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Active Lifestyles: Hayley’s Halloween Survival Guide

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Don’t get tricked by Halloween treats (Photo courtesy of Adobe Spark)

For the last month, I have been tempted by the candy section at the grocery store. The goodies marked with ghosts and pumpkins beg me to stray from my goals – however, I know better than to fall for their tricks. When it comes to Halloween celebrations, not all treats are created equal, so I have prepared a Halloween survival guide with the best candy and drinks to help you make it through October 31st.

Halloween 2015: Tarzan and Jane. Last year I was ~150 pounds. This year, at 127, I will be in a tight fitting Green Arrow costume. (Hayley Blackburn | Collegian)


There really is no “best” candy because all of it is made from sugar and fat with little other nutrients. Whatever your favorite is – I LOVE Twix bars – try to pre-portion your treats instead of reaching into the bag time and time again. I set aside a few Twix bars in my own stash and *try* not to grab candy from anywhere else. Additionally, sticking to individually packed items that help you visualize the serving sizes will help you manage your consumption. M&Ms and Candy Corn are especially dangerous because I can grab handful after handful without realizing how many servings I have actually eaten. If either of these are your favorite, portion them out in little baggies based on the serving size or buy them in the mini, individually wrapped sizes.




College is, and should be, fun. Although you can have a lot of fun without indulging in alcohol – I’m looking at you, my underage friends – there are still tricks in non-alcoholic beverages. For your punches and ciders, try to get diet or sugar-free mixers. Fruit juice packs at least 136 calories and 23 grams of sugar per 1 cup, the same amount of sugar as melting a Twix bar down and drinking it. The worst part about sugary mixers are how quickly you can drink several cups worth, so minimize your beverage damage with sugar-free options and alternate water between drinks (you know it helps with the hangover too).

My Halloween drink of choice this year is an Orange Nightmare Delight (the name is a work in progress. Tweet me a better idea!)

  • 1.5 parts Diet Orange Sunkist
  • 1 shot Malibu (or just coconut flavor for a non-alcoholic version)
  • 1 shot Mango rum (again.. just get some mango extract)
  • 1 shot banana liqueur (you know the drill.. banana flavor)
  • Top of fat-free whipped cream and black sprinkles

The soda is zero calories, but the alcohol is a splurge at 80 calories per shot.

Weekend Preparation

My high-school basketball coach always told us that a strong defense is the best offense. My defense is made of preemptive sweating at the gym and hard dieting this week. I will be spending an extra 10-20 minutes per gym session with cardio on top of my lifting. The most efficient cardio is running on the treadmill with the incline on at least two percent – running uphill turns me into a calorie burning machine. For dinner, I will be eating vegetables and lean protein. Because I plan on eating a lot of sugar and carbs this weekend, my meals will not include many carbs – so long breakfast-for-dinner hash browns. With a little planning and hard work up-front, I won’t feel guilty at all while enjoying my Halloween weekend.

My favorite vegetable dinner under 300 calories. Cabbage, zucchini, ground turkey and teriyaki sauce. (Hayley Blackburn | Collegian)


To prepare for the upcoming weekend, I challenge you to go to the gym every day and eat vegetables for dinner this week. Tweet me your favorite pre-party dinner recipe!

Collegian writer Hayley Blackburn can be reached at or on Twitter @hayley_blckbrn. If you have a specific question or topic, let her know. Leave a comment!




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