How to Enjoy Halloween Candy and Still Reach Your Health Goals

Bowl of Halloween Candy Dumped Out for the Article How to Enjoy Halloween Candy and Still Reach Your Health Goals

While you could technically eat Halloween candy as you please, if you’re trying to improve your health or lose weight, you don’t want these short-lived indulgences to sabotage your hard work or your health.

To help you avoid the latter from happening, we’re sharing expert tips for enjoying Halloween candy while staying on track with your health goals.

We’ll also discuss how to eat healthy on Halloween or at a Halloween party, and we’ll show you a few healthier alternatives to candy if you want to avoid it altogether.

If you’re short on time, here are a few key takeaways from this article:

  1. Avoid eating candy on an empty stomach; enjoy it after you’ve had some protein and fiber first.
  2. Choose healthier alternatives whenever possible, such as candy that’s free from artificial ingredients or chocolates with nuts or healthy fats like shredded coconut.
  3. Don’t skip eating healthy meals on the day of Halloween to account for the influx of extra calories from sugary sweets.

Read on to learn about these tips and strategies in-depth, along with several more, and you’ll be able to indulge in the spooky season without derailing your hard work.

You can also use the links below to skip ahead to the parts of this article that interest you the most:

  1. 5 Tips for Enjoying Halloween Candy While Still Reaching Your Weight Loss and Health Goals
  2. How do you eat healthy on Halloween?
  3. What is a healthy alternative to Halloween candy?

5 Tips for Enjoying Halloween Candy While Still Reaching Your Weight Loss and Health Goals

These five strategies will help you squeeze in some candy for the holiday without setting you back too far in your health and fitness goals:

1. Enjoy Halloween Candy After You’ve Had a Protein and Fiber-Packed Meal Instead of on an Empty Stomach

Eat a Protein and Fiber Packed Meal Before Enjoying Halloween Candy

Few things are as tempting as seeing a big bowl of Halloween candy sitting out and possibly calling your name between meals. But enjoying candy, or any sweets for that matter, on an empty stomach is not such a great idea.

Aside from the potential stomachache, eating sugar and candy on an empty stomach skyrockets your blood sugar levels. Initially, this may feel like a big burst of energy, but the problem is it eventually comes crashing down.

And when it does, you’ll be left feeling low on energy and craving even more sweets to raise your blood sugar.

A better way to avoid that is to enjoy your sweet treats after a meal with some protein and fiber.

These two nutrients, in particular, are satiating. This means they can help you feel full and satisfied after eating, and, in the case of fiber, you can fill up on fewer calories.

If you’re feeling full, you’ll be less likely to overload on candy like you would eating it on an empty stomach.

Second, researchers have discovered that eating protein, fiber, healthy fats, and then carbohydrates, in that order, can lessen the overall insulin spike. [1]

So, if you finish off your meal with a small sweet treat, it’ll have less of a blood glucose spike than if you had it on an empty stomach.

Another thing you can do to keep your blood sugar steady while still enjoying Halloween candy is to reduce the amount of processed or starchy carbs in your meals for that day.

Instead of indulging in a sandwich or a bowl of pasta before you eat candy, enjoy your protein with a salad, a side of veggies, or both, and save your carbs for your sweet treat.

Swapping refined carbs from bread and pasta for whole-food ones like those found in vegetables will also help you reduce the post-meal insulin spike so you can enjoy the candy without wrecking your blood sugar. [7]

2. Opt for Chocolate That Contains Nuts or Healthy Fats Like Coconut

Healthy Halloween Candy Alternatives Like Chocolate Covered Nuts in a Bark Form

Another great tip is to choose chocolate with healthy fats instead of sugary-sweet Halloween candy.

Choosing chocolate with peanuts or almonds, or ones packed with coconut, for example, helps to slow down the blood sugar hit thanks to the dietary fat. [8]

Like fiber, fats are slow-digesting, giving you sustained energy that lasts far longer than a carbohydrate hit.

On the other hand, eating pure sugar candy can lead to those blood sugar spikes mentioned a moment ago, leaving you ravenous and craving more sugar once the crash starts to kick in.

So the next time you have to choose between sweet Halloween candies or chocolate with nuts or coconuts, opt for the latter as a better-on-your-blood-sugar alternative.

Now, if you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy chocolate as much and prefers sweeter confections, this next tip of opting for healthier alternatives is for you.

3. Choose Healthier Alternatives

Sadly, most of the Halloween candy on the market contains artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives.

Food manufacturers use these cheap, highly processed ingredients to enhance the flavor of foods, increase their shelf life, and create that feel-good-perfect texture. [2]

The problem is, “These foods are designed to specifically increase cravings so that people will overeat them and purchase more,” according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. [2]

If you have ever struggled to stop at one or two Halloween candies or sweet treats, this could be one huge reason why.

A small study on 20 adults examined the effects of ultra-processed foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup, flavoring agents, hydrogenated oils, and emulsifiers (many Halloween candy contains almost all of these). [3]

They found that these “ultra-processed foods cause people to eat too many calories and gain weight.” [3]

While the study is too small to confirm these findings officially, it’s still eye-opening.

Even more interesting is that the study compared ultra-processed meals with unprocessed meals with the same calories, sugars, fat, carbohydrates, and fiber. 

