Burn Off that Cheeseburger!
- 3 Minutes Read
- Apr 30, 2013
Would you order lower calorie food if the menu told you how many minutes of walking you'd need to burn that food off? A new study suggests that approach works.
It's a safe bet that if you're using MyNetDiary, you're counting calories. But what if there was a different way to think about the energy value of food. What if you counted minutes of exercise per food instead? A clever new study from Texas Christian University suggests that minutes of exercise may be more informative.
Here's how this study went:
In fact, minutes of walking is really just another way to say “calories”, since exercise is fueled by calories. But now those calories are put in a real world context. And apparently it got the attention of the research subjects. While people ordering from the regular and calorie count menus chose roughly the same amounts of food and calories, the people with the MBWTBOF menus ordered lower calorie meals.
Brisk walking is in the 3+ mph range. The faster you walk, the more calories the activity will burn per minute. Here's a look at how many minutes of an activity a 150 lb person would need to burn off various popular food items
|Food||Walking(3 mph)||Jogging (10 min mile)||Bike ride Moderate effort|
|McDonald's Double Quarter Pounder with cheese||180 min||64 min||90 min|
|Starbuck's Grande Mocha Latte||80 min||30 min||40 min|
|8 oz bag potato chips||295 min||105 min||150 min|
|14” Pepperoni Pizza — 2 slices||155 min||55 min||80 min|
|1 cup (1/2 pint) Ben & Jerry's chocolate ice cream||120 min||43 min||61 min|
|1 cup raw broccoli||4 min||1 min||2 min|
Are you more inspired to avoid eating that handy 8 oz bag of potato chips because it will take you 5 hours to burn off? Or because the label says 1230 calories? Actually, the label probably does not say 1230 calories. It will say “one serving (1 oz): 154 calories”. But will you just eat 1/8th of that bag?
In fact, using a MBWTBOF measure on a food label has some problems, aside from the very awkward name. First, the value is not absolute. It will vary according to age, weight, gender, fitness level and your definition of “brisk” walking. Second, it doesn't account for basal metabolism, which users of MyNetDiary know is their individual basic daily calorie requirement. Exercise calories are in addition to that requirement. So thinking about a food as something you have to burn up only with exercise is wrong. Some of those calories would be used for basal metabolism. And again, since all of this varies according to age, gender, fitness, health status, height and weight, it would be impossible to put all this on a food label.
Which takes us back to calories. The amount of calories in a food is an absolute number. If you understand your own calorie requirement, you can make use of that information, whether you find it on a food label or a menu. And whether your exercise of choice is brisk walking or stationary cycling or dancing or swimming.
Here are 10 of the top calorie burning activities:
But you don't have to take on any of these demanding activities. A brisk walk is just fine for health, fitness and burning off some of that cheeseburger.Dining Out->Portion Size & Calories Exercise->Aerobic & Cardio