A couple of years ago I wrote a Nutrition Newsletter and one of my first articles was about snacking and exercise, titled “sure you want to snack”. I wanted to revisit the article because I think the message it still valid. Essentially, I compared a snack like french fries or a cookie and the amount of exercise you would need to do to burn it off.
I have to say it is quite eye opening. For example 1 chocolate chip cookie (3 oz) is around 440 calories and would take about 1 hour and 30 minutes of brisk walking. That is a long time, to work off one small cookie. Another fun one is a Starbucks medium cinnamon dolce latte with whip. It is about 410 calories and would take around 50 minutes of jogging. These types of comparisons always put it into perspective. I exercise six days a week, but I usually don’t have an hour and a half to spare for a workout during the middle of the week. At most I am working out for around 45 minutes. So it makes it unrealistic to burn off that cookie. A special treat can of course be incorporated into your diet, but it makes me think twice before consuming the second cookie.
I know there are a lot of restaurants and other food establishments that show you nutrition information in the options they offer. Don’t let the information intimidate you, it’s there to help you make an educated decision, and I encourage you to use it. I know I do.