Menus with Walking Times to Burn Calories Lead to Healthier Choices

Most people don’t really understand calories as they can’t really relate calories consumed with the maximum number of calories they should be consuming each day.

While many fast food outlets and restaurants now display calories next to various menu items, various studies have shown that this does not really help most people.

Only the dedicated calorie counters, who are dieting, know how to use the information.

The recommended average daily calorie intake for women is 1950 calories, men 2550 calories, teenage boys 2300 calories, teenage girls 2000 calories and children 1000 to 2000 calories per day.

Compare that with the calories in various meals and it is easy to see why most people overindulge in calories: McDonald’s Big Mac with fries and shake has a whopping 1,680 calories; Burger King Whopper with cheese, fries and shake has 1,844 calories.

A better way is needed for people to understand the consequences of overeating.

The best way of doing this is to list the calories, but also show how many hours of walking will be need to burn off the calories consumed in each meal and item.

This article reviews the research on this and provides a comprehensive list of foods and their burn-off cost for walking, running, cycling, swimmingand gym workouts.

High Calorie meals require massive effort to burn off with exercises - Several hours!
High Calorie meals require massive effort to burn off with exercises - Several hours! | Source
Knowing how much walking is required to burn off meals helps people make healthier choices on menus
Knowing how much walking is required to burn off meals helps people make healthier choices on menus | Source
Calories burnt per hour for various exercises
Calories burnt per hour for various exercises | Source
Walking moderately fast takes about and hour to burn the calories in a hamburger
Walking moderately fast takes about and hour to burn the calories in a hamburger
Running at to speed takes about one hour to burn the calories in a home cooked rump steak and vegetables meal
Running at to speed takes about one hour to burn the calories in a home cooked rump steak and vegetables meal | Source

Preliminary studies in America have shown that when diners were given extra information about how many hours of walking would be required to burn off the calories in each food item, they choose lower calorie options. Being able to instantly see that it takes two hours of brisk walking to burn off the 660 calories in a bacon cheeseburger is much more explicit than just listing the number of calories. The cost of over eating is much more apparent. It would be better to present the information in terms of the percentage of daily recommended calorie consumption- about 30%, but people typically say to themselves that they “won’t eat much for dinner”.

For the study, some 300 volunteers, 18 - 30 years of age were randomly into three groups who were provided with different information on the menus:

  • no calorie information,
  • calories displayed for each item
  • calories and the hours of exercise required to burn off that number of calories by walking briskly at 3 mph

The menus for all three groups had the same food and drink options, which included a range of burgers, salad, sandwiches, chips (fries), various soft drinks and water.

The results of the study showed that the third group, that had the menu with the walking time information, ate an average of 100 calories less than the other two groups.

If this reduction was applied to the three daily meals the average daily reduction would be about 300 calories.

Consuming an extra 500 calories a day typically results in a weight gain of about one pound (500 g) per week. So this would be a significant reduction.

This is equivalent to most people consuming one less meal every day.

The average daily calorie intake in the US increased by 30% in last 30 years reaching 2,700 calories a day for men and 1800 calories per day for women.

Much more is required to tackle the high obesity rate than helping people make better choices.

Restaurants and fast food outlets should be encouraged to make meals healthier by serving smaller portion sizes and meals that are more balanced in terms of fruit and vegetables. They should also be encouraged to reduce the amount of saturated fat, salt and sugar, as well as calories in their dishes. Menus should always include low calorie and vegetarian alternatives.

The same principles applies to home cooked meals. The meals presented on popular TV shows are seldom healthy and the calorie content and portion sizes of many home cooked meals are too high.

Calorie Burn Rates for Various Types of Exercise

The table below summarizes the calorie burn rate for a wide range of activities. This information can be very discouraging for people trying to lose weight through exercise.

The table below summarizes the calorie burn rate for a wide range of activities. This information can be very discouraging for people trying to lose weight through exercise.

To lose 1 lb of weight requires burning 3,500 calories; for 1 kg that is 7,000 calories. This is equivalent to the following time to lose 1 lb of weight (double the times for 1 kg):

  • 8 to 16 hours of moderate intensity strength training
  • 6 to 12 hours lifting weights
  • 5 to 7 hours of stationary bike work
  • 15 hours of walking at 3 mph
  • 5 hours of running at 5 mph

For dieting, reducing calorie intake by 100 calories per day will require a month to lose weight and 10 days at a rate of 350 calories a day (equivalent to missing one meal a day. Cycling has a surprisingly low calorie burn rate. Similarly the burn rate for walking rises very markedly as you increase the pace.

