Calories are plastered everywhere these days – you can’t even have a guilt-free mocha Frappuccino from Starbucks because right there at the side it tells you exactly how many calories you’ll be consuming based on the size of drink you opt for. I suppose it’s useful information to help you understand where you are on your daily intake of calories (2500 for men and 2000 for women) but it does definitely impose that feeling of ‘should I really be having this?’ Yes, it may save you a few pounds for both wallet and weight but sometimes we just like to indulge and treat ourselves. Everything in moderation…! If we did think too hard about calories though then we’d likely be exercising excessively daily, and who has time for that!?
It got me thinking though, I really do love my food and there are a few treats which I know aren’t particularly great for me, but of course, I still indulge in them anyway. Based on the calories described on their packaging, I asked myself… what exactly would I need to do to burn off these calories? I did a little bit of digging, got my calculator out and found some interesting results.
Please note, this isn’t an exhaustive list and the calculations are based on my own weight (59kg/130 lbs/9.3 stone) – the results would therefore vary depending on your personal weight – generally, the heavier you are, the more calories you burn and vice versa. The exercises listed are also only examples – there are various other workouts you could do to burn these calories, but these give you a good starting point.
1.Twister, Wall’s – 1 ice lolly/80g
Exercise to burn the calories: Jumping jacks (vigorous) for 5 mins, sit ups (vigorous) for 3 mins, lift weights (vigorous) for 2 mins
(photo via flickr)
2. Sensation crisps, Thai sweet chilli flavoured – small bag/40g
Exercise to burn the calories: Jog for 30 minutes
3. Kinder Bueno – 2 bars
Exercise to burn the calories: Aerobics (high impact) for 35 mins
4. Medium bag of salt popcorn– from Cineworld cinemas, to be very precise
Exercise to burn the calories: Spinning (vigorous) for 50 minutes
5. Pepperoni pizza, Domino’s – medium/8 slices
Calories: 269 per slice – 2,152 total
Exercise to burn the calories: Run (8mph) for 2 hours 45 mins or run at 7mph for 3 hours 10 minutes
(photo via wikimedia)
Domino’s pizza definitely reveals the scariest truth from that list – eating one whole pizza from there is more than your entire daily allowance for a woman 🙁 I officially regret giving them my phone number and those text messages I receive will haunt me forever – ‘any size pizza for £9.99, add a side for delivery’ – no, just no!!
You shouldn’t get too worked up about calories though. Sure, there are loads of terrible fatty foods out there but they won’t harm you significantly if you only indulge in them from time to time. Just listen to your body – eat when you’re hungry, get the nutrients you need and engage in some weekly exercise. Besides, we are constantly burning calories just by being alive. Thinking, sleeping, eating, shopping – you name it. Think about the VERY minimum that you do in a day. Even if you’re having a complete couch potato day, you’ll still be burning calories. For example, here’s a list of a few of things that most people might do on a daily basis (again this is a rough guide and is based on my current weight):
- Cleaning your teeth (2x a day, 2 mins each)
Calories burned: 10
- Showering (10 mins)
Calories burned: 42
- Walking up stairs (3 minutes)
Calories burned: 24
- Walking 3mph (40 mins)
Calories burned: 172
- Sleeping (8 hours)
Calories burned: 437
That’s 685 calories burned from just doing the minimal day-to-day stuff. That number will only increase the more active you are.
And when it comes to losing weight – sure, it’s not always easy but it’s not science either, it’s maths. For example, based on my weight, if I kept the exact same diet and added on a certain activity, e.g. one extra hour of walking each day, over 6 months I will have lost 15.8lbs/1.13 stone/7.17kg. And if I continued this for one year then I will have lost 2.26 stone. This is how I worked it out:
- 304 calories (1 hours walk per day) x 7 = 2,128 calories burned a week
- 26 weeks (6 months) x 2,128 calories = 55,328 calories burned over 6 months
- 55,328 / 3,500 (amount of calories you have to burn to lose 1lb of weight) = 15.8lbs/1.13 stone/7.17kg lost in 6 months
Voila! The hardest part though is not eating more than you usually do. You might want to eat more because you feel like you’ve earned it but that will only slow you down and you’ll be less likely to see results. There are obviously plenty of other ways to lose weight – if you’re not patient and want to lose weight slightly faster, then reducing your calorie intake whilst exercising more will definitely help you do this.