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Scariest Candy: Tricks to the Treats

Some food just go straight to my BUTT! (Sorry, I know this picture is hideous and you will probably not be able to get this image out of your mind for a bit. But, like Larry the Cable guy says, Loooord, I apologiiiize) 🙂

Why can candy go straight to your backside? Because, unlike most food that actually has some nutrients in it, candy is nothing but useless empty calories that would love to hitch a ride on your favorite trouble spot – like your butt!

We are about to enter one Holiday after the other, and if you aren’t careful, you WILL pack on the pounds with the extra fluff calories “just because it’s a Holiday”. Halloween candy starts the vicious cycle of an endless flow of crap entering our homes – from candy to pumpkin pie. And we have 9 weeks of these crazy calorie-filled celebrations, ending with New Year’s Day, which is when we all seem to finally realize just how bad we blew it!

Be In Control

How bad is Halloween Candy? I mean, they are all just little bite size pieces so what’s a few pieces, right? WRONG!! There are 40-100 whopping calories in almost every bite size Halloween treat from Snicker Bar to Sweet Tarts – that’s an average of 70 calories a treat.

Tricks to Treats for Adults

RULES! We MUST have rules. If you are watching your weight, whether you like it or not, every calorie counts. If you really want chocolate, are you willing to shave the calories off your meal or drinks to “afford it”?  How many treats can you have without blowing your diet and allowing it to change your physique? The key is realizing you can’t just eat more if you want your body to remain the same. You have to make a trade off, and you must hold yourself accountable. Just because you don’t look up the calories doesn’t mean they aren’t there. They are there – and they will cost you a price (and I’m here to tell you what that cost is).

The average Jack-O-Lantern bucket holds about 250 pieces of candy, totaling approximately 9,000 calories and three pounds of sugar. (California Milk Processors Board)

Tricks to Treats for Kids

What are your Halloween candy rules for your kids? Do you just let them dive into the candy bowl anytime they want? Even if they are skin and bones – what is this teaching them? It’s saying there are no limitations – and that will change as they grow up. Teach them NOW how to make good choices. By limiting how many treats they can have, they learn to not just eat whatever they grab, but they learn to pick their favorites and make each bite count. This is a very practical lesson we all learn with life – money, food, purchases, etc. It is important they learn the same discipline with eating than you would teach at the toy store.

Just 5 bite size pieces of candy could be more calories than a 6-inch sub or a baked potato, chili and salad at Wendys! 

I know we don’t think of a few pieces of candy that way – but that’s the truth. Here are 5 tips for your family, and caloric information for popular Halloween treats.

5 Tips to for your Trick-or-Treater

halloween candy tips1.) Keep their tank full. Make sure your child aren’t hungry BEFORE it’s candy time. You both need REAL food, not JUNK food! It is super important to keep your family’s tank full of real fuel while you have sweet temptations in the house.

2.) Make treats TREATS. Each bite should be special. Let your kids know they can have a treat after dinner or after the complete a task. Tell them how many pieces they can have and let them choose which pieces they get to eat.

3.) Take the time to teach. Use the information below to reference calories and show them how many calories are in candy versus whole food. For example, 30 grapes are 60 calories, an entire small green apple is 77 calories, a banana is 90 calories, 6 cups of popcorn is 100 calories or an entire cucumber with vinegar, salt and pepper is 45 calories. Give your child options like “you can have 150 calories in treats. Which would you prefer: 4 pieces of candy or 1 piece of candy and a bag of 100 calorie popcorn. This is super helpful for the tweens to help them prepare for the real world and making healthy choices.

Family fitness4.) Talk about the price of food. We talk about how much items cost when shopping, it is just as important to teach your kids the cost of food. Let your children know how much work it takes to burn off what you eat. For example, it takes approximately 1 mile to walk off 100 calories. Although they may not need to worry about this right now, it’s great to show them that you have to worry about it, and that is is reality for many people trying to manage their weight. It takes 3,500 calories to gain 1LB of fat – that’s 1 1/2 pieces of candy each day for 30 days or 50 pieces of candy for the month. That’s equal to 35 miles  to erase, which would be an average of just under 9 extra miles a week.

5.) Make the candy go the distance. If you decide to keep the candy in the house, only keep a little candy actually out and keep the rest in the freezer so your family can have an occasional treat for weeks, instead of gorging yourselves for a few days. If your family has a weight issue, it’s just best to keep a few pieces and give the rest away.

