Calorie Panic

Well it’s too late now. Thanksgiving is over and hopefully it was a splendid time well spent with family. And, if you’re like most Americans: Time spent eating. Lots of time eating. Myself I could never say no to the sweet potatoes. Some more gravy? Pass on the rolls. Hey don’t keep them all to yourself. LOVE the cranberry sauce. Oh the stuffing is just so good..ok I’m stuffed.

Now who wants some pecan pie? Some chocolate cake? I can’t, it’s too much…oh wait, it goes down easier with some ice cream. Here, have a bucket. Add a few beers and you’re ready to rollover.

Oh you get my drift. On Thanksgiving we feast and in the process we consume calories. Lots of them.

How many? Depends on who you ask and who does the eating.

But here are some eye opening ranges with some research behind them:

To which I say:

So anywhere from 3,000 to 4,500 calories in one meal. Did people skip breakfast before? Some perhaps, most don’t. So the caloric intake on such a day can be absolutely brutal.

Just in time for America’s obesity crisis to hit a new high:

America’s Obesity Epidemic Reaches Record High, New Report Says

Conventional wisdom: It’s easy to put the pounds on and it’s hard too lose them.

How hard?

Let me show you the math. It’s pretty straightforward and rather eye opening:

Lots of sources on the science behind it, but the numbers are more precise than the calorie count on your Thanksgiving plate. That’s because it’s science:

In order to lose 1 pound of fat, you need to create a NET DEFICIT of 3,500 calories over your caloric balance, meaning the balance of what you eat versus what you burn that keeps you at a steady weight.

If your base metabolic rate is 2,000 calories a day and you eat 2,000 calories a day you basically stay on your current weight. If you exercise a lot you may burn perhaps 3,000 calories a day, then you can eat 3,000 calories a day and maintain your weight.

So to lose 1 pound in a week you need to create a net deficit of 3,500 calories in a week. On the 2,000 calorie example: You need to cut out 500 calories a day for a week to burn that 3,500 calories. So consume 1,500 calories a day or exercise each day to burn 500 calories extra or a combination of the two. Your choice.

If you want to lose 2 pounds a week, well you do the math :-). Yup, 7,000 calorie deficit per week.

So how does a 3,000-4,500 calorie meal factor into this?

Well here’s a nice visual for you. If you want to lose the extra calories by burning them off with exercise you can walk or you can run, but you burn calories at a different rate.

From LiveStrong:

“Be aware that your total calorie burn includes your basal metabolic rate — calories your body would burn even if you were at rest. Your net calorie burn gives you a better idea of how many extra calories you burn from walking. Calculate your net calories per mile by multiplying your weight by 0.30. For instance, a 200-pound person has a net burn of 60 calories per mile, a 175-pound person burns 53 calories per mile, and a 125-pound person burns 38 calories per mile.

If you run you’ll burn more calories per mile than you will walking. The formula for total calories burned per mile of running is 0.75 times your weight in pounds. At this rate a 200-pound person burns about 150 calories per mile. A lighter 175-pound person will burn 131 calories per mile, while a 125-pound person will burn just 94 calories per mile.

As with walking, your total calories burned from running includes calories from your basal metabolic rate. To calculate your net calories per mile of running, simply multiply your weight by 0.63. At this rate you’ll burn an extra 126 calories per mile of running compared to what you’d burn doing nothing if you weigh 200 pounds. For a 175-pound person the net burn is 110 calories, while a 125-pound person burns an extra 79 calories per mile.”

So, dependent on your weight, an average person may burn a net of 50-60 calories per mile walking and 100-125 calories running.

The implication: You got to run far to burn off that extra helping of whatever you just had.

1 cup of mashed potatoes? 1 mile of running. 2 dinner rolls? You’re running a mile and a half. Stuffing? 2 miles. Cranberry sauce? 2 miles. Chocolate cake? 2 miles. Pumpkin pie? 3 miles.

Good times.

Add it altogether: To burn off an extra 3,500 calories at a 125 calories net burn a mile you got to run 28 miles. That’s longer than a marathon at 26.2 miles!

Or, if you want to walk it all off: 58 miles at a net calorie burn of 60.

Best get to the mall for Black Friday and start working it off πŸ™‚

Oh wait. Going to the mall is stressful. Let’s just order online with Amazon. How many “clicks’ does to take to burn off 3,500 calories? I need to spend more time on Google to research it. Come to think of it. I’m feeling hungry as my stomach is shrinking from that big Thanksgiving feast. Good thing there are some leftovers in the fridge. Oh look at that pie.

Oh I kid of course. On a more serious note, here’s the reality for me: After a health scare I got very aware of the bad habits that got me out of shape, overweight and into a bad spot on the health front.

The good news: Amazing change and transformations can be undertaken. I know so, because I’m working on it:

As of now i’m down almost 50 pounds from my peak, back to to college weight and never felt better. It takes effort, some awareness, some psychology, and some math & a process but it can be done. And it’s actually not that hard at all. If anything it’s exhilarating to see the changes and feel their benefits every day.

It may be too late for yesterday’s Thanksgiving feast, but it’s never too late for change. If I can do it, so can you. πŸ’ͺ🏻

Categories: Opinion

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10 replies »

  1. Read Mark Sission’s the primal blueprint, you are heading in the right direction. This will move you even more so.

  2. Talk about irony, but Google is showing me an add for “cool sculpting” my body fat away in the middle of your post πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  3. As someone who has faced weight problems my entire life – let’s just say it is not as simple as calories. Suggest read “The Obesity Code” by Jason Fung or “Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes to understand how the body works. Basically your body runs on either Carbs/Sugar or Fat, and to lose stored body fat you need to convert to running off Fat. Your body otherwise will adjust to keep you at a set weight if you eat much more or less in calories – not simple calories in vs calories burned in exercise.


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