Calories Burnt per Hour with Typical Activities (75 kg 150 lb body weight)

Activity
Calories burnt per hour 75 kg (150 lb)
Badminton
396
Basketball
567
Bicycling (5.5 mph)
261
Bicycling (9.5 mph)
405
Climbing hills (no load)
495
Climbing hills (with 9 lb. load)
522
Climbing hills (with 22 lb. load)
576
Cooking
198
Dancing, ballroom
207
Dance, Aerobic, medium
414
Dance, Aerobic, intense
549
Golf
342
Grocery shopping
252
Jumping Rope (70 jumps per minute)
666
Jumping Rope (125 jumps per minute)
720
Jumping Rope (145 jumps per minute)
801
Mowing the lawn
459
Racquetball
729
Raking leaves
225
Running (6-minute mile)
1035
Running (8-minute mile)
855
Running (9-minute mile)
783
Sitting Still
81
Skiing, cross-country, walking
585
Skiing, cross-country, uphill
1125
Snowshoeing, soft snow
675
Squats
864
Swimming, crawl, slow
522
Swimming, crawl, fast
639
Swimming, breast stroke, fast
666
Table tennis
279
Walking, normal pace, asphalt road
324
Walking, normal pace, fields & hills
333
Weeding
297
Weight training, free weights
351
Weight training, circuit training
378
Volleyball
207

Exercise Burn Rates for Various Foods and meals

The two tables below summarize the time required to burn the calories in various foods and meals via a range of activities: walking, running, cycling, swimming and gym workouts. The food and meal include home cooled meals and a range of fast food meals.

The first table shows the top 30 best and worse meals in terms of calories and amount of exercise required. Even small snack food and salads require 30 minutes of exercise. Some of the large high calorie and high fat meals require more than 4 house of walking at a moderate pace.

Best and Worst Meals for Calories and Time to Walk Off

Lowest Calorie Meals
Calories per serve
Hours of Walking to Burn Off
Highest Calorie Meals
Calories per serve
Hours of Walking to Burn Off
Chicken Tenders- 4 piece
170
0.5
Mixed grill
1500
4.8
Chicken Soft Taco
190
0.6
Mucho Grande Nachos
1320
4.2
Fish in foil parcels
193
0.6
Large rump steak and vegetables
1066
3.4
Subway Veggie Delite (6")
200
0.6
Double Whopper w/Cheese Sandwich
1010
3.2
Taco
210
0.7
Double Whopper Sandwich
910
2.9
Beef Soft Taco
210
0.7
Fish chowder
825
2.6
Fruit smoothie
217
0.7
Beef lasagne
800
2.6
Beef & capsicum kebabs
225
0.7
Rump steak and vegetables
770
2.5
KFC Original Recipe Chicken
250
0.8
Nachos BellGrande
760
2.4
Taco Supreme
260
0.8
Beef Grilled Stuff Burrito
730
2.3
Ham (6")
261
0.8
Blazin Twister
719
2.3
Roast Beef (6")
267
0.9
Chicken Grilled Stuff Burrito
690
2.2
Turkey Breast & Ham (6")
267
0.9
Steak Grilled Stuff Burrito
690
2.2
Steak Soft Taco
280
0.9
Spaghetti bolognese
684
2.2
Roasted Chicken Breast (6")
291
0.9
Whopper
670
2.1
Subway Club (6")
296
0.9
Morrocan-style beef with couscous
660
2.1
Colonel's Crispy Strips (3)
300
1.0
Fettucine with chicken & lemon
655
2.1
Honey BBQ Flavored Sandwich
310
1.0
Bacon Double Cheeseburger
650
2.1
Nachos
320
1.0
Chicken & corn risotto
625
2.0
Chili Cheese Burrito
330
1.1
Fish curry
625
2.0
Chicken Tenders- 8 piece
340
1.1
Popcorn Chicken – large
620
2.0
Hamburger
340
1.1
Thai chicken curry
610
1.9
Tender Roast Sandwich
350
1.1
Double Cheeseburger
610
1.9
Popcorn Chicken – small
362
1.2
Honey BBQ Pieces (6)
607
1.9
Steak & Cheese (6")
362
1.2
Seafood & basil stirfry
601
1.9
Southwest Chicken (6")
362
1.2
Spicy lamb wraps
601
1.9
Bean Burrito
370
1.2
Twister
600
1.9
Seafood & Crab (6")
378
1.2
Chicken & vegetable stirfry
584
1.9
Beef Chalupa Supreme
380
1.2
Seafood paella
578
1.8
Subway Melt (6")
384
1.2
Ham & pineapple pizza
560
1.8
Cheeseburger
385
1.2
Honey BBQ Crunch Melt
556
1.8

