Cookie-Exercise Conversion for the Holidays

It’s the holidays once again! That means we’re baking, making and buying goodies galore. (I’ve bookmarked a page called The Best 50 Cookie Recipes Ever and visit it often. Take a look!)

Now I believe in enjoying treats year round, just not over indulging all the time. It’s about satisfying your craving here and there while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Eating a small treat might save you from eating several healthy snacks and then giving in to the treat anyway. In fact, Glamour magazine just ran an article about the “Snob Diet,” where you allow yourself that yummy cheese and cracker snack or chocolate, as long as it’s the really good kind. A little bit of cheesecake will probably fix your craving, the logic goes.

So here is the real question: just how many cookies can you get away with? How much exercise does it take to burn them off?? Guess what, I found a website that shows you how many calories you will burn. You put in the type of exercise from their long pull down list, the time spent exercising, and your weight. Presto! Visit the site at: http://www.prohealth.com/weightloss/tools/exercise/calculator1_2.cfm

I put in my weight and 40 minutes of walking, and it showed me calories burned at different speeds. I walk my dog for 40 minutes to an hour 3-5 times a week. Here’s what came back:

  • Moderate walking (3 mph) walking dog: 136 calories burned
  • Fast walking (4 miles per hour): 155
  • Race walking: 254

I sometimes run or ride my bike too, but not as much when it’s cold outside. Now I need to research how many calories are in a cookie. Store bought goodies make this part easy, but they’re never as good. And who doesn’t love eating cookies straight out of the oven? (That whole “Let cool 15 minutes” is an urban myth – don’t listen to it!) Most cookies range from 150 calories clear up to 500, depending on the size and what’s in it. Some recipes include the calories per cookie, and I’ve a site I use often, www.allrecipes.com, lists all the information. I just found a chocolate chip cookie recipe listing 250 calories per cookie.

So, it looks like one cookie is worth 40 minutes of speed walking. Maybe I need to run more. Oh, good, an hour of cycling at my normal speed of 13 mph burns 600 calories. But, I just realized, all that exercise would probably make me crave salads and healthy food, so we should probably skip the exercise and just eat our cookies. Here’s to the holidays!

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