Friday, July 31, 2009

How Long Do You Have to Exercise to Burn Off Carbs?

If you eat a meal full of carbs, how long do you have to exercise to burn it all off? Ava M.

Dear Ava,

There are a lot of variables to your question and it may be better to find out how many calories you are eating in the meal. Then we need to know how many calories you normally burn, and find out what type of exercise you are doing to burn the rest off.

For instance, if you eat 500 calories of carbs at a meal, it's likely it will burn itself off through your metabolism and normal body activities over the next several hours. An average number of daily calories burned is 2200 (nearly 100 calories per hour) but the actual number depends on your height, weight, age, and gender, and can range from about 1700 per day to over 2700 per day for large and active people.

Whether you eat too much in the form of carbs, of fats, or even protein, the extra calories will be stored as fat for your body to use later (an old protective mechanism to hold us over in case of future difficulty finding food.)

If you think you've overeaten a bit during a meal, taking a 30 minute brisk walk or bike ride can burn off 200-300 of those extra calories!

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