Fun-Size Facts

The average kid can easily consume 10 – 20 bite sized pieces of candy. Let’s cut that down to only 5 pieces for this demonstration. Since all the calories below are for bite size pieces, we don’t realize how fast it adds up until you actually bring out the calculator.

1 Reese Peanut Butter Pumpkin Halloween Treat
1 Mini pack of Peanut M&Ms
1 Bite Size Snickers
1 Mini bag of Skittles
1 Mini Pack of Candy Corn

Bite-Size Chocolate Treats:

Top Candy Sales: Reese’s took the number one spot with sales of just under $510 million in the past year. M&M’s trailed behind as the runner up with sales of $500.82 million, and Snickers came in at number three with past year sales of $456.91 million. (24/7 Wall St.’s list of America’s top 10 chocolate treats.)

  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins (34 g) – 180 calories
  • Butterfinger Crisp Bar, Snack size (20 g) – 100 calories
  • M&Ms, peanut – 93 calories
  • Mr. Goodbar Snack size (17 g) – 90 calories
  • M&Ms, plain, Fun size (18 g) – 88 calories
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (snack size (17 g) – 88 calories
  • Baby Ruth Bar, Fun size (18 g each) – 85 calories
  • Butterfinger Bar, Fun size (18 g each) – 85 calories
  • Snickers, Fun Size (18g) – 80 calories
  • Almond Joy Snack size (15 g) – 80 calories
  • Heath Bar, Snack size (13 g) – 74 calories
  • Kit Kat, Fun size (14 g) – 73 calories
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars – Fun size (14 g) – 67 calories
  • Tootsie Roll – 50 calories
  • Raisenetts – 53 calories
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (miniature) – 44 calories
  • Hershey’s Miniature Bars (mixed) – average of 42 calories
  • Hershey Kisses – 26 calories
  • Mini Musketeers – 25 calories

Hard, Sweet, Tart, Chewy or Fruity Bites:

  • Skittles – Fun size (20 g) – 80 calories
  • Candy Corn – 70 calories
  • Mini Dots – 70 calories
  • Jolly Rancher Lolly Pops – 60 calories
  • Jucyfruits – 9 pieces – 60 calories and 16 g carb
  • Tootsie Pops – 60 calories
  • Lifesavers Gummies (2 rolls per ounce) – 52 calories
  • Blow Pop, Junior – 50 calories
  • Wonka Nerds – small box (13 g) – 50 calories
  • Chewy Sweat Tarts – 50 calories
  • Hot Tamales – 50 calories
  • Starburst, Fun size (2 pieces per stick) – 40 calories
  • Laffy Taffy, Chocolate, small bars (8 g each) – 32 calories
Get more candy cal facts at
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DAMAGE CONTROL: 7 Weight Loss Tips to Help You Bounce Back

How do you jump back on the right track, after a totally blowing your diet on Holiday weekends like Thanksgiving? Here are the steps we take at the Pfiester’s, to get us back in the groove.

Purge the crap. No, I’m not promoting bulimia. I’m saying get rid of the junk in your house. For example, Steve bought a pint of ice cream Friday weekend. Sunday night he said “my diet starts tomorrow. Do you want to know how serious I am?” And he proceeded to take the ice cream out of the fridge and toss it in the trash. It’s hard to eat clean when you are surrounded by junkfood. So, like Steve, if there is food in your kitchen you know is something that will tempt you, get rid of it. If you feel guilty for throwing food away, get over it. Keeping it doesn’t help solve hunger – and giving it to your friends or family is like passing along a disease. Do you really want to make someone else fat? Just get rid of it. No one needs that stuff.

Stock up. Once you purge all the crap, it’s time to replenish and do some healthy grocery shopping. Many times we eat poorly because we don’t have anything healthy handy. If you want to eat healthy, you have to shop healthy.

Prepare. After a weekend of feasting, I cooked up all our healthy food for the week. Grilled zucchini and squash, grilled fish, new potatoes, slow cooked chicken, and a whole roasted turkey is what’s on this week’s menu. Now that we’re stocked up, there’s no reason to go off plan.

Shrink the tummy. The first few days of getting back on track is all about portions. I eat several small meals and snacks, without ever filling all the way up. I also do a lot of watery, low-calorie density foods like soup, fruits, vegetables and smoothies to keep me full while reducing calories. In a matter of days, my stomach flattens back out and the smaller portions are perfect portions.

Burn it off. After falling off the wagon, I not only get back to my routine but I do double duty. I do 2 cardios a day to help boost my turn around. It helps erase my mistakes and gets my head back in the game.

