Just How Long Will it Take You to Burn Off That Treat?

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1454751_674553815922325_624721686_n1-e1386623055271[1]There has been a lot of push lately for restaurants to include nutritional information, especially calories, on their menus. Some restaurants have been more willing than others to give this information out. And, while it’s great to have that information, most people still don’t really understand what that information is telling them.

With the holidays in full swing, and treats and junk food lurking around every corner, let’s take a look at how long it will take you to burn off those tasty treats*.

  • To burn 1 Hershey’s Kiss (22 calories) you’d have to go for a 5 minute walk. That’s not too bad, except when you think that most of us don’t stop at one Kiss. Hershey’s says that a single serving is 9 of them.
  • Two slices of bacon at 84 calories will take you 17 minutes to walk off. (OK, this one may be worth it because it’s bacon!)
  • A 5 ounce glass of wine comes in at 125 calories  and a 25 minute walk.
  • One of those single serving bags of potato chips is 150 calories and a 30 minute walk
  • One small McDonald’s fries comes in at 230 calories and a 47 minute walk
  • A slice of cheese pizza is 272 calories and a 56 minute walk. But remember, this is cheese only. If you like the works it’ll be a lot more!

So, what if our dinner consisted of a piece of bacon and cheese pizza (hey… it could happen), a glass of wine, and a full serving of Hershey’s kisses for desert? That meal (I know… it’s not a real meal that any of us would eat, but let’s just see where this goes) would be 829 calories and take us 2 hours and 50 minutes to walk off.

If restaurants put activity based caloric information on their menus, would you order less? A study done by Dr. Meena Shah and Ashlei James of Texas Christian University found that when people had a menu that told them how much work they would have to do to burn off their meal, they did indeed order less food compared to others who only had calorie information, or none at all.

While restaurants may not be lining up to put this information on their menus because it would likely mean they would sell less per person, perhaps there is a way we can use this information to our advantage. Make a list of the activities you like to do to burn calories and how long it takes you to burn 50, 100, 150, and 200 calories. Put this list up on your fridge and the next time you reach for a treat, take a look at what you’re going to have to do to burn off the calories.

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Here’s the list I’ll put up on my fridge (I’m a walker lately because of my back). Feel free to use it if you’re a walker too.

 

 

*Walk times are based on a 19 minute per mile pace which is considered brisk walking that people of all activity levels can do.

 

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Pamela Bruesehoff

Hi! I'm Pamela and I run Gym Free Fitness. Your one stop for real information. No bro science and no faux science. Just real healthy information.

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