Do you know how much exercise that piece of candy you’re about to sneak from your kid’s bag is going to cost you?

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If you’re like me, one of the best things about having kids is stealing their Halloween candy after they go to bed. Or right in front of their face as what I like to call “the mommy tax.” Whichever.

In any case, “checking” the candy in my house means tasting said candy. Peanut M&Ms are mine. No questions asked. Fork those delicious bastards over right now. Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups – yeah, I’m probably going to steal half of them while you’re at school. Take that punks. Should have done the dishes last night!

Apparently though, my candy kleptomania is bound to make my butt jiggle and my thighs dimple. That is, unless I follow these ridiculous exercise conversions.

Fitness expert Carrie Burrows posted a chart on her website illustrating what type and duration of an exercise is needed to burn off those spooky candy calories. Common trick-or-treat scores are taped to the side of a hand drawn chart next to a description of how many calories that candy contains and what type of physical hell is needed to burn them.

My little peanut butter cup fetish – yeah, that’ll cost me ten minutes of spinning. Have you ever been to a spinning class? It’s brutal.

Want to enjoy a Baby Ruth? Go for it, but be prepared to spend the next bit of time doing 200 jumping jacks.

How about one fun size Crunch bar? Great! Now do 150 crunches. One of those little bags of Skittles can’t be too bad, right? Drop and give me 100!

It sounds extreme to tabulate Halloween indulgence and tie it to exercise in such a black and white sort of way. What ever happened to indulging with discretion? I don’t run a marathon after Thanksgiving just to make sure the three pounds of yams, mashed potatoes and apple pie I ate don’t turn into five pounds of holiday flubber. Winter clothes are baggy for a reason people.

But alas, it’s all over the internet. It’s called, “You ate it? Negate it!” Just the use of punctuation here makes me feel awkwardly judged for that bag of peanut M&Ms I just pilfered from the basket of candy meant for tomorrow’s trick-or-treaters. Oops.

A blog on the Shape Magazine website highlights the same thing. The biggest candy fat culprit out there is candy corn. Those sugary, delicious little guys are addicting as hell. I’ll think twice about dipping my hand in the candy jar now though – just one handful would take 30-minutes of walking to get rid of. So too would 3 mini York Peppermint Patties, 2 snack-sized strawberry Twizzlers or 3 Twix minis. Shape also lists 6 rolls of Smarites, but who the hell actually eats those? If you hand them out on Halloween, that’s why your house gets egged.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Fit Nation Magazine takes another approach to quantifying our Halloween candy intake. Want to enjoy a full-size Hershey bar? No problem, just spend an hour trick-or-treating with your kid. Eight starbursts sound like a good idea? Decorate your house for an hour. And, this one is my personal favorite, one fun-size Three Musketeers can be undone by spending one hour baking a pumpkin pie. Fit Nation does not specify how to then get rid of the pumpkin pie calories.

So, who’s ready to steal their kid’s candy?

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email