How Much Exercise is Needed to Burn off Halloween Candy?

Posted on November 1st, 2017 by admin

Halloween CandyHALLOWEEN RANT:

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on social media lately about how many minutes must be spend exercising to burn off various pieces of Halloween candy.

You know the posts I’m talking about – the #thinspirational pictures and memes meant to motivate or raise awareness about your junk food consumption, but probably make you feel worse about yourself more than they actually help as you keep on eating one mini chocolate bar and sugar-filled gummy pack after the next. (Am I right?)

Here’s a brilliant coaching tool:
Let’s help stir up feelings of #hopelessness, #shame, and #guilt as we help “educate” you about how fat you’re going to become as you dive deeper into the Halloween candy stash, because that’s been proven to be an effective tactic to help support people through long-term behaviour change, right?! {*note the sarcasm*}

Although these candy-shaming / exercise-promoting posts are often shared with good intent or are trying to help bring awareness to what we’re consuming this time of year, they need to stop.

Behaviour change research overwhelmingly shows that using the approach of shaming and guilting someone to stop an unhealthy behaviour is highly INEFFECTIVE to motivate, coach, and support someone through long-term habit change.

As a Registered Dietitian and health coach, especially as someone who has extensive experience counselling clients through the recovery of serious eating disorders and unhealthy relationships with food and exercise, this also sends the wrong message about how we view working out.

Exercise is not meant to punish you for eating calories, especially “bad calories”, or “junk food calories”, or “empty calories”, or whatever you want to call it. Likewise, exercising more does not earn you the right to eat more junk food.

Exercise becasue you love your body, not because you hate it

Being able to exercise is a blessing, not a chore.

Moving your body regularly, in a way that feels good and supports a healthy lifestyle in the long-run should always be the goal.

If you’re able to exercise regularly to manage your stress, hang out with your friends, have some alone time, clear your head, feel strong, feel challenged, feel inspired, feel fit, feel healthier, feel like you’re supporting your best self, then you are LUCKY.

But please, don’t exercise to burn off your Halloween candy.

Yes, it’s a good idea to eat #healthy, #whole, #nourishing foods the majority of the time.

Yes, it’s a good idea to be #mindful about the indulgent and high-calorie foods you may have occasionally, including Halloween candy.

Yes, it’s a good idea to be #PhysicallyActive and move your body in a way that feels great and supports a healthy lifestyle for the long-run.


But please, don’t punish yourself into exercising because a social media post told you how many minutes you had to move your body in order to undo the wrath of a mini chocolate bar.

You and your body deserve so much better than that. 💕


Jennifer Broxterman, MSc, RD
Registered Dietitian & Sports Nutritionist
Professional nutrition counselling services in London, Ontario, Canada.


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