Nutrition & Weight Loss

Are you always looking for a candy fix?

Are you always looking for a candy fix?

What endurance athlete hasn’t felt the urge to indulge in sweet treats?

Growing up you could say we had our fair share of candy at my house. My mom would buy an insane amount of fruit at the produce store for our large family. With that awesome fresh fruit supply she would bring home an oversized lunch bag or two of mixed candy. My 8 siblings and myself would take off for the candy, hoarding whatever we could. I’m not sure that big bag of candy lasted much more than a half hour at our house.

When there wasn’t enough candy around the house we’d walk to a local candy store to spend babysitting money on a bag full of candy. We’d devour favorites like Bit-O-Honey, Swedish Fish, Mary Jane’s, French Chew, Good and Plenty, Sugar Daddy, and Sour Patch Kids. Even my diabetic grandpa would always send us home with a giant bag of candy like Butterfinger after a visit.  Let’s face it, if sugar was on the list of ingredients it was gone in no time.

Over time I’ve seriously weaned my excessive candy eating habits. As I get older I find the gluttonous feeling that comes with large amounts of sugar a little sickening. This doesn’t mean I don’t like to enjoy a good piece of candy, but there are definitely changes that needed to be made in order to control my candy eating habits.

Managing hard to quell candy cravings:

* Avoid buying large bags or amounts of candy.

* Avoid finishing with a sweet taste in your mouth. Brush your teeth, chew a piece of gum or a mint, or eat the sweet treat in the middle of a meal or snack.

* Limit having a constant supply of candy in the house.

* Choose sweet treats you enjoy, but limit the treats you have a hard time controlling.

* Never keep a bowl of candy at your desk or on the kitchen table. Fill the bowl with fresh fruit instead.

* If you do have candy on hand, such as after a holiday or party, put the candy high on the shelf or in the back of the freezer. Try not to keep it at eye level.

* Don’t be afraid to throw it away! This is especially true after a massive candy eating holiday like Valentines’ Day or Halloween.

* Buy the single piece of candy available at checkout, not the entire bar. This way you can eat one bite size piece of a candy bar without the temptation to eat the whole bar.

*** A few pieces of candy can fit into a healthy diet. Just be sure candy and other sweet treats don’t dominate any snack or meal, replacing quality nutrition.

Here are a few of my favorite candy treats . I’m satisfied with their sweet, natural flavors and feel less inclined to overindulge on such options:

Ginger Chews – 40 Calories per 2 Pieces

Ingredients: cane sugar, ginger, tapioca starch.

Newman’s Own Dark Chocolate – 59 calories per block

Ingredients: organic chocolate liquor, organic evaporated cane juice, organic cocoa butter, organic soy lecithin [an emulsifier], organic vanilla

Queen Bee Honey Candies – 30 Calories per piece.

Ingredients: honey, cream, butter, grade A fancy pecans, non-fat dry milk, whey, pure vanilla, lecithin, algin and agar.

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This post was written by:

- who has written 10 posts on Trail Running Club.

Jackie Dikos is a Registered Dietitian with board certification as a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. As the owner of the nutrition consulting business, Nutrition Success, Jackie counsels both athletes and non-athletes alike. She speaks on nutrition, health, wellness, and exercise in a variety of settings including clubs, expos, conferences, and the corporate environment. She maintains a blog that is dedicated to the promotion of health, wellness, and the education of endurance athletes at She is a contributor to Running Times Magazine with her monthly column “Fueling the Runner.” She has also been cited as a source in other popular magazines including Runner’s World, Women’s Running, and Shape.

In addition to her professional background Jackie is an accomplished runner. She competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Team Trials in the marathon. She earned her 2012 Olympic Trials qualification as the winner of the 2010 Monumental Marathon with a personal best of 2:45:25. Jackie doesn’t limit her athletic endeavors to simply running. She can include summiting Mt. Rainier to her list of accomplishments. Although she is a member of PowerBar Team Elite, Personal Best Training, and the Athletic Annex Running Club, her favorite training partners are her two little boys.

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