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This Is Your Body On A Candy Binge

Before you go on that chocolate bender, hear what nutritionists have to say.

Working out provides a host of body benefits: cardiovascular fitness, muscle tone, and—luckily for the well-conditioned—wiggle room for a sweet tooth.

“For a fit body, a candy bar will be pretty uneventful. Bits of sugar and fat will be processed, broken down, and shuttled off to cells. No biggie. The person will go and eat a nutritious dinner and move on,” says Ryan Andrews, R.D., a fitness and nutrition coach with Precision Nutrition.

The problem, then, isn’t one sweet—it’s the snowball effect of handful after handful. “It’s hard to give an exact number and say, ‘once you’ve hit this threshold, you’re officially overdoing it,’” says Andrews. But in general, he estimates 50+ grams of sugar and 50+ grams of fat in one concentrated, candy-filled dose is too much—for even an athletic body. (Two classic candy bars like Butterfingers or Milky Ways would put you over that sugar figure and almost halfway there in fat.)

“When we over-consume food beyond our needs, some negative things can start to happen,” Andrews says. “When that food is highly processed, like Halloween candy, it might be even more problematic.” Below, nutrition experts explain the physiological fallout of going hog-wild.