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September 30, 2015
How much exercise do you need to burn off those holiday calories?
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The weather is turning cooler and crisp every day since the start of fall. It is time to start bringing out our favorite sweaters, scarves, boots and mittens for the season. While it is great to enjoy all that is fall, it is important to still stay healthy (after all, you need skinny jeans to rock with your tall boots or that form-fitting jacket to layer up, right?)

Here are some of the worst offenders for holiday treats when it comes to reward center eating (think sugar, fat, salt) and drinking. Listed alongside these items is how much exercise you would have to do to burn those calories off. Warning: some of the numbers are alarming!

Before we begin, a recap on some dietary recommendations:

  • No more than ~100 calories’ worth of sugar per day for women and ~150 for men
  • ~35 grams fat per day for women following a 1200 calorie meal plan, and ~45 grams per day for men following a 1500 calorie meal plan 
  • Someone in maintenance and eating about 1500 calories per day would have only 150 calories to spend on ‘discretionary foods’ if following our recommended “90/10” guideline for healthy eating (10% of 1500 = 150)

Some of the most popular offenders:

1.    Tall Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks has 39 grams of sugar
You would have to walk 35 minutes at a brisk 3.5 mph pace to burn the equivalent of those sugar calories

2.    Pumpkin Spice Shortcake from PCC has 34 grams of fat
You would have to bicycle 45 minutes at a 10-12 mph pace to burn the equivalent of those fat calories

3.    16 oz. of Blue Moon’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale (5.7% abv) has 240 calories
You would have to swim continuously for 25 minutes at a moderate pace to burn the equivalent of the drink’s total calories

So before jumping right into fall foods, think first about their impact on your sugar, fat and total calories. Then decide is it worth it? And plan accordingly!

Note: The above calorie estimates are based on an average 150 lb. person, increase or decrease calorie burn based on your weight!


Written by Erika Brown

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