How Much Did You Really Burn?

How many times have you rationalized the smallish (or large!) piece of chocolate cake, because you ran/walked/worked out today?  Does a work out during the day really mean unlimited extras through the rest of the day?  I actually find this quite common and hear it frequently.  Another interesting statement I hear "I'm working out, but the scale isn't moving".  I believe these two concepts are one and the same.  I find that people think they burn more calories during a workout than they actually do AND assume those small treats or extras aren't contributing very much.  I think we all do this to some extent!  

Working out during the day, or even planning to work out, gives us freedom for the extras.  But, when those extras bring in more calories than the exercise burned, we aren't doing our waist lines any favors.(HOWEVER, you are still getting cardiovascular benefits, don't forget the importance of those!)  It can be so frustrating to be including exercise and not seeing the scale move, so pay attention to what you are eating too!  Get rid of the mindset of "I worked out, I can eat this".  Generally, you can't.  When my patients are trying to lose weight, I recommend the exercise be an added benefit to weight loss, and not an excuse to include extra food items!  For those trying to maintain their weight, figure out how much you are burning, and be aware of what you are adding in.  Make sure its a balance :)  Here are some examples:

For 150 lb person jogging at 3mph, they would burn approximately 190 calories in 30 minutes.  Walking for 30 minutes at 2mph, that would burn 84 calories.  Check out the chart below for a quick estimation of how much you burn based on how fast you go.  

So, lets say you are 150 lbs and jogged for 30 minutes at 3 mph, what could you eat extra?

      + 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
      + 1 of those cute small frosted sugar cookies
      + 1 oz of Tortilla Chips (usually 8-10) plus 1 Tbsp Guacamole and 2 Tbsp salsa
      + 1/2 Bagel plus 2 Tbsp light cream cheese

Note the serving sizes here!  Small.  It could definitely equal an extra treat when you are maintaining, but when you are trying to lose, be very conscious of the extras!  Use the chart below to get an idea of what you burn, and be aware!  Make that exercise count :)

Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna


  1. It's like you're reading my mind on what I need to hear! I have such a sweet tooth and I always have to remind myself on calorie intake vs burning

    1. Thanks for the comment and for reading Annie! I tend to write what I need a reminder on too :) Soooo easy to take in more than we burn!