Hours of Exercise Required to Burn the Calories in a Various Foods and Meals

Meals
Calories per serve
Walking 3 mph (5 kph) 313 Cal/hr
Running 5 mph (8 kph) 629 Cal/hr
Cycling 11 mph (18 kph) 420 Cal/hr
Swimming Laps Moderate 559 Cal/hr
Moderate gym workout 200 Cal/hr
Home Cooked Meals
###
###
###
###
###
###
Ham & pineapple pizza
560
1.8
0.9
1.3
1
2.8
Beef & capsicum kebabs
225
0.7
0.4
0.5
0.4
1.1
Fish in foil parcels
193
0.6
0.3
0.5
0.3
1
Fettucine with chicken & lemon
655
2.1
1
1.6
1.2
3.3
Spaghetti bolognese
684
2.2
1.1
1.6
1.2
3.4
Chicken & corn risotto
625
2
1
1.5
1.1
3.1
Seafood paella
578
1.8
0.9
1.4
1
2.9
Chicken & vegetable stirfry
584
1.9
0.9
1.4
1
2.9
Morrocan-style beef with couscous
660
2.1
1
1.6
1.2
3.3
Seafood & basil stirfry
601
1.9
1
1.4
1.1
3
Thai chicken curry
610
1.9
1
1.5
1.1
3.1
Fruit smoothie
217
0.7
0.3
0.5
0.4
1.1
Fish curry
625
2
1
1.5
1.1
3.1
Fish chowder
825
2.6
1.3
2
1.5
4.1
Spicy lamb wraps
601
1.9
1
1.4
1.1
3
Beef lasagne
800
2.6
1.3
1.9
1.4
4
Mixed grill
1500
4.8
2.4
3.6
2.7
7.5
Rump steak and vegetables
770
2.5
1.2
1.8
1.4
3.9
Large rump steak and vegetables
1066
3.4
1.7
2.5
1.9
5.3
Burger King
###
###
###
###
 
