Calculated Cardio

Posted On Dec 4, 2018 By Lisa Traugott

A runner in a Santa hat checking her watch.

The holidays are the season of eating, drinking and being merry, but all that merry-making comes with a price that you might not always see right away. Cheat meals are fine, but know what the caloric damage will be so you can make an informed decision about what to eat and how long it will take you to sweat it off. #KnowledgeIsPower

Here are some typical holiday foods with calorie count and minutes of exercise it will take to burn off those calories.

  • Candy Cane – one candy cane is 50 calories. 5 minutes of kickboxing.
  • Cornbread – 94 calories in 1 ounce of cornbread. 5 minutes of kettlebell swings per ounce.
  • Christmas cookies – one chocolate chip cookie is 110 calories. 11 minutes of jumping rope.
  • Wine – 125 calories in 1 serving of 5 fluid ounces. Planking for 25 minutes.
  • Glazed Ham – 130 calories for 3 ounces of a spiral sliced, honey glazed ham. Boxing with a punching bag for 22 ½ minutes.
  • Green bean casserole – with green beans, condensed cream of mushroom soup, milk and fried onions - 142 calories. 21 minutes of rowing machine.
  • Potato chips – single serving is 150 calories. CrossFit 18 minutes.
  • Peppermint White Russian – 161 calories. Elliptical machine for 22 minutes.
  • Christmas Punch – made with sherbet and ginger all – 164 calories for one 8 ounce glass. Tennis for 27 minutes.
  • Cheese and crackers – 4 water crackers with cheddar cheese – 179 calories. Swimming for 30 minutes.
  • Mashed potatoes – 214 calories in 1 cup. Stair machine for 31 minutes.
  • Eggnog – 223 calories in one cup. Zumba for 29 minutes.
  • Tiramisu – a 3-ounce chuck of tiramisu contains around 240 calories. Cycling for 28 minutes at a speed of 12-14 mph.
  • Puerto Rican Coconut Milk-Rum – 286 calories. Run for 34 minutes at a speed of 5 mph.
  • Cheesecake – 401 calories. 45 ½ minutes of burpees.

Just for kicks and giggles let’s combine a typical holiday party meal:

Four water cracker with cheddar cheese, two glasses of wine, glazed ham, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, three chocolate chip cookies and one slice of cheese cake.

Here’s the combined exercises to do to burn off those calories:

  • Swimming for 30 minutes
  • Planking for 50 minutes
  • Boxing with a punching bag for 22 ½ minutes
  • 21 minutes of rowing machine
  • Stair machine for 31 minutes
  • 33 minutes of jumping rope
  • 45 ½ minutes of burpees

Holy Moley that’s a lot of gym time! Pick and choose your calories wisely. If you are going to drink alcohol, limit yourself to just one and drink water or diet cola in between. Skip the appetizers if possible or go for the veggie tray if one is available. Your options for the entrée and side dishes will probably be limited, but you can control the serving sizes. Drink a glass of water before the meal to fill you up and eat the protein before you down the carbs. For desert, go for the candy cane over the cheesecake! If you do indulge (don’t we all?!?) have realistic expectations that it will take you several days to burn off the calories, but it can be done.

Merry Fitness!


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A woman meditating while holding ornaments.