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?

I went looking and found a calorie calculator that projects recommended daily caloric intake based on age, gender, height, weight, activity level and personal fitness goals on a website called

I played around and put in my age, weight, activity level, and decided to put my goal as losing weight.

Good thing I did… I need to stick to under 1170 calories to do that if I’m only lightly active!

But the good news came when I switched to moderately active and my calorie intake went up to 1432 calories, meaning I could have a cookie in there if I go for a half hour, brisk walk.

But remember that I put my goal as losing weight. Maybe you’re happy with your weight and wondering what happens if you have a cookie here and there.

If I’m moderately active and simply maintaining my weight, which is actually about where I’m at, I can have 1934 calories.

So you can see, your activity level and weight goal have a huge impact on your daily calorie needs, which is why this calculator comes in handy.

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,, 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!