The reason I decided to write this article is not because I want to make you feel guilty for the food you consume or to stop eating your favorite foods. Like everyone, I love following a balanced diet, just like I love consuming a little bit of junk food every now and then! There are so many times that we’ve talked about the balanced lifestyle which includes healthy eating and physical activity; it’s what we all need in our daily lives. But sometimes, we may overdo it with the not so healthy foods or lose sense of how many calories a dish can have. Still, many of us do not know how much energy the body "burns" depending on the physical activity it does.
Therefore, I prepared the following patterns to meet the needs and questions of all of you about physical activity (fitness, hobbies, or chores) that one can do and how many calories one can finally “burn off” by consuming his favorite meals.
More specifically, take a look at the following:
1. how many calories -approximately- could a 70 kg person "burn" when doing some of the following physical activities.
2. how many calories can one get -approximately- by eating one of the following foods.
3. in case you tell yourselves – Oh, I took a half-hour walk, I burned the calories I ate - maybe it's time to rethink it!
When we consume a meal, we should not only look at the calories it contains but also its macronutrients (protein, carbs, fats). It is different to eat a nutritious meal with a good content of protein and complex carbs -that is also low in saturated fats- and completely different to eat a meal high in saturated and trans fats, sugars, and salt, even when they both have the exact same calories.
Of course, all this is a bit relative since the calories can vary depending on what we have put in the recipe and on how many calories can be metabolized by a particular person. As we’ve already mentioned, this depends on many factors such as age, gender, as well as the intensity and duration of exercise or muscle mass of the individual. For example, the calories for the sport of cycling have been calculated for a 70 kg person who can do 10 kilometers per hour. Respectively, for rowing 8 kilometers per hour, for running 9 kilometers per hour, for swimming 2 kilometers per hour, and for power walking 5 kilometers per hour, while the calories for aerobic exercise are for a low-intensity aerobic workout. All these are calculated based on the MET (metabolic equivalent) which essentially shows us the energy a person burns by doing a particular form of exercise. Moreover, the calories mentioned on the patterns refer to one food serving, (unless otherwise stated).
What you need to remember is that if you generally follow a balanced diet, you can -of course-consume some of your favorite junk foods and not think about how to burn the calories of the food you just ate.
You should just have some general knowledge so that in your everyday lives, you will be able to:
1. build proper healthy eating plates,
2. consume nutrient-dense meals,
3. read the nutrition labels of the products you buy, in order to choose nutrient-rich foods,
4. understand which type of exercise, which intensity and duration help you burn calories so that you make better calculations and not think that a sandwich can be metabolized in only 5 minutes of walking!
Our favorite foods can still be part of our diet, as long as we make sure to consume them either in their healthiest version or at a lower frequency.
So, tell me…What is your favorite food and what is your favorite exercise/activity? I’ll be waiting for your comments!
This article was written in collaboration with the Sports Nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr.
* The website akispetretzikis.com offers as a service a variety of blogs and articles, based on scientific sources. All the articles are provided as general information and no text should be used as a substitute for advice from a physician or another health scientist, regardless of the date it has been published.