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Now that chain restaurant menus list how many calories are in each dish, it’s harder to justify eating certain foods anymore (we’re talking to you, 460-calorie scone from Starbucks). But a study, presented by Texas Christian University researchers at the Experimental Biology meeting in April 2013, found that people make even healthier choices if, instead of seeing the calorie count, they’re shown how much exercise it takes to burn off what they’re considering eating.
Maybe one day, menus will list how many minutes you’ll need to log on the rowing machine to erase that scone (48 minutes with vigorous effort, for the record). Until then, here’s a quick guide for you (all calorie calculations are based on a 140-pound woman):
One basket of mozzarella sticks at 763 calories = 84 minutes of singles tennis (or two hours and 15 minutes of doubles!)
One single cheeseburger at 343 calories = 30 minutes of vigorous freestyle laps in the pool
One medium-sized bagel at 289 calories + 1 oz of cream cheese at 97 calories = 2 hours and 15 minutes of yoga
One slice of cheese pizza at 285 calories = 50 minutes of walking at a brisk pace (that means 4 mph on the treadmill)
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Two chocolate chip cookies at 155 calories = 15 minutes on the stair climber
Two tostadas with guacamole at 360 calories = 2 hours of Pilates
Tuna Salad Sub
One tuna salad sub at 584 calories = 45 minutes of running at a 9-minute-mile pace
One 12-oz can of regular soda at 136 calories = 20 minutes of cross-country (i.e. backcountry) hiking
Oat Bran Muffin
One medium-size oat bran muffin (113 grams) at 305 calories = 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer
One 12-oz light beer at 103 calories = 30 minutes of bowling
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