If you knew how much exercise you had to do to burn off that slice of pizza, or that burger, would you change your mind and opt for a healthier option instead? Perhaps you just need to know when to stop. So, you might limit yourself to one slice of pizza or one pint, instead of reaching for more and more. Interestingly, those 2 examples would save the average male 1 hour and 20 minutes of exercise.
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Your Daily Calorie Intake
Males are generally advised to consume 2,500Kcal per day, while females are recommended to consume 2,000Kcal per day. While that may sound like a lot, when you stop to consider the amount of calories certain foods contain, say a standard McDonald's meal, you are in danger of using up more than half of your daily calorie intake - on just one meal. Take a look at the chart below:
If your goal is to lose or maintain your weight, science has shown that counting calories works. What makes this method difficult, is that most people may not know how many calories their favorite foods contain, and more importantly, how much exercise is required to burn off the calories. The charts below, created by Buddyloans.com, look into some popular junk foods, as well as their fat and calorie content. They also provide information on how much exercise it would take to burn those calories off.
Perhaps once you realize how much activity is needed to burn off a single fast food meal, you may give more thought to what you are ordering and how often you are eating junk food. Take a McDonald's burger, such as the Big Mac. Consuming this burger will take the average woman over an hour of weightlifting to burn the calories off. If you accompany your burger with large fries, you're looking at doubling your exercise time to around two hours (for men) in order to zero out the meal.
Wash your burger and fries down with a standard soda can, and the average woman is looking at around 2 hours of cardio to offset the caloric cost of just a single fast food meal.
Even if you don't indulge in a McDonald's meal too often, other forms of fast food can prove to be just as costly. For instance, to burn off a Margherita pizza a woman would have to do 70 minutes of cardio, a man 1 hour.
Consuming just three pieces of fried chicken adds up to an impressive 726 calories. But, to burn it off, you would have to work out for over an hour. Take a look:
Desserts are especially known for their high calorie and fat content. A typical chocolate fudge cake contains 90g of fat. Which would mean that a woman would have to lift weights for over 237 minutes to cancel it out - that is more than 2 hours of exercise. Furthermore, it's calorie intake is extremely high. At 1710 calories, this cake (by itself) leaves only 290 calories in the average woman's calorie budget for the rest of the day.
Thankfully, not all desserts will use up the majority of your daily calorie intake. A Cadbury milk chocolate bar will only set you back by 237 calories. Which would mean that burning this chocolate off is pretty easy and will only require a mere 21 minutes of cardio.
It's incredible what putting things into perspective can do to your daily eating habits. So, unless you are willing to sacrifice hours of your day to exercise, you may want to hold back next time around. With that said, one glass of beer is not going to hurt - but you may want to keep it to one.