I’M POUNDING the treadmill like Jessica Ennis on a last 100m stretch (or so I’d like to think), salty sweat is making my eyes sting, and the ugly grimace across my face is only outmatched by the even uglier grunts I'm producing. I slam the emergency break with triumphant force as I hit the 5K mark. But only 333 calories burned? That’s just four measly chocolate biscuits. So what about the rest of the packet I ate this week? What more do I need to do? I fall into a slump of sweat, pain and self-pity.
...just one glass of red wine would ‘take sixty squats' to work off.
Trying to establish a power balance between the calories I’ve consumed and the calories I’ve burned is a daily burden I bear.
But should it always take an Olympian effort to burn off junk food melt-downs, midnight trips to the biscuit tin and a Friday night bottle of wine?
New research by online retailer MuscleFood.com, which examines the liquid calories in ten of the nation’s favourite drinks, suggests that we should be paying for our excessive drinking habits with sweat, squats and tears.
The study reveals that ‘a modest drinking session' may require two gym visits to work off, while the calories in just one glass of red wine is the equivalent of 60 squats. Beer is also in the firing line, as one pint - which contains roughly 330 calories - takes twenty minutes of HIIT (high intensity interval training) to sweat off.
Non-alcoholic drinks come under fire too, with a typical full-fat latte of up to 258 calories requiring half an hours jogging, while a simple hot chocolate was revealed as the worst offender, with an average serving containing a whopping 429 calories - the equivalent of a six mile hike.
It’s a hard pill to swallow. The research reveals that one of the most common mistakes gym-goers make is the belief that a little bit of exercise here and there can counteract a bad diet.
Darren Beale from MuscleFood.com said: “Most of us know what calories are in certain foods, but the vast majority probably don’t think twice before opening that bottle of wine.
“Whether you’re watching your weight or not, you need to be aware of the calories you are consuming everyday, and that includes drinks. All of these beverages can be enjoyed in moderation but you should factor in working off the calories you’ve swigged in your work outs.
“Beware of drinks that disguise themselves as healthy too. That fruit smoothie might seem like a smart choice, but as most shop-bought ones are crammed with sugar you’ll be paying for it later on the treadmill.”
On the back of this revealing research should we assume that a night boozing followed by a 3am kebab requires a marathon to burn off? Just how seriously should we be taking this advice?
According to the NHS website:
‘The amount of calories people use by doing a certain physical activity varies, depending on a range of factors, including size and age. The more vigorously you do an activity, the more calories you will use. For example, fast walking will use more calories than walking at a moderate pace. If you’re gaining weight, it usually means you’ve been regularly eating and drinking more calories than you've been using through normal bodily functions and physical activity. To lose weight, you have to tip that balance in the other direction. You must start to use more energy than you consume, and do this over a sustained period of time.’
So the aim of the game is to be mindful of what we consume on a daily basis and to know exactly how much effort it takes to work off that second glass of wine in the long, long run...
I wonder how many calories you burn while couch surfing?
See the full research by MuscleFood.com below
Your caffeine fix from your local coffee shop will be laden with full fat milk, meaning it contains 258 calories in 450ml. This is the same as half an hour of jogging.
- HOT CHOCOLATE
Bad news for those with a sweet tooth, a 450 ml hot chocolate tots up to 429 calories. If you can’t give it up, you’ll need to hike for six miles to work it off.
- ORANGE JUICE
It might be full of vitamin C, but there’s 209 calories hiding in a 450ml glass of sunshine. That’s the same as 45 minutes of cycling on flat terrain.
Smoothies might seem like the healthy option, but there can be up 207 calories per 450ml, around the same as three chocolate biscuits or 20 minutes of swimming.
- GLASS OF RED WINE
If you like to unwind with a glass of red, there’s 214 calories per 250ml. It will take sixty squats for it to reverse the damage.
- GLASS OF WHITE WINE
If white wine is your poison, you’re slightly better off with 190 calories per 250ml. To work it off can do 30 minutes of kickboxing.
- PINT OF LAGER
If you’re more partial to pint, you’re looking at 330 calories, the equivalent to 20 minutes of HIIT.
- GIN AND TONIC
Whilst low cal in comparison to wine and beer, one 170ml serving of gin and it is 143 calories, or 260 sit ups if you prefer.
If you like your fizzy drinks then you’re going have to do 70 push up to work off the 143 calories you consume in a can of cola.
Whilst high in calcium, whole milk will also serve up 154 calories per 250ml. If you want to work it off, try six minutes of planking