Monday, December 12, 2016


By Mary Kennedy                         
Not trying to be the Grinch who stole Christmas, but a flurry of holiday parties (with too many goodies) has me in a tizzy. I started analyzing how many luscious treats I was devouring and yowsers--the calorie count was in the stratosphere. No worries, I told myself, I'll simply step up the exercise (I normally walk 4 miles a day but I can easily increase it.)
That would solve the problem, right? Calories in, make sure I get enough exercise to account for them, and everything balances out. But wait, not so fast! I read an alarming article about how much exercise I would have to do to compensate for those Christmas goodies. The news was shocking!
The chart above shows how much you would have to exercise to burn off two cookies. Horrors! I would have to walk a solid 90 minutes just to burn off two chocolate chip cookies. And who eats just 2 chocolate chip cookies? Those things are addictive, like potato chips. Not saying I would devour the whole stack below, but if truth be told, I bet I would eat 4 or 5.  Easily!! A plate of cookies, a cup of tea and a cozy mystery. Before long, the plate of cookies would disappear!
At 450 calories a slice, fruitcake is another offender.
Don't care for it, you say? Good for you, you would have to run for 46 minutes to burn off the calories in just one slice!
Eggnog? At 343 calories a cup, you would have to run for 35 minutes. (although I did think I spied a "low cal" eggnog in the supermarket the other day.)
The list goes on, and the numbers are not good, my friends.
Feel like munching on a Gingerbread Man? 200 calories and 21 minutes of running.                                         
Hot chocolate? Yes, it's delicious but at 193 calories (without  marshmallows), get out your running shoes because you'll be running for 20 minutes for each cup you drink.  And if you add marshmallows, (doesn't everyone?) you'll have to add an additional 2 minutes to that number for each marshmallow.
One piece of fudge (one inch!) at 90 calories isn't much of a bargain, because you would have to run for 9 minutes to burn if off.

And who eats just one piece of fudge? (answer: people with remarkable, enviable self control, that's who!)

If you're looking for a caloric bargain, you can reach for a candy cane. That's ONE candy cane.  At 40 calories, it only takes 4 minutes of running. to account for it.

You see where I'm going with this, right?  You don't have to restrict yourself to carrots and celery sticks. But choose your treats wisely this holiday season so you'll be able to get into those cool leggings you got as a Christmas present. Indulge in moderation and have a great holiday!

Mary Kennedy

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