How much exercise does it take to burn off these foods?
“I’ll just eat one bite.”
“This time won’t hurt me.”
“What’s one little indulgence?”
Can you hear these words in your head as you reach for the food you love? While enjoying small servings of sweets and high-calorie foods and drinks every once in a while isn’t a big deal, it’s those small servings every day or every meal that can quickly add up to extra pounds.
Sometimes it’s hard to estimate what kind of damage those calories are doing to your waistline. Food labels list the number of calories per serving, but what does that number really mean? If you knew how long you’d have to run to burn off that cookie, you may think twice before indulging.
Here are a few examples of how long or hard you’ll have to work to burn off certain foods. And yes, it may take more exercise than you think. Note: Numbers are based on a 200-pound person.
No matter how you slice it, weight loss comes down to the simple formula of calories in, calories out.
Who doesn’t enjoy a slice or two or three of pizza? Thick, chewy crust covered with tangy red sauce, melted cheese, savory meats, and maybe a couple veggies. Pizza is one of those foods that’s hard to escape. It’s served at every birthday party, sporting event, and family fun night, but is it really worth it? One slice of your typical cheese, regular crust pizza contains around 200 calories. Add meats to that and the calorie count quickly goes up. Plus, who eats just one slice?
To burn off two slices of pepperoni pizza, plan to run at a fast pace for 30 minutes, ride your bike for an hour, or rake the lawn for two and a half hours.
The sweet, bubbly stuff goes so well with your pizza, pasta, or burger, you
simply can’t resist. One 12-ounce can of soda contains an average of 150 calories. Order a large drink or get multiple refills and the calorie count quickly doubles and triples. You may want to order a water after realizing how long you’ll have to workout to burn off that one serving of soda.
Plan to swim at a moderate pace for 15 minutes, jog for 10 minutes, or walk at a brisk pace for 20 minutes.
Coffee and donuts—what could be more delicious? There aren’t many things harder to resist than a box of donuts sitting in the break room at work. You don’t know who left them there, but they’re just waiting for you. One little sweet treat won’t hurt, right? You’ll just work out a couple minutes longer when you head to the gym.
Unfortunately, it’ll be longer than a couple extra minutes. A single glazed donut contains 200 or more calories, and if it’s iced or cream-filled, you just ate even more calories.
To burn off that base-level 200-calorie donut indulgence, you’ll need to walk at a moderate pace for 40 minutes, do yoga or Zumba for 45 minutes, or shovel snow for 20 minutes.
One large order of French fries at the drive-thru will run your calorie count up by 500. They may go well with your burger and soda and will satisfy your craving for something salty and delicious, but will leave you feeling guilty and sluggish all afternoon.
And in case you haven’t noticed, 500 calories aren’t easy to burn off. Expect a long day at the gym. It’ll take nearly 50 minutes of moderate-intensity rowing, an hour and a half of walking at a brisk pace, or 40 minutes of martial arts to burn off that single serving of fries.