaped candies have 48 more calories per serving than our other favorite sour treat, Sour Patch Kids. Both are fat free, so indulge in moderation, but try and limit yourself to no more than 16 pieces of the latter treat so you don’t overdo it.
Chewy: Vanilla Charleston Chew vs. Cow Tales
Beware the tempting Charleston Chew staring at you from every register with its delicious gooey center. One bar packs 230 calories and 6 grams of fat, along with a whopping 30 grams of sugar. If you’re craving that chewy marshmallow taste, opt for a Cow Tale instead. In fact, eat three, and you will still only consume 150 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 1 gram of sugar. A seriously yummy difference!
Fruity: Skittles vs. Starburst
These are two of our absolute favorites, and we’re not sure we could do without either. Lucky for us (and for you), both of these fruity confections come out about even when it comes to nutrition facts with only a 6 calorie difference–a package of Skittles contains 240 calories while Starburst have 234. If you’re watching your fat intake though, choose the Skittles instead, as they have half the amount of fat, none of which are saturated.
Chocolate: Hershey’s Special Dark Miniatures vs. Nestle Crunch Miniatures
If you’re addicted to chocolate like me (and aren’t we all), you appreciate a nice dark treat. Unfortunately, however, Hershey’s Special Dark miniatures will add almost 300 calories and 15 grams of fat to your count for the day for just 6 mini pieces. If you can sacrifice your snobbery for a little milk chocolate treat, trade your Hershey’s for 6 pieces of Nestle Crunch miniatures instead for only 180 calories and 9 grams of fat.
Minty: Peppermint Patties vs. Junior Mints
This is another no brainer. While we’ve loved Peppermint Patties from a very early age, we aren’t ready to sacrifice our fit summer bods just yet. Only one minty Pattie will cost you 140 calories, but if you’re willing to switch them out for Junior Mints, another sweet minty fresh option, you can eat 8 pieces while taking in about half the calories (84 to be exact)!
Licorice: Red Vine Licorice vs. Good & Plenty
For those licorice lovers out there, beware of the Good & Plenty. They may sound all nice with their name and whatnot, but there really are plenty of calories in each box that you don’t need. One box will add 170 calories to your waistline, while two pieces of black or red licorice by Red Vines provides only 140 calories and no fat. Plus, they’re a favorite movie theater treat!
Caramel: Twix vs. Milky Way
Ah, the Twix bar. How we love thee. But we don’t love how you make our arms flabby when we eat too many of you. So this Halloween we are finding a new love: the Milky Way bar. Really, the two are pretty comparable when it comes to nutritional facts–a Twix package (which has two bars) contains 280 calories and 14 grams of fat, while a Milky Way has 260 cals and 10 grams of fat. While that may seem like only a small difference, those itty numbers add up when you’re like us and could eat 10 of each in one sitting. But we don’t recommend doing that, either.
Gummy: Mini Swedish Fish vs. Gummy Bears:
Swedish Fish remind us of middle school recess and after school playground parties with our friends. And while the treats bring back good memories as well as good flavor, 19 pieces of the stuff adds up to 160 calories–not our friend. Try and swap out your fishy friends for a gummy animal from another neck of the woods–the gummy bear. We’ve always liked him too, and now that we know that he’s only got 90 calories in 19 pieces, we like him a little bit more.