Count calories. Even though I know what to eat, I always go back to tracking calories (I use the Lose It app) after going off my regular routine. It helps me stay focused, as well as get results quickly. Without calorie counting, my bounce back is normally slower and I’m not as strict. Accountability is key – and nailing the diet is essential to success.

Stick with it. To prevent going off my diet too soon, I stick with a plan and set goals for how long I will stick to my routine. Consistency is key, so I don’t let myself cheat until I’ve either fulfilled the time, or hit my goal (which is normally a goal weight).

Diet Tip of the Week: Calorie Density

Dr. Melina explains calorie density, and how eating the right foods can help you stay full so you can reach your goals. Subscribe to Designer Whey for more diet and nutrition tips with Dr. Melina.

Subscribe to my blog to get more diet and fitness tips to help you stay on track during the holidays!

So You Ate Like Crap, Get Over It

I’ve Fallen, and I Can’t Get Up

When I talk about fitness and dieting, I often refer to falling and getting back up again. Maybe it’s because I’m a clutz and relate to falling, or maybe it’s just because falling is a part of life.

We’re human and it’s inevitable that we will mess up – and there is no truer example than with diet and fitness. However, I don’t think it’s all about just preventing the failure, I think the most important action is what we do after we fail.

Damage Control

I think it’s healthy to allow ourselves to cheat occasionally. It’s almost like planning a controlled fall. Stunt men do it all the time. They learn how to fall without getting hurt. We all know eating certain foods aren’t healthy, but we “allow” ourselves to have them. But, if we don’t plan it carefully, and practice safety measures, we can find ourselves in big trouble quick.

While some people planned their Thanksgiving cheat meals out carefully, there are others that just threw out all the rules, and dove face first into every dish that came their way. Whether we convinced ourselves that  “we deserved it” or acted like we really didn’t care, eventually our bad choices catch up to us. The feeling of disappointment and guilt might hit us as soon as we finish the last bite, or it might take days of repetitive bad behavior to finally get us to the point of being sick of how those bad choices make us look and feel. However long it takes us to reach that point, when we finally get to that point, it’s time for damage control.

It’s time for you (and the scale) to face the facts.

Some people are quick to jump back on the scale and boldy face reality. One thing I can guarantee is this: You WILL eventually deal with all this. You can deal with it now or later – the choice is yours.

3 Post Holiday Scenarios: Which One Will You Choose?

1. Stay Knocked Down. This is what most people do after a Holiday – especially when there is another excuse (like another Holiday) right around the corner. They decide it’s going to be impossible to fight, too hard to manage, not enough time, no fun, or not worth the effort. So, they just give up and pretend they can continue through the Holidays without repercussions. The problem with this is, if you do this often enough, it becomes a pattern. Weight continues to creep up on you – and before you know it, you are in way over your head, and you may be tempted to quit for good.

2. Get Back Up – slowly. This person waits for the ref to count all the way to 9 before they get back up again. They are procrastinator, slow learners and naturally lazy (like me – yes ME!). Sometimes it takes a friend (or dog!) to drag them back to the gym. But, most of the time, this person will try everything under the sun before doing what they know they need to do. They’ll cut everything out they don’t mind forfeiting and try making “their way” work by finagling diets and fitness around their lifestyle. Then they will complain when they fail.  They will justify their actions, make a million excuses, and, finally, at the very last minute (when they just can’t take it any longer), they will stand back up and get back to what they know works.

3. Bounce Back Fast – The person who is fast to recover and quickly gets back on their feet, accepts what has to be done and doesn’t waste any valuable time. They get right back on their diet, and get right back in the gym – as fast as they possibly can. They may dread it, they may not want to do it, but they do it anyway because they’ve either learned the hard way or they hate feeling fat and unhealthy more than they hate the work it takes to stay fit. They could easily wallow in their sorrows and beat themselves up while their down, but they don’t. The get over it. They move on. They get back up on their own two feet – and fight it back out.

So, you ate like crap  – get over it, it’s time to get back up!

Subscribe to my blog to get Bounce Back Tips tomorrow, and learn how to get your home and body back in shape FAST! 

Merry Fatness: We All Fall Down

Eating poorly over the Holidays is not the end of the world. Neither is skipping your workout, but continuing to eat poorly and skip your workout for a long period of time is what can totally mess you up. That’s why the Holidays are dangerous. As soon as we START eating crappy we KEEP eating crappy. Ironically, the crappier we eat the more workouts we skip, and vice versa. How backwards is THAAT?!

