Now comes a crossroad in the path of fit versus flabby. It’s the time of year when a person can take advantage of the warm weather to exercise in more ways or he can do what many people do during vacation season – lounge around and eat.
“It’s easy to fall in to the festival frenzy,” said Sue Walker, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center dietitian. “We go and eat all of these foods that are extremely high in fat. We go on vacations and what do we do? Eat and eat and eat. Now is the season to get moving and stay active.”
To illustrate how important an active lifestyle is to maintaining a healthy weight, consider how long it takes to burn calories.
Take a regular-sized sausage patty or a taco. Both have 170 calories and each one takes 33 minutes to walk off; 21 minutes to cycle off; 15 minutes to swim off; 9 minutes to jog off; and 131 minutes to sit off.
Vegetarian chow mein with rice has 237 calories and takes 46 minutes to walk off; 29 minutes to cycle off; 21 minutes to swim off; 12 minutes to jog off; and three hours to sit off.
A Bacon burger has 420 calories and takes 81 minutes to walk off; 51 minutes to cycle off; 38 minutes to swim off; 21 minutes to jog off; and five hours and 23 minutes to sit off.
A bratwurst on a bun has 521 calories and takes 100 minutes to walk off; 64 minutes to cycle off; 47 minutes to swim off; 26 minutes to jog off; and nearly seven hours to sit off.
Bringing up the rear is a 600-calorie, two-piece fried chicken dinner. It takes 116 minutes to walk off; 73 minutes to cycle off; 54 minutes to swim off; 30 minutes to jog off; and almost eight hours to sit off.
Salads and fresh fruits and vegetables, in addition to being better for you, will take much less time to burn off. The most important thing is to find a balance between what gets eaten and the level of activity.
“The German people can get away with eating these foods because they bike and walk everywhere,” said Ms. Walker. “Show me an 80-year old granny who bikes in the states. I see 80-year old men and women here all of the time who bike to the market. That activity really helps.”
The aforementioned calorie chart will vary with an individual’s measurements, age, metabolism and sex – males typically burn calories faster than women. But it is a general guideline that can help people make healthier decisions.
“The key to success is to be continuously active if you are going to enjoy some of the more fun things in Germany, like their rich foods and even richer beers,” she said.