How Much Exercise to Burn off Foods you Ate?

By Ivan Nikolov

So, one of your co-workers had a birthday and somebody brought that chocolate cake at the little party at work. You couldn’t resist the temptation… and you had a piece. At the moment you had the first bite you knew that it is going to make you feel guilty for the rest of your day, but nonetheless you finished it…

And now, rightfully you feel guilty. Any kinds of thoughts are passing trough your head – you can see yourself getting bigger in the waist or hips, you can even see yourself not fitting in your pants the next morning…

What should you do now…? Another thought, but this time a brighter one – there might be a resolution, there might be something to help cope with the guilt (or at least partially). “I can do some extra exercise today to try to make up for the extra calories”, you are thinking.

But how much calories were there in that chocolate cake, and how much exercise will it take to burn off these extra calories? Follow the two steps below to find that out:

Step One: Find how much calories the “sin” food contains. Go to and search their huge foods database under the “recipes, article and resources ” tab.

Step two: Determine how many calories you burn an hour, performing your favorite physical activity.

To lessen your work, I put together a table with the most common activities and the calories burned for each hour:

Activity Cal/kg/hour Cal/LB/hour
Running, 10 min/mile 10.0 4.5
Stationary bicycling, light effort 5.5 2.5
Circuit training, general 8.0 3.6
Basketball, game 8.0 3.6
Weightlifting, powerlifting or bodybuilding, vigorous effort 6.0 2.7
HIIT sprints/walking, inclined treadmill 13.0 5.9


Let’s say you weigh 150LB (~68kg) and you like running at the speed of 10min/mile. With this type of physical activity you will burn 675 Cal for one hour (4.5 x 150).

Now, suppose the chocolate cake you ate at that party at work had 370 Cal. After doing the simple math it turns out you will have to run 33 min. (675 / 60 = 11.25 -> to determine how many calories you expend for one minute; 370 / 11.25 = 33 min).

It’s easy to do these calculations, but the work that you have to do to offset the extra calories is not that easy…Here is a surprise for you…

I prepared another table. It contains the most common (and eaten) “sin” foods and the time it takes a 150 LB person to burn the same amount of calories for each of them, doing running at 10min/mile:

“Sin” Food How Much Running at 10 min/mile
McDonald’s Big Mac
560 Cal

50 min

Burger King Double Whopper
900 Cal

1 hour 20 min

Wendy’s Big Bacon Classic
580 Cal

52 min

Coca Cola (Coke) Classic (can)
140 Cal

12 min

Cheez It Crackers: Original (1 package)
1440 Cal

2 hours 8 min

DiGiorno Pizza, Frozen: Cheese Stuffed Crust, Four Cheese (1 slice)
360 Cal

32 min

Kwik Trip’s Chocolate Covered Glazer Donut (1 donut)
220 Cal

20 min

Mrs. Smith’s Carrot cake w. cream cheese frosting (1/6 cake – 1 piece)
300 Cal

27 min

Muffins, Blueberry, commercially prepared (1 extra large)
465 Cal

41 min

Sara Lee’s Caramel Applenut Deep Dish Pie, frozen (one slice – 1/9 pie)
370 Cal

33 min

Potato Chips plain, salted (1 bag)
1242 Cal

            1 hour 50 min

Godiva Chocolate: Truffle Amaretto
(1 piece)
110 Cal

 10 min

Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Crème (1 package)
300 Cal

  27 min

Ice Cream: Regular (10% fat) (1/2 cup)
201 Cal

   18 min

Surprised about how many calories there are in some of the foods that you’d normally eat?

Alright, stop worrying now. Follow steps one and two from this article. After you are done with your calculations, put on your running shoes, grab a bottle of water and… off to the nearest jogging location. You’ve got some serious running to do.

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