How To Balance The Christmas Calories

A breakdown of your favourite treats and how to balance them with exercise

Burn Off The Christmas Calories

The holidays are all about enjoying good times with family and friends and, of course, enjoying good food. The last thing many of us want to do at this time of year is think about the calorie content of our Christmas lunch, but if you’re looking to lose weight, or if you’re trying to gain weight in a healthy way, it can be helpful to be aware of how many calories you’re consuming.

Related Article: The Risks Of Undereating As A Runner

On Christmas Day, the average person in Britain consumes about 7000 calories (although most people think that they are only consuming about 3000 calories). The average woman only needs 2000 calories per day.

Of course Christmas only comes once a year, so there’s no reason at all to feel guilty if this is a particularly indulgent time of year for you. The team at Women’s Running are firm believers that exercise should be a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate, and we would hate for anyone to read this and feel stressed about what’s on their plate at such a special time.

But if you’re wanting to understand how much exercise is needed to counterbalance the calories you’re likely to consume, here is a breakdown…

Related Article: Post-Run Pitfalls to Avoid

(The calorie consumption is based on a women weighing 11 stone, walking briskly at about 3mph and running at 6mph.)

Christmas lunch

Burn Off The Christmas Calories

Calories: 1500

Balance it with:

Brisk walk: 5 hour 22 minutes

Run: 2 hours 10 minutes

Christmas pudding (100g with nothing over)

Burn Off The Christmas Calories

Calories: 330

Balance it with:

Brisk walk: 1 hour 11 minutes

Run: 28 minutes

Glass of champagne (120ml)

Burn Off The Christmas Calories

Calories: 89

Balance it with:

Brisk walk: 19 minutes

Run: 8 minutes

Cheese and onion Crisps (1 small 35g bag)

Burn Off The Christmas Calories

Calories: 184

Balance it with:

Brisk walk: 40 minutes

Run: 16 minutes

Cheddar Cheese with crackers (100g cheese, 5 crackers)

Burn Off The Christmas Calories

Calories: 529

Balance it with:

Brisk walk: 1 hour 53 minutes

Run: 45 minutes

Celebration Chocolates (10 x sweets)

Burn Off The Christmas Calories

Calories: 360

Balance it with:

Brisk walk: 1 hour 17 minutes

Run: 31 minutes

Salted peanuts (1 small bag 50g)

Burn Off The Christmas Calories

Calories: 311

Balance it with:

Brisk walk: 1 hour 7 minutes

Run: 27 minutes

Tips

You can split your sessions into three 10-minute, two 15-minute or one 30-minute session, and they can consist of a variety of everyday activities that don’t require getting changed and going to the gym or hitting the streets.

  • 10 minutes of brisk walking burns off 35-50 calories and 10 minutes of running burns off 90-110 calories!
  •  Download an app on your smartphone which can track your distance, speed and calorie usage. Good apps are Endomondo, Sports Tracker and Strava

Final Notes

Counting calories can be a very helpful tool for gaining or losing weight in a healthy way. Being aware of your calorie intake is especially useful for a runners it can really help us understand how to fuel our runs. But there is no reason to feel badly about enjoying your favourite foods – not at Christmas – and not at any other time of the year. Happy holidays everyone!


Written by Anne-Marie Lategan | 12 articles | View profile

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