 
Bacon Cheeseburger
425
1.4
0.7
1
0.8
2.1
Bacon Double Cheeseburger
650
2.1
1
1.5
1.2
3.3
Cheeseburger
385
1.2
0.6
0.9
0.7
1.9
Chicken Tenders- 4 piece
170
0.5
0.3
0.4
0.3
0.9
Chicken Tenders- 8 piece
340
1.1
0.5
0.8
0.6
1.7
Double Cheeseburger
610
1.9
1
1.5
1.1
3.1
Double Hamburger
510
1.6
0.8
1.2
0.9
2.6
Double Whopper Sandwich
910
2.9
1.4
2.2
1.6
4.6
Double Whopper w/Cheese Sandwich
1010
3.2
1.6
2.4
1.8
5.1
Hamburger
340
1.1
0.5
0.8
0.6
1.7
Whopper Jr. Sandwich
410
1.3
0.7
1
0.7
2.1
Whopper Jr. w/Cheese
455
1.5
0.7
1.1
0.8
2.3
Whopper
670
2.1
1.1
1.6
1.2
3.4
Chicken Tenders Sandwich
450
1.4
0.7
1.1
0.8
2.3
KFC
###
###
###
###
0
0
Original Recipe Chicken
140
0.4
0.2
0.3
0.3
0.7
Original Recipe Chicken
400
1.3
0.6
1
0.7
2
Original Recipe Chicken
140
0.4
0.2
0.3
0.3
0.7
Original Recipe Chicken
250
0.8
0.4
0.6
0.4
1.3
Extra Crispy Chicken
470
1.5
0.7
1.1
0.8
2.4
Hot & Spicy Chicken
505
1.6
0.8
1.2
0.9
2.5
Original Recipe Sandwich
450
1.4
0.7
1.1
0.8
2.3
Triple Crunch Sandwich
490
1.6
0.8
1.2
0.9
2.5
Triple Crunch Zinger Sandwich
550
1.8
0.9
1.3
1
2.8
Tender Roast Sandwich
350
1.1
0.6
0.8
0.6
1.8
Honey BBQ Flavored Sandwich
310
1
0.5
0.7
0.6
1.6
Twister
600
1.9
1
1.4
1.1
3
Blazin Twister
719
2.3
1.1
1.7
1.3
3.6
Honey BBQ Crunch Melt
556
1.8
0.9
1.3
1
2.8
Colonel's Crispy Strips (3)
300
1
0.5
0.7
0.5
1.5
Popcorn Chicken – small
362
1.2
0.6
0.9
0.6
1.8
Popcorn Chicken – large
620
2
1
1.5
1.1
3.1
Hot Wings Pieces (6)
471
1.5
0.7
1.1
0.8
2.4
Honey BBQ Pieces (6)
607
1.9
1
1.4
1.1
3
Subway
###
###
###
###
###
###
BMT (6")
456
1.5
0.7
1.1
0.8
2.3
Cold Cut Trio (6")
415
1.3
0.7
1
0.7
2.1
Meatball (6")
501
1.6
0.8
1.2
0.9
2.5
Seafood & Crab (6")
378
1.2
0.6
0.9
0.7
1.9
Steak & Cheese (6")
362
1.2
0.6
0.9
0.6
1.8
Subway Melt (6")
384
1.2
0.6
0.9
0.7
1.9
Tuna (6")
419
1.3
0.7
1
0.7
2.1
Asiago Caesar Chicken (6")
391
1.2
0.6
0.9
0.7
2
Horseradish Roast Beef (6")
404
1.3
0.6
1
0.7
2
Southwest Steak & Cheese (6")
412
1.3
0.7
1
0.7
2.1
Southwest Chicken (6")
362
1.2
0.6
0.9
0.6
1.8
Caesar Italian BMT (6")
533
1.7
0.8
1.3
1
2.7
Ham (6")
261
0.8
0.4
0.6
0.5
1.3
Roast Beef (6")
267
0.9
0.4
0.6
0.5
1.3
Roasted Chicken Breast (6")
291
0.9
0.5
0.7
0.5
1.5
Subway Club (6")
296
0.9
0.5
0.7
0.5
1.5
Turkey Breast & Ham (6")
267
0.9
0.4
0.6
0.5
1.3
Veggie Delite (6")
200
0.6
0.3
0.5
0.4
1
Taco Bell
###
###
###
###
###
###
Taco
210
0.7
0.3
0.5
0.4
1.1
Taco Supreme
260
0.8
0.4
0.6
0.5
1.3
Beef Soft Taco
210
0.7
0.3
0.5
0.4
1.1
Chicken Soft Taco
190
0.6
0.3
0.5
0.3
0.9
Steak Soft Taco
280
0.9
0.4
0.7
0.5
1.4
Double Decker
420
1.3
0.7
1
0.8
2.1
Bean Burrito
370
1.2
0.6
0.9
0.7
1.9
7-Layer Burrito
520
1.7
0.8
1.2
0.9
2.6
Chili Cheese Burrito
330
1.1
0.5
0.8
0.6
1.7
Beef Burrito Supreme
430
1.4
0.7
1
0.8
2.2
Chicken Burrito Supreme
410
1.3
0.7
1
0.7
2.1
Steak Burrito Supreme
420
1.3
0.7
1
0.8
2.1
Beef Double Burrito Supreme
510
1.6
0.8
1.2
0.9
2.6
Chicken Double Burrito Supreme
460
1.5
0.7
1.1
0.8
2.3
Beef Grilled Stuff Burrito
730
2.3
1.2
1.7
1.3
3.7
Chicken Grilled Stuff Burrito
690
2.2
1.1
1.6
1.2
3.5
Steak Grilled Stuff Burrito
690
2.2
1.1
1.6
1.2
3.5
Beef Chalupa Supreme
380
1.2
0.6
0.9
0.7
1.9
Nachos
320
1
0.5
0.8
0.6
1.6
Nachos Supreme
440
1.4
0.7
1
0.8
2.2
Nachos BellGrande
760
2.4
1.2
1.8
1.4
3.8
Mucho Grande Nachos
1320
4.2
2.1
3.1
2.4
6.6

© 2013 Dr. John Anderson

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Comments 1 comment

Efficient Admin profile image

Efficient Admin 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

janderson99 - this is a very complete and comprehensive list. It's amazing how much we (me) can eat without realizing it. I recently joined Weight Watchers and it is mandatory to track the food and I have cut way back on consumption and am losing pounds. It made me realize I don't need to eat as much as I was (I believe lots of it was due to quit smoking). Thanks for sharing this hub - it looks like it took a lot of hard work and research and it is well done. Voted up and all.

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