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Health and Fitness News

Burning the Cookie

A quick look at how much exercise it takes to burn off your favorite foods.

Calories are a unit of energy found in foods and drinks. Unused calories get turned into fat cells in your body. You know what this means. Eat more calories than your body uses for energy, and you gain weight. Sometimes, you gain weight fast!

Exercise is one way to counteract the excessive calories you consume. Because the more you exercise, the more calories you burn. But if you want to lose a single pound, you’ve got to scortch 3,500 calories. While it is possible to work off that many calories, it’s a lot easier to obtain and maintain a healthy weight by cutting the number of calories you consume.

As you make food and beverage choices, consider how many calories they contain and how much exercise it would take to burn those calories. Most likely, keeping this mindset will help you make healthier diet choices and lose weight much faster.

In case you’re wondering just how much exercise you’d have to do to burn off the excess, keep reading. Do note that the numbers are estimates. The more you weigh or the more intensely you exercise, the faster you’ll burn calories.

First Things First

When you splurge and eat a donut for breakfast, a 150-pound person will have to walk for nearly an hour, do yoga for an hour, or swim for 35 minutes straight to burn the 350-calorie treat. To burn off a slice of bacon, plan to do 43 push-ups or 215 sit-ups. Then hit the pool and swim laps for 40 minutes to burn off those two pancakes you topped with 2 tablespoons of syrup. (Add some more time if you used more than 2 tablespoons—which you did.) You may enjoy that Grande Starbucks Caramel Frappucino, but it’ll take 9,220 steps to burn it off!

The Middle Meal

Stopping by your favorite fast food place is a luxury most waistlines can’t afford. Especially considering a Big Mac contains 490 calories. To burn that many calories, you’ll need to run—not walk—for 45 minutes. Add a large fly to that lunch and you’ll need to run for another hour. Pile on a large soda, and add 15 minutes of running. That’s two hours of running, just to burn off lunch!

Not feeling like a burger? Two slices of pizza cost you 520 calories and will take an hour of swimming to burn off. You’ll need to walk for 49 minutes to burn off a bag of chips. And then add another 34 minutes to burn off a large cookie.

The Grand Finale

To burn off an 8-ounce prime rib, you’ll need to run for an hour. But steak isn’t the only thing that’ll push you to your limit. Ride your stationary bike for over an hour to burn off a fried chicken breast. A large serving of chicken alfredo can run you more than 1,500 calories, which equates to 186 minutes of jogging, 451 minutes of walking, or swimmin for 135 minutes. For a plate full of chicken teriyaki and fried rice, you’ll need to jog for over an hour, walk for three hours, or swim for nearly an hour. And that 16-ounce sweet tea seemed innocent enough, but you’re going to have to walk for half an hour to make up for it.

Don’t Forget the Snacks

Trail mix might give you energy, but one cup could contain as many as 680 calories, which takes 189 minutes of walking, 78 minutes of jogging, or 57 minutes of swimming to burn off. A cup of granola cereal can be healthy, but if full of extra stuff, it may cost you up to 597 calories. Be prepared to walk 166 minutes, jog 69 minutes, or swim for 50 to burn it off.