A few years ago I remember seeing a chart of “burpee equivalents” for food.

Do you remember it?

  • A cookie = 141 burpees
  • Small meatball sub = 402 burpees
  • Big Mac = 506 burpees

I’ve also seen charts for how many miles it takes to walk or run off different foods:

  • 1 hour and 23 mins to walk off ¼ of a large pizza (or 42 mins of running at 5 mph)
  • 48 minutes of walking to burn off a blueberry muffin (25 minutes of running)

Which, on one hand, is interesting, because it makes you realize just how much of an impact what you eat can have body-weight wise … even though the numbers themselves are a little meaningless.

This is because there are a LOT of things that affect how many calories a person burns, from their sex to their size to their age, and more.

But on the other hand… this approach overlooks a very important fact: the actual NUTRITION different foods give your body.

Food is so much more than just calories and how much it takes to “burn it off.”

Food can be packed with vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that help build and power your muscles and bones, create and regulate hormones, boost your immune system, and help your cells and organs do their jobs.

And it can also be filled with unhealthy fats, added sugars, excess sodium, and refined grains that make it harder for your body to function at its best.

The idea is to eat MORE of the foods that add value to your body … like veggies, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats.

And also to eat less of those that don’t contribute to your health & wellbeing (like added sugars and ultra-processed foods).

Just something to keep in mind – because it’s not always about the calories!

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Rob is the owner and founder of Fitness Lifestyle Personal Training.

He has been training for over thirty-three years; seventeen of those years as a personal trainer helping others reach their goals.