Active Lifestyles: Hayley’s Halloween Survival Guide

Hayley Blackburn

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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.

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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)

Candy

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.

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Drinks

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.

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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 blogs@collegian.com or on Twitter @hayley_blckbrn. If you have a specific question or topic, let her know. Leave a comment!