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October 29, 2009

4 Halloween Treats You Must Avoid!!!



During Halloween, there are lots of fun treats!! High fat high empty calories and unnecessary sugars!!

Halloween marks the beginning of a two-month season packed with parties and desserts.  Now that’s the scary!


Halloween treats are big on calories. Look out for these  high-cal Halloween treats.  Calories add on FAST!!

Pumpkin Flavored Baked Goods

Pumpkin itself is a healthful food. Plain pumpkin puree contains a dose of vitamin A and fiber for a small amount of calories. But pair it with sugar, cream cheese frosting, shortening and butter and you’ve got a high-cal treat dressed in a healthy-looking orange outfit. Restaurants and coffee shops are the biggest villains, promoting their pumpkin scones, muffins, donuts and breads, which can contain up to 630 calories per serving.

TRICK: You can bake your own pumpkin treats using less sugar and fat, plus whole-grain goodness. Use a mini muffin tin to help with keep your portions in check and steer clear of these traditional seasonal baked goods!


Food Item Calories Fat Sugars


Hot Seasonal Beverages


Sometimes there is nothing more enjoyable than sipping a hot drink on a crisp fall day. Many coffee joints offer special seasonal beverages during the holidays. While plain coffee is low-cal, seasonal lattes and drinks contain a lot of sugar, and most boast a heavy dose of cream, too. A medium pumpkin spice latte with whole milk is 410 calories at Starbucks, and its competitors don’t do much better. As liquid calories do not aid in fullness or satiety, these calories probably are not worth it!


TRICK: Order a small beverage (if you must) and lighten the load by requesting fat free milk and holding any whipped topping. Freshly brewed chai tea can be a great alternative that is virtually calorie-free, but look out for blended drinks that are ready to serve; they often contain cream, syrups and lots of added sugar. Many coffeehouses use a sugar syrup as the base for their chai; ask that yours be made with real tea and no added sugar. Request hot water and a teabag of chai tea (black tea with spices) with some low-fat milk on the side. Watch out for these high-cal hot beverages!


Food Item Calories Fat


Caramel Apple Anything


Yes, it’s obvious. If you cover a healthy fruit with sugar, it becomes a less healthy choice. Simple caramel apples seem innocent, but they can pack 300 calories onto that little wooden stick. Pop extra sprinkles, candies or nuts onto the outside of the apple and it’ll amp the calorie level even further. It’s also good practice to avoid caramel apple desserts and baked goods from most restaurants. Most don’t even contain a single serving of fruit and more than their fair share of calories and fat (see chart below).

TRICK: Enjoy your apples by cutting them into wedges and dipping them into low fat caramel dip, fat free vanilla yogurt or peanut butter. The following high-cal treats are far from healthy.


Food Item Calories Fat


Chocolate Fun Size Candies


At an average of about 100 calories a pop, these popular fun-size treats can really add up! Sure they’re smaller than a full size bar and offer built-in portion control, but how often do you stop after just one? It’s far too easy to eat four of five “little” candies, thinking you’re not doing much damage, but that can easily add up to 400 or 500 calories in a matter of minutes. The bars that hide the most calories are those that contain peanut butter, coconut, chocolate, caramel, and nuts.


TRICK: Start reading fun-size labels before throwing out the package so that you’re not eating blindly; these calories do count. Figure out the best choice for you and stick with that particular treat. Fun-size peppermint patties and Twizzlers have about half of the calories of the average chocolate bar but keep in mind these can still add up! Here are 11 fun-size treats that all contain 100 calories or fewer.

Please remember to think before you bite!!


It may look “healthful”  because apple or pumpkin is in the name but monitor your intake of these tiny-size treats. It  easily adds up to BIG numbers of calories. Think about what these seasonal treats are doing for your body and put your label reading skills to work and stay in control of your choices.

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Comments on 4 Halloween Treats You Must Avoid!!! »

October 30, 2009

Judy Monahan @ 8:28 am

Hi Sam, It is so amazing how many calories, fats and sugars are in the smallest things! After attending your nutrition seminar, I started noticing how much sugar is every thing including bread and protein bars. I am now making a conscious effort to eliminate as much sugar as possible. Even things like carrots and corn, which normally I would think are healthy enough, I learned from your seminar contain sugar. As a result, I don’t crave sweets anymore and I’ve always had a huge sweet tooth. It’s really true that sugar makes you crave sugar! I love my new way of eating. Thanks to you and Wilson, I feel so much better mentally and physically and in only 7 weeks! Keep up the good work and your little “pumpkin” is so adorable. : ) Judy Monahan

Dr. Saman @ 8:41 am

Hi Judy,
Thank you so much for making my day. I am so glad to see that you are doing good with our program.
Keep up the good work. I can’t wait to see the final results.

TeAuna Vigil @ 9:18 am

Hi Sam,

I worked for Starbucks for 2 years and I always loved this time of year. I loved the pumpkin scones and ate one everyday. I never knew even thought to look at the lable and see what I was really eating. Thanks to Fitness Concepts, my trainer and your blogs I see things differently now. Thank you so much.

Happy Halloween! TeAuna Vigil

Dr. Saman @ 9:33 am

You are very welcome TeAuna. We appreciate your friendship.

Claudia Alba @ 1:39 pm

Thanks for all the valuable information you posted on your blog today. I think deep down we all know the sugar value of things but choose to ignore it. Funny thing is, all that sugar we ingest doesn’t ignore us when it starts showing a little bit more here, and a little bit more there, right? It’s good to be reminded though before we start just going to town and going crazy this holiday season. I look forward to the next few weeks, I can’t wait to see the transformation unfold!

Hope your Halloween is fun and safe amongst the ones you love!

Claudia Alba

Dr. Saman @ 6:31 pm

Thank you Claudia. I can’t wait to see your transformation as well. I am here to help you all the way.

Jeff Gray @ 4:24 pm

Thanks for the piece, Sam!

Guys, this is GOOD information. Sam can confirm for you that I am extremely vigilant about my diet on a week-to-week basis. When I go to a Halloween party, I may indulge in a very small portion of maybe one or two of the above treats. But, you won’t see me binge, and it is likely that the knife will be my best friend, and I will do a 1/2 or 1/4-sized portion. But, the point is, my actions on a daily basis earned it! I am fully aware of the potential dangers of these burdensome and empty calories. A treat is a treat, that’s it. Treats are earned, and only enjoyed in proper moderation. If you haven’t earned it through days of solid commitment, don’t do it. Put the treat down, and walk away from the table. -Jeff

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