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How much exercise is necessary to burn off those irresistible holiday treats?

November 30th, 2009

It is holiday time and the average holiday weight gain is claimed to be 5 pounds or more between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

Is there anything that can be done to prevent holiday weight gain?

 

The most important thing to avoid holiday weight gain is educating yourself. You must know the impact of the foods you are eating. It is very dangerous to haphazardly eat anything in front of you and if you do, you should expect to gain weight. On the other hand, if you go into the holiday season armed with the knowledge of how many calories are in some of the most popular holiday foods as well as how long it will take to burn off those calories you can work to avoid gaining weight over the winter holidays.

 

Below are some of the most popular holiday foods and drinks. I have also provided the approximate calorie count for each food and how long it will take the average person to burn the holiday meal calories off. This is the information you need to keep your weight gain at a minimum this holiday season. You can use this information to deter you from eating these foods or you can counter act what you eat by exercising.

Let’s take a look at some of these foods and the corresponding exercise time to burn them off.

It’s important to note that working out on an elliptical machine with moderate intensity averages 500 calories per hour or 8.33 calories per minute. A very brisk walk on a treadmill averages 280 calories per hour or 4.66 calories per minute.

  1. A slice of pie from a pie cut into eight slices carries 350-600 calories. Exercise time to burn off is 45 minutes to 75 minutes on elliptical machine or 75 minutes to 120 min on a treadmill. <!–[endif]–>
  2. A 4 oz glass of wine carries 160 – 200 calories. Exercise time to burn off is 19 minutes to 24 minutes on elliptical machine or 34 minutes to 43 minutes on treadmill. <!–[endif]–>
  3. Stuffing carries 180-260 calories per cup. Exercise time to burn off is 21 minutes to 31 minutes on elliptical machine or 38 minutes to 56 minutes on treadmill.
  4. 5  ounces of Lasagna (size of a deck of cards maybe a little bigger) carries 400 calories. Exercise time to burn off is 48 minutes on elliptical machine or 85 minutes on a treadmill.
  5. Pepperoni and cheese carries 230 calories per ounce. Exercise time to burn off is 31 minutes on elliptical machine or 56 minutes on treadmill.
  6. 1/4 cup of nuts carries 200 calories. Exercise time to burn off is 24 minutes on elliptical machine or 43 minutes on treadmill.
  7. ½ cup of eggnog caries 200 calories. Exercise time to burn off is 24 minutes on elliptical machine or 43 minutes on treadmill.
  8. One average size homemade cookie carries about 200 calories. Exercise time to burn off is 24 minutes on elliptical machine or 43 minutes on treadmill.
  9. 10 chips and 2 table spoons of dip carries about 250 calories combined. Exercise time to burn off is 30 minutes on elliptical machine or 55 minutes on treadmill.
  10. Mashed Potatoes with Gravy can carry up to 400 calories. Exercise time to burn off is 48 minutes on elliptical machine or 90 minutes on treadmill.
  11. Crescent shaped rolls carry 110 calories. Exercise time to burn off is 13.2 minutes on elliptical machine or 23 minutes on treadmill.

It is important to understand that I am not recommending to completely avoid your favorite foods during the holiday season. My intention is to supply the information necessary to make informed decisions. I would be dishonest if I said that I did not indulge over the holidays as I also have my favorite holiday treats. I do however go and burn it off. In addition, I eat right all year so that Thanksgiving and the Winter Holidays are not as devastating to my physical fitness level.

Now you know how many calories you are putting into your body and what you need to do to avoid the holiday weight gain.

Enjoy your holidays!

Jim Bompensa has been a health club owner and manager, personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and nutrition specialist for the nearly 15 years. He is currently the owner/operator of Body Physics Fitness Center in Haddonfield, NJ. Jim has appeared and contributed on ABC and NBC in Philadelphia, PA as well as Designing Spaces on TLC.

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