Last month we did a lot of walking on our vacation - a lot of walking. My wife's pedometer read 30,000 steps one day, and I'm not even sure that was our longest walking day.
The walking site tells me I walked 15 miles that day, which means I blew through about 1,875 extra calories, if we assume 125 calories per mile. But that doesn't tell the whole story of the day - I could still have either gained weight or lost weight, depending on how much I ate.
So, let's see how I did:
- Breakfast (600 calories). I brought a bagel with me and grabbed a mocha from the hotel's Starbucks.
- Snacks (900 calories). I ate a few energy bars during those in-between times. (mid-morning 225, noon-ish 225, 5:00ish 290.) I also had a few handfuls of some of my boys' sweets.
- Lunch (500 calories). We ate a late lunch, and I split a plate with my wife.
- Dinner (1,200 calories). We ate dinner at a restaurant, where I enjoyed a full meal - and licked my plate clean!
- Total Consumption for the day: I consumed about 3,425 calories.
- Total Calories Burned for the day: I walked off 1,875, plus my normal 1,900 calories per day at rest. Overall I burned about 3,775 calories.
This means I burned off 350 more calories than I ate. 350 calories - that's all - on a day when I walked 15 miles! This helps to make a few points:
- It takes a lot of exercise to outrun your daily eating, but it's possible.
- I was able to slow-drip food all day long, so that I was neither hungry nor full throughout the day.
- Restaurant meals are too big. Even with 15 miles of walking, splitting lunch was the difference between net loss and net gain; I would have eaten more than I burned if I had ordered my own lunch. And that restaurant dinner.. I would have been way on the good side if I had eaten a non-restaurant dinner.
Most of us aren't able to walk 15 miles in a day; it simply takes more time than we have available. But the lessons learned can be applied to our everyday lives.
Move a little more. Eat a little less. Snack strategically. And be careful in restaurants!
- Chris Butterworth
200 posts ago: July 3rd - the 2nd half starts now