March 7, 2016 5:03 pm

Calculator reveals time it’ll take you to work off that burger and fries

A fast food chain bacon cheeseburger with medium fries and a coke isn’t a meal decision made in our finest hours – it clocks in at 1,210 calories, which would take 100 minutes of sweating it out on an elliptical trainer to burn off.

File photo/Getty Images

A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips — or so the saying goes.

Even if the pounds packed on by fast food don’t stay on an entire lifetime, it could take a lot of work to get rid of them. A Boston Cream donut from Dunkin’ Donuts, for instance, will take nearly 40 minutes of running to burn off. Tack on another 10 minutes if you have a “burrito supreme” from Taco Bell.

The exercise estimates are from U.S.-based health site, Home Remedy Shop. The group has set out to show exactly how much physical activity we’d have to do to shed those fast food calories.


The “fast food workout plan” above is based on average American weights (195.5 lbs for men, 166.2 for women). In Canada, our waistlines are a little slimmer. The average Canadian woman weighed 149 lbs at last count in 2013, according to Statistics Canada. The average Canadian man weighed 185 lbs.

Based on those figures, here’s a look at how your fast food choices break down in sweat equity.

McDonald’s: Big Mac Meal

You’re going to have to walk for about an hour to work it off.

To reach the same caloric intake in vegetables, a woman would have to eat:

  • 332.5 spears of asparagus
  • 53.2 medium bell peppers
  • 29.6 medium stalks of broccoli
  • 44.3 carrots
  • 8.9 cauliflower heads
  • 190 medium celery stalks
  • 44.3 medium cucumbers
  • 53.2 medium tomatoes

Starbucks: Mocha Frappucino

If you opt for a grande — and hold the whipped cream — you’ll still need to feel the burn from about half an hour of cardio.

Subway: 6″ sandwich

If you just go for a sandwich at Subway, a 45-minute bike ride (if you’re a woman) can help work it off.


Story continues below

Rather than hitting the treadmill, though, many of us feel like hitting the sack after an unhealthy meal. A 2014 UCLA study found even mice face the same problem, which led scientists to believe being overweight makes people tired and sedentary.

READ MORE: 10 of the worst foods for your heart’s health

So the solution may be to think of the workout hours needed to burn off a specific dish before ordering.

That was the recommended approach of a study out of Texas Christian University in 2013. It argued consumers would choose healthier options if menus and food labels displayed how long it’d take to burn off the calories with brisk walking.

Researchers suggested this measure would be more effective in dissuading diners from unhealthy fare than simply displaying the number of calories on a plate.

READ MORE: Fast food vs. restaurant fare: Which is worse for your waistline?

Here’s a look at how much gym time a few other favourite foods will cost you. The exercise numbers are based on a 150-lb man.

In this photograph illustration a bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate is seen on January 19, 2010 in Bristol, England.
(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Indulging in a caramel chocolate bar would set you back 240 calories and sign you up for 35 minutes of jogging.

 breakfast sandwich. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ho-Random House Canada-Jennifer May
(Jennifer May/CP file photo)

Grabbing a drive-thru bite with your morning coffee in the form of a breakfast sandwich with sausage, egg and cheese amounts to 530 calories. It would take 60 minutes of walking up flights of stairs to burn off.

Philadelphia Cheese Steaks
(Getty Images)

Six inches of sliced beef, melted cheese and bread for lunch or dinner adds up to 570 calories – or 80 minutes of swimming laps.

SOUND OFF: Do these calorie and exercise stats make you think twice about eating these meals?

With files from Carmen Chai, Global News

© 2016 Shaw Media

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.

Global News