Despite controlling for these variables, those who ate the processed diet managed to eat an additional 500 calories per day. [3]

So, while it may seem harmless to indulge in some not-so-good-for-you Halloween candy, it’s only a few weeks out of the year, right? It could set you back on your health and weight loss goals since consuming an extra 500 calories per day quickly adds up.

A better approach is to choose candies that don’t contain these Frankenstein ingredients that may cause you to overeat.

Opting for brands that don’t use artificial sweeteners, colors, and other addictive ingredients may help you satisfy your cravings without the unwanted need to go overboard.

Brands like Black Forest make gummies and fruit snacks using real fruit juice, and they only use natural, plant-based sources to color their gummies. Their organic gummy line also contains at least 95% organic ingredients.

There are plenty of other great ones on the market that you can swap out the junk for. While it seems simple, it may help you shave off 500 calories or more from overeating that you may have racked up with traditional Halloween candy.

Remember that just because candy doesn’t contain artificial ingredients doesn’t mean you can enjoy them uncontrollably.

You should still proceed cautiously and eat them mindfully so you don’t wreck your health or calorie goals.

This next tip can also help mitigate the blood sugar spike that comes with an increased candy intake:

4. Take a Walk After You Indulge in Some Halloween Candy

Couple Walking Their Dog After Enjoying Some Halloween Candy

Another simple but effective strategy to enjoy Halloween candy without wrecking your health goals is to go for a walk afterward.

Recent research shows that walking after a meal can help mitigate the post-meal blood sugar spike. [4]

In one study conducted on people with diabetes, people either did one post-meal walk for 15 minutes or a 45-minute walk on a treadmill. [5]

The results showed that both forms of exercise significantly improved blood sugar control over 24 hours. And that “postmeal walking was significantly more effective than 45 min of sustained morning or afternoon walking lowering 3-h[our] post-dinner glucose between the control and experimental day.” [5]

Does that mean you should skip your daily workout in favor of post-meal walks?

Not exactly.

But it may support the simple step of going for a walk after you’ve eaten a high-carb or high-sugar meal or treat to help mitigate the blood sugar spike that’s likely to happen.

5. Don’t Eat Your Halloween Candy Too Close to Bed

Lastly, indulging in your sweet treats earlier in the day is also a good idea so that it doesn’t wreck your sleep.

This might be harder to do on the night of Halloween, but on the days after the holiday, when you still have leftover candy, enjoying your sweets earlier in the day is a better idea.

For one, as mentioned in our last tip, eating a small amount of candy with lunch allows you to walk afterward to lessen the blood sugar response.

Secondly, overeating sugar close to bed can disrupt your sleep, making it better to enjoy it earlier in the day.

One body of research found that the higher people’s sugar intake was before bed, the worse their sleep quality was. [6]

So, while psychologically you may crave a post-dinner dessert, you’re better off enjoying it in the afternoon so you don’t disrupt your sleep and can work off the extra energy.

While those five tips will help you enjoy Halloween candy without wrecking your health, this next section shares some simple strategies for the holiday itself.

How Do You Eat Healthy on Halloween?

Halloween Party Food Spread and How to Eat Healthy for Halloween

If you’re wondering how do you eat healthy on Halloween? The biggest tip is not to skip eating regular meals to save calories for all the sugar ahead.

As discussed earlier, eating tons of sugar without protein and fiber first is a recipe for a big blood sugar spike and subsequent crash.

Instead, enjoy protein and fiber-packed meals first, as mentioned in the first tip, and save the extra carbohydrates, especially the refined carbs in bread and pasta, for another day to make room for the increased candy intake.

If you’re heading out to a Halloween party, scan the food spread first to see what interests you the most.

Then, fill your plate with vegetables and protein before eating unhealthy favorites.

This step ensures you have the blood-sugar benefits of protein and fiber while still being able to indulge in any holiday must-haves.

What is a Healthy Alternative to Halloween Candy?

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries Make for a Great Halloween Candy Alternative

Lastly, if you’re looking for healthy alternatives to Halloween candy, you can’t go wrong with the following options.

Making your own chocolate-covered almonds or strawberries is an easy way to celebrate the holiday without dumping too much sugar into your system.

Thanks to the whole-food almonds and strawberries, you’ll get all of these foods’ nutrients, fiber, and health benefits while still getting a sweet fix thanks to the chocolate.

Another great option is to make your own gummies using beef gelatin, which is loaded with collagen.

You can also make your own peanut butter cups, which are super easy to make and will help you cut down on sugars and unnecessary junk ingredients while still enjoying some tasty treats. 

There are tons of great healthy recipes out there for you to choose from to make your own gummies or peanut butter cups. Google “healthy collagen gummy recipes” or “healthy peanut butter cup recipes” to find some.

And remember to look at the source and the ingredient list to ensure you’re using recipes that are truly healthy and better for you.

The bottom line

Just because you’re on a weight loss journey or have important health goals you’re trying to reach doesn’t mean you have to forgo all of the fun that comes with Halloween.

Instead, it’s about indulging in a smart way that keeps your goals and health in mind and at the forefront.

Thankfully, the strategies in this article will help you do just that. So you can enjoy the holiday without wrecking your health goals. And you can move on like it never happened.

This year and beyond, have a spooky good time while staying on track during Halloween. It’s that easy to do!



Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. iFIT assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article. Always follow the safety precautions included in the owner’s manual of your fitness equipment.