Do you know which holiday boasts the largest grossing candy sales of the year? If you guessed Easter, you’re…close. Actually Halloween is at the top of the list with over $2.3 billion spent on candy. But Easter is second, with $1.9 billion spent annually on 120 million pounds of chocolate bunnies, Peeps, jellybeans and an assortment of other chocolate delights filling pastel colored baskets. I shudder to think what effect that much candy has on our waistlines.
By the same token, sometimes it’s better to throw in the towel and indulge a little in holiday chocolate than to deny yourself completely of the guilty pleasure. But, beware of mindless munching. Put those jellybeans and M&Ms someplace where you’ll avoid scarfing a handful or two every time you’re near the bowl. Also, a little forward thinking will go a long way. If you know you’re going to devour a Peep or two, just work a few more laps into your cardio routine or add an extra 15 minutes into your gym circuit. Or cut your calories elsewhere – pass on that afternoon Chai, perhaps.
Here are the calorie facts for some popular Easter basket treats to help you strategize your physical activity around the additional caloric intake:
1 Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg – 180 calories
35 Assorted Jelly Beans – 140 calories
1 Cadbury Cream Egg – 150 calories
1 Cadbury Caramel Egg – 190 calories
4 Peeps – 128 calories
3 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Miniature Pastels – 132 calories
1 medium hollow chocolate bunny (1 ¾ oz) – 260 calories
1 solid chocolate bunny (7 oz) – 1,050 calories
8 robin’s eggs malted milk balls – 170 calories
3 TBS M&Ms chocolate candies – 154 calories
Now, substitutions are effective for some and not for others. I’m reminded of my friends who received a box of “healthy” toffee for Christmas – a hideous-tasting, sugar-free version of the regular English toffee, which when all was said and done, only served to cause them to spend quite a few of their waking moments craving the real stuff. Beware too, of the “sugar-free” and “reduced fat” labels on certain treats; the tendency for some of us is to consume more of these foods, the net result of which is increased calorie intake and weight gain. Bottom line is that certain treats are less “damaging” than others. Check out this video of Clint Carter (Eat This, Not That) with some suggestions for Easter basket substitutions.
My problem candy is the Cadbury Cream Egg. What’s yours? Click on the comment link above to weigh in with your top temptation.