We All Fall Down
We all skip our workouts and blow our diets – BUT what makes one person successful and another person appear to be a failure is how long it takes you to bounce back after falling off track. Will you jump right back into your routine today or will it take you WEEKS to recover, and get back to eating clean and working out on a regular basis? The key to success is NOT falling, it’s GETTING BACK UP – FAST!

The Art of Falling
You’ve probably heard of a “controlled fall”, well that totally applies to fitness too. If you are Read the rest of this entry

Do the Holidays have your Body in Reverse, Park or Drive?

So, you’re already thinking about what you are going to do in 2012 to get fit. You may have even asked for a new fitness toy for Christmas to help you reach your New Year goals – but what are you doing now?

Many people are gobbling up more Christmas treats than turkey and trading workouts for shopping this time of year, sabotaging your New Year’s goals already. If you treat your goal as a destination, you’ll realize how this makes no sense.  Read the rest of this entry

Battle of the Holiday Bulge


It’s here. It’s now officially the season for feasting – turkey, ham, stuffing, gravy, biscuits, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, every flavor pie, every kind of cookies, cake, ginger bread, rum balls, fudge, candy canes, chocolate covered pretzels, poppycock, apple cider, hot chocolate, hot toddies and egg nog.  There is no other time in the entire year that we are exposed to such a crazy amount of calories, so hang on to your healthy britches because it’s going to be a long 2 months!!

If you’ve been working on transforming your body, or you already have gone through a major transformation, you maybe freaking out a little in anticipation of the Holidays. If you are nervous about it that’s a good thing. This means you can prepare for it.

In many ways, this may be a serious battle for you – a battle you must fight and a battle you can WIN!

10 tips to Winning the Battle of the Holiday Bulge:

1. Prepare for battle. You don’t enter battle without a plan. Is your plan to maintain your weight, lose more weight, get stronger or eat healthier? What is your specific goal this Holiday season?

2. Build your army. Since you are not alone, join forces with other allies in the mission to stay thin. Discuss your plan of action and promise to support one another. They need you just as much as you need them.

3. Train for battle. If you anticipate eating more calories over the Holidays, then start BURNING more calories NOW. Schedule more cardio through the week and boost your intensity by joining a strict training regimen (like our BCx Boot Camp program or a personal training program). The harder you train, the stronger you will be when facing your enemy (food).

4. Learn your enemy. When someone goes to war, they study their opponent. With food, it is crucial you know everything about it. Learn how many calories are in each item so you know how many “punches” you can take without being knocked out of the game. Knowledge is power.

5. Know your weaknesses. It would be foolish to enter battle without knowing your own weaknesses. If an army has a weak spot, they don’t just ignore it and hope the enemy doesn’t find it. No! They guard it heavily.

6. Fuel for battle. Do you think a soldier goes to battle hungry? Do you think a MMA fighter steps in the cage malnourished and starving? No way! It is crucial your body is properly fueled for battle – especially when your enemy is food. Your best defense is a content stomach so never go to a dinner or party running on empty.

7. Follow orders. You can’t expect your plan of attack to work if you don’t follow the plan. With every temptation you face, instead of focusing on what NOT to do, focus on the victory if you do what must be done.

8. Know your base camp. If you mess up or get lost, the  key is to always have that go-to position to regain strength. For soldiers it may be a place everyone agrees to meet back up if they get hurt or split up. For MMA fighters, the goal would be to get back to their strongest fighting position, like getting back on the ground for a wrestler or getting back on your feet for strikers. For many of you, base camp is the gym. For others, it’s taking a 5 mile run. No matter what happens, determine your safe place you can always run to.

9. Persevere. Battles are not won overnight. They require patience and perseverance. If you get knocked down, you must get back up again. If you are defeated, you must wake up the next day ready to fight and reclaim your victory. No matter what happens – as long as you are still fighting, and as long as you don’t waive the white flag, YOU CAN WIN!

10. Don’t underestimate your enemy. You may be thinking I’m over-thinking this whole Holiday thing, but I know from experience what the Holidays can do to someone. Every year I see the battle scars of hundreds of people, filled with regret, flooding the gym. So why not be prepared for the worst? A good army does not prepare for ease. They do not under estimate their enemy no matter how great or small. A smart leader will prepare for all the worst-case scenarios so they are prepared to handle what ever comes their way.

It’s the Battle of the Holiday Bulge. THIS. MEANS. WAR!

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