Who doesn’t want to veg out on the couch after a long week with some pizza and a good beer?

But if you knew how much exercise was needed to burn off that slice of pizza do you think you might change your mind and go for a salad instead? Maybe not, but you might limit yourself to one slice and one pint instead of reaching for a seconds or more considering a single slice and pint are going “cost” the average male an hour and 20 minutes on the bike.

Losing or maintaining weight has become a major issue for many people. It seems like everyday there is a new diet regimen that promises painless, drastic, and lasting weight loss. These have all been met with varying degrees of success. While these fad diets are all based on various theories and principles, some are scientifically sound, many are not. We do know that science has shown again and again, counting calories works. Except for rare instances, if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’re going to lose weight. But not many people know how many calories are in their favorite foods and maybe more importantly, how much exercise it would take to burn those calories off?

This infographic from Buddy Loans.com looks at some popular junk foods, their fat and calorie content as well as the amount of exercise needed to burn that food off.

Once you realize how much activity it takes to burn off a single meal at a fast food restaurant you might think twice about what you’re ordering and how often you’re eating junk food. With the high caloric content of these junk foods it’s very easy to consume 50% or more of your daily recommended calories, 2500 for a man, 2000 for a woman, for an entire day in a single meal.

Take for example the 490 calories in a Big Mac. It’s going to take the average woman 68 minutes, over an hour, of weightlifting to burn those calories off. Guys have it a little easier, but not by much, needing only 57 minutes of weights to work off that burger. If you get get the large fry with that burger you’re looking at doubling your time weightlifting to around 2 hours for men in order to zero the meal out. Wash that burger and fires meal down with a soda and the average women is looking at around 2 hours of cardio just to offset the caloric cost of that single fast food meal.

While everyone already knows desert foods are among the highest calorie and fat content foods, I bet not many realize that a single Tesco Chocolate Fudge Cake has all of the fat (90 grams) you’re recommended to consume in a day. Coming in at a whopping 1710 calories, this cake, by itself, leaves only 290 calories in the average woman’s calorie budget for the entire rest of the day.

However, this doesn’t mean all desert foods are going to blow your calorie budget if you indulge. Choosing to go with a Cadbury Milk Chocolate bar instead will mean you’re only “spending” 237 calories. Burning that off is going to be a fairly easy task, taking a man a mere 21 minutes of cardio. That’s an incredible difference of 1473 calories just by eating a chocolate bar instead of the cake. To put that in perspective,choosing the chocolate bar over the cake, is “saving” the average man just over 2 hours of cardio. The average woman over 2 and a half hours of work.

Keep in mind that it’s not to say that fast or “junk” food can’t be eaten occasionally, it can. However, when things are put into perspective, when you realize how much exercise it takes to actually burn those foods off, it’s pretty easy to realize that junk foods carry with them a high calorie “price tag”. Unless you’re willing to spend hours of your day in the gym it’s best to limit these and other comfort foods if you’re trying to live a fit and healthy lifestyle.

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Featured photo credit: www.buddyloans.com via buddyloans.com

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