Monday, January 3, 2011
Happy New Year! Weight and the holidays (this post may make you hate me)
I did a little research on how large the average holiday meals are calorie wise and what I found was pretty interesting. Based on several sources, the typical Thanksgiving and Christmas meals involve eating anywhere from 2000 to 6000 calories above the daily recommended caloric intake. The average appears to be about 3500 extra calories for each of these meals. Being that one pound of body fat is about 3500 calories, this means for each one of these meals a person, on average, gains about 1 pound. On the bright side, the average American typically consumes fewer calories in the days after these large meals so the weight gain of one pound is typically not realized. However, for some people it is.
Assuming the one pound of weight gain is realized by a person, what would it take for that person to loose that additional pound? Well, one pound of body weight is 3500 calories, so in order to loose it 3500 additional calories would have to be burned. If a person continues to eat the average 2000 daily calorie diet and chooses to exercise to burn off the additional calories, how much exercise would it take? Jogging at an average pace burns about 500 calories in one hour. So in order to burn off 3500 calories a person would have to jog seven hours to loose one pound!
What is the practical biology lesson in all this? Its much easier to limit food intake rather than trying to exercise the weight off. Before you hate me for this, remember this is a biological fact. And remember Merry Christmas and happy New Year!