Don’t Let Snacks Sabotage Your Workout

snacks2My last post was about how the little things count. A snack often seems like a little thing. We often snack and don’t even think about it. Well, let’s take a look at how a little thing like a snack can sabotage your exercise efforts.

You burn around a hundred calories per mile whether you walk that mile or run it. Let’s say you run three miles a day. That would be three hundred calories burned off. Even a light snack would counterbalance those three hundred calories very easily. There is no way you are going to exercise enough to cover the extra calories you might be tempted to eat just in the form of snacks. Let me give you a few examples.

Assume you weigh 175 pounds and your exercise consists of walking. If you eat one slice of toast with jam on it, you will have to walk for 22 minutes to burn off the 125 calories. If you ran, it would be less: 13 minutes. One morning, you decide you would rather eat a 240-calorie donut instead of toast and jam. You will have to walk 42 minutes or run 18.

Then after dinner, you decide you want just one cup of ice cream. That’s about 275 calories. That’s another 48 minutes of walking or 20 minutes of running to burn those calories.

And finally, one of your favorite candy bars. For the 270-calorie Snickers chocolate bar, you will have to walk the same as for the ice cream, 48 minutes, or run 20 minutes.

An apple is 70 calories: you will walk 12 minutes, or run 5 minutes to burn these calories.

This is one reason that the Prescription for Life plan suggests no snacks when you are trying to lose weight. When you do introduce snacks back into your day, I recommend fruit or a small serving of nuts.

If there wasn’t more to exercising than just burning off extra calories, it would never be worth exercising. But, there are many other benefits than just managing your physique. Re-visit these posts to encourage yourself to set up and commit to your personal exercise plan:

Energize Your Exercise
The Exercise Plan Everyone Can Follow
Why Nuts Make a Good Snack



“Chocolate” photo courtesy of MisterGC at