Burning Off That Burger: What Would it Take?

Article posted in: Lifestyle
calorie bomb

Summer weather is the perfect excuse to spend as little time as possible indoors. For many, warmer weather is also prime time to indulge in a cool, creamy treat or big, juicy burger straight off the grill.

Many lists will tell you if you eat that treat, you’ve got to do a penance: Eating dessert means you have to spend hours on a treadmill. And while that attitude might help you lose weight, it won’t make you healthy or happy in the long run: Food isn’t a reward to be earned, and exercise isn’t punishment.

But because many people justify splurges by saying, “I’m sure I’ll burn this off later,” it’s important to quantify exactly what it would take to do that—especially since chronic underestimations can lead to weight gain.

Here’s how much energy you get with five staple summer treats—and how much activity you’d have to do to negate their effects:

The treat: Sonic Chili Cheese Dog
Calories: 420
Total fat: 26 grams

Although at 420 calories, a chili cheese dog doesn’t sound that bad, it’s got about a third of most folks’ recommended fat intake. Plus, it doesn’t deliver any nutrient-rich veggies, making those 420 calories of the empty variety. Considering you’d have to walk that boardwalk for about 66 minutes at 3.5 miles per hour to burn off those empty calories, you might be better off chilling it on the chili dogs.

*Nutrition information taken from www.sonicdrivein.com on 6/15/2016.

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The treat: In-n-Out Burger Double Double with onion with Fries and a chocolate shake
Calories: 1655 (670 for burger, 395 for fries, 590 for shake)

This Happy Days-worthy burger, fries and shake combo has, for many Americans, almost a whole day’s-worth of calories, without many body-boosting benefits. So if you’re on a road trip, it can be a gut-buster—and a diet destroyer.

But if you’re pulling in on a bike—not a motorcycle, Fonzie, but one you pedal—you’ll be getting enough to fuel up from a really long ride. At an easy five miles per hour, a 200-pound person would have to bike for over four-and-a-half hours to neutralize those 1655 calories—that’s a 22-mile ride! If you’d rather spend your happy day relaxing, nix this calorie bomb.

*Nutrition information taken from http://www.in-n-out.com on 6/15/2016.

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The treat: Funnel Cake
Calories: 579
Fat: 29 grams
Sugar: 43 grams

No one looks at funnel cake and thinks “health food.” It’s fried dough covered in sugar. This five-ounce serving (like the one served at Nathan’s Famous) has more sugar than a Snickers bar and more calories than a Big Mac.

Unless you’re looking to crush the kids in a jump rope competition, you might want to cool it on the funnel cake: At 1,074 calories per hour for a 200-pound person, the funnel cake’s calories would take 30 minutes to burn off. At 100 turns per minute, that’s 3,000 jumps!

*Nutrition information taken from http://www.nathansfamous.com on 6/15/2016.

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The treat: Medium Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard
Calories: 1030
Total Sugars: 112 grams

That’s a lot of calories and a lot of sugar: Nearly a day’s worth of energy, and more added sugar than the American Heart Association recommends eating in a day. The organization recommends a limit of 100 calories per day of added sugar for women—about 24 grams—150 per day for men—roughly 36 grams. So it’s probably not a great everyday choice. Especially considering that a 200-pound person can hike for almost two hours on 1,030 calories—maybe not enough to climb a mountain to find an actual summer blizzard, but definitely enough to scale a pretty big hill.

*Nutrition info taken from http://www.dairyqueen.com on 6/15/2016.

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The treat: Soft pretzel
Calories: 160

When slathered in yellow mustard instead of doused with cheese, your average ballpark pretzel is surprisingly low in calories. If you decided to not just watch baseball, but play a little catch or a game of softball, It would take 21 minutes for a 200-pound person to burn those 160 calories in a game of softball or baseball.

*Nutrition info taken from http://superpretzel.com and https://ndb.nal.usda.gov on 6/15/2016.

**Calories burned estimations taken from http://www.mayoclinic.org on 6/15/2016.