At a standstill with a wellness goal? Exercise equivalents could shed some light.

At a standstill with a wellness goal? Exercise equivalents could shed some light. (washingtonpost.com)

[Washington Post, 1/22/19]  It’s almost a month into the new year, and you’ve stuck with your fitness routine but haven’t seen the scale budge. It may be time to look at calories in and calories out — and whether you have a realistic view of that equation.

Weight loss is a result of creating calorie deficits in the body, which can be done both by calorie-cutting on the food side and increased energy expenditure on the exercise side. But, as you might expect, there is a human tendency to overestimate how many calories we burn during (and after) exercising, while underestimating the number of calories we consume. That’s where the concept of exercise equivalents — the amount of exercise needed to be undertaken to burn roughly the same number of calories in a food item — can be useful.

Keep in mind that these are rough values, and that an occasional indulgence needn’t be followed with wind sprints. The best way to think of exercise equivalents is as a tool that can “help make us more aware of what we put into our bodies,” as Ben Fidler, a D.C.-based personal trainer, puts it.

Let’s consider a chocolate glazed doughnut with sprinkles from Dunkin,’ which is 290 calories, according to the company’s website, and the average American woman, who weighs about 169 pounds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That woman would have to spend about 75 minutes of normal weight training or about a half-hour of running at five mph to burn roughly 290 calories. For the average American man, at about 196 pounds, the corresponding numbers are about 65 minutes of weight training and about 25 minutes of running at five mph…………

Read the Full Article at: Washington Post

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