Beating obesity: Think you can walk it off? Think again

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Perhaps Taylor Swift can just “Shake if Off” but then she really doesn’t have to worry so much about her weight. And I am a huge fan of walking and I walk at least 13.1 miles each and every day. But can walking, or for that matter any other form of exercise, help you reach and maintain proper healthy weight? Consider these facts.

A person who weighs 180 pounds will burn about 100 calories per mile walked. Someone who weighs less will burn less but let’s just stick with our 180-pound person for now. Now lets look at what he or she eats in any given day.

Breakfast:   Two eggs fried – 148 calories = 1.48 miles

Three slices of bacon – 129 calories = 1.29 miles

One piece of toast – 66 calories =   .66 miles

Butter – 100 calories = 1.00 miles

Orange Juice – 112 calories = 1.12 miles

AM Snack:  Chocolate Donut 290 calories = 2.90 miles

The historic Downey McDonald’s and their signature Big Mac sandwich (Wikipedia)

Lunch:  Big Mac – 530 calories = 5.30 miles

Medium Fries – 340 calories = 3.40 miles

Coca-Cola 10 oz – 120 calories = 1.20 miles

PM Snack: Energy Bar – 250 calories = 2.50 miles

Dinner: Turkey sandwich 308 calories = 3.08 miles

A cup of pasta – 220 calories = 2.20 miles

Pasta sauce – 60 calories =   .60 miles

Avocado – 130 calories = 1.30 miles

Late Snack: 1 slice pizza – 230 calories = 2.30 miles

1 can beer – 153 calories = 1.53 miles

And the totals are 3186 calories consumed requiring you to walk just under 32 miles just to stay even. That means even if you did walk those 32 miles you still wouldn’t lose any weight but would rather simply stay the same weight.

Now imagine walking those 32 miles every day. Crazy isn’t it, especially when you factor in a moderate pace of 3 miles per hour you would need to walk over 10 hours a day to achieve this goal. So what is the take away here?

Simple, while exercise is essential to good health when it comes to achieving and maintaining good, healthy non-obese weight it is your food consumption measured both in quantity and quality that matters the most. On average your diet represents about 80 percent of the task while exercise is only 20 percent; an important 20 percent to be sure but clearly diet is king in this battle.

This knowledge can be very useful because now knowing how calories in versus calories burned works in the real world the next time you reach for that medium bag of French fries you will know that you will now need to walk another 3.4 miles just to break even. That Big Mac means an additