‘I can eat as much as I want if I exercise’……..You may have heard or said this before in order to justify that extra 900 calories from a McDonalds double cheese burger meal. Well Usain Bolt apparently consumed over 47000 calories worth of chicken nuggets during the 2012 Olympic games so it should be ok for everyone shouldn’t it?
First of all we need to consider how many calories you burn during exercise.
If you have been inspired to put on your running shoes or hop on your bike a few times a week, but don’t think you get be just as generous with your food portions as Usain Bolt or Bradley Wiggins.
The reality is that on average running for an hour only burns around 540 calories or 12 chicken nuggets. If you’re only jogging then this number drops to around 430 calories, about the equivalent of a McDonalds double cheese burger (minus the cheese).
If it was Bradley Wiggins who inspired you at London 2012 then you can be expected to burn around 500 calories an hour cycling at a steady 10 mph. This will only help you burn of the equivalent calories contained in two measly mars bars.
A 50 minute spinning class (510 calories) wont burn the same calories as a climb up Mont Ventoux (3200 calories) (considered to be one of the hardest cycling mountain stages in the world). We all need to be realistic in terms of the calories we believe we burn during exercise.
We also need to think about the types of food were eating.
The quality of the calories you eat also plays a massive part. The 9000 calories per day Bradley Wiggins consumed in the alps on the Tour de France probably isn’t 8 big mac meals. They will all be high quality & low fat with a strict mix of carbohydrates, protein and quality sugars.
Everything is relative to the type and quality of both the food & exercise. A healthy diet should play an equal role to exercise in everyone’s life. The next time you indulge in your favourite chocolate bar, try to remember just how much exercise you would really need to do to burn it off.