How Far Do I Have to Run to Burn Off a Donut?


The next time you order a Venti Frappuccino from Starbucks, think about this weight loss tip:

It will take you 30 minutes of step aerobics to burn off the calories inside that tall white cup with the green logo on it.

The Frappuccino is just one item in the typical diet that comes so loaded with calories that not even a full-time bike messenger could burn them all off.

Have you ever slurped down a 12-oz. bottle of Gatorade after your work out? The 310 calories in that drink probably add up to more than you burned with all your sweaty exercise.

In case you think Gatorade is a healthy drink for during or after a workout, this fact should put that idea to rest. The less of it you drink the better, if you’re trying to get slim. (If you only pick up one weight loss tip from this post, let this be it.)

This is affected by metabolism, of course, but put metabolism aside for a moment and look at food vs. exercise on a strictly calorie-for-calorie basis.

I put together the following chart to show you why changing the way you eat will help your weight loss more than increasing the amount you exercise.


The Calories in These Foods

Require 30 Min. of These Exercises to Burn Off

Starbucks Venti Frappuccino (323 calories)

Step Aerobics (beginner)

Large cake muffin (280 calories)

Basketball (leisurely)

Regular-sized 2 oz (or 57 g) Snickers bar (271 calories)

Bicycling, 15kph

20oz. bottle of coke (240 calories)

Golfing (walk w/o cart)

Large plain bagel (360 calories)

Hiking, no load

13 oz. serving of cheese omelette (460 calories)

Jogging, 8kph or 5 mph

Medium 6 oz. cooked rib eye steak (450 calories)

Stair climbing machine

One jelly-filled donut from Dunkin Donuts (290 calories)

Slow weight training


Losing Weight vs. Losing Fat

How many calories do you think they have burned? Photo: Mike Barid, Flickr.

When I talk about losing weight, I am really referring to losing fat. Exercise builds muscles, which are heavier than the same amount of fat.

It is possible to lose some of your fat while still not losing weight, if you are adding muscle weight at the same time. You would be healthier, and your body would have a more attractive, fitter shape.

But it might not weight much less.

So, don’t get caught up by the number on the scale, especially if you are exercising and building muscle.


What You Can Do Today

Here’s that weight loss tip again: If you drink energy drinks, stop it. Just stop it. Starting right now.

Instead, take a bottle of water with you and squeeze some lemon into it, if that appeals to you.

Better yet, keep a jug of chilled green or hibiscus tea on hand, and fill your bottle with it when you work out. Both have a nice taste, are exceptionally high in cancer-fighting antioxidants and will not make you fat.

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