A recent study looked at what it takes to influence ordering habits. Was knowing the calorie count helpful? Was knowing how much exercise was required to burn it off helpful? The studiers took a group of similarly hungry people and gave them one of three menus. The first had no additional information, the second had total calories and the third had the amount of time walking it would take to burn off the food.
Those who knew the walking effort required to burn off their choices ordered 100 fewer calories. So, what is at play here? Is it that our general human laziness is a powerful driver? Or are we aware that our time constraints may prevent us from being able to make the physical effort required to compensate for our overconsumption of calories?
It doesn’t really matter why they choose differently. What is true here is that the preventative power of nebulous calorie counts aren’t enough to motivate action. We have known for some time that calories aren’t well understood and that each person’s intake and output will be different. We also know that there are other factors that affect metabolism.
The number of minutes walked is an easily understood marker that helps guide the right choice. So, I’m going to share my top 10 list of foods that offer up too many useless calories and publicly expose them for the time and effort suck that they are. Keep in mind that these numbers are in addition to the exercise you already get in your day.
Your Favorite Foods Translated into Minutes of Brisk Walking
Starbucks Venti Mocha Frappacino with whipped cream: 510 calories or 94 minutes
Big Mac: 563 calories or 99 minutes
Burger King Medium Fries: 387 calories or 71 minutes
Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips (7 oz): 1,051 calories or 192 minutes
Large Milkshake (32 oz): 1,104 calories or 202 minutes
Nachos with Beef, Cheese and Beans (18 chips): 1,707 calories or 212 minutes
Onion Rings (16): 552 calories or 101 minutes
Pizza Hut Meat Lover’s Stuffed Crust Pizza (1 slice): 470 calories or 86 minutes per slice
Cinnabon Caramel Pecan (1 bun): 1,080 calories or 197 minutes
Chocolate Muffin: 450 calories or 82 minutes
Want to have a drink with that? Here’s a list of your best bets in booze…