How Can I Burn Away the Calories?

I had a rather indulgent weekend with several dinners out, many cocktails and fattening snacks (double cream brie cheese!).

Is there a way to quickly make sure this doesn’t accumulate on my hips in any sort of permanent way? Is there a way to burn off all these calories quickly?!

We’ve all been there and unfortunately there is no magic solution to erase the damage. However, there are ways burn away those calories to ensure the weight doesn’t take up permanent residence.

After you eat, your body uses what it needs for fuel and the excess is stored in the compartments of your adipose tissue (a polite term for fat cells). This process occurs in approximately 8-10 hours. Generally this will occur while you are sleeping off your indulgence. Your body is always burning calories. Even when you are sleeping, your body burns approximately 50 calories/hour; this is called your basal metabolic rate.

The average 35-40 year old female weighing 135-150 pounds uses approximately 1,750 – 2,500 calories per day depending on your level of activity. Let’s face it; during the 24 hours surrounding a night of indulgence, you probably weren’t at the gym.

Just how many calories did your night of indulgence take in?

Item Calories Quantity Total
Cocktail 1.5 ozs 350 1 350
Wine 5 ozs 125 3 375
Double cream brie 1 oz 100 6 600
Caesar salad 500 1 500
Bread 1 slice 100 2 200
Steak 8 oz 550 1 550
Mashed potatoes 10 ozs 600 1 600
Specialty coffee 1.5 ozs 800 1 800
Brownie sundae 800 1 800
TOTAL 4,475

At dinner time your body probably only requires 750-1,000 calories. You are now in excess of approximately 3,500 calories which is equal to 1 pound (imagine a pound of butter). Although these excess calories are now in your fat cells, you have the ability to get them out by increasing your activity level.
Exercise burns calories. Physical activity leads to immediate calorie expenditure during your workout. The best way to increase your metabolic rate (rate at which you burn calories) is to incorporate weight training. Muscles are like a furnace for burning calories: the stronger the muscles are, the more they burn.
Here are the best exercises to ensure a high caloric burn in just 60 minutes at a high intensity:

  • Elliptical Trainer – 600
  • Running 5 m.p.h. – 700
  • Stair Machine – 625
  • Racquetball -800
  • Rock Climbing -760
  • Rowing – 600
  • Skiing (cross country) – 600
  • Stationary Bike – 500
  • Step aerobics- 600- 800
  • Swimming- 700

In total, you need to do an average of 5-6 hours of “hard” intensity cardio to burn off the extra pound you gained. While that may seem like a lot, remember that it took you 3-4 hours to put the excess calories into your body. What’s a few extra hours to get them out?

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Do this intense cardio over the next 10 days, but remember, your body needs time to rest and recover from your workouts, and you’ve already abused it enough with your indulgence. Next time you are on an indulgent weekend, a “better” cocktail choice is an 8-ounce Bloody Mary (140 calories). And add some dancing to your adventure; 30 minutes of shaking your booty on the dance floor can burn 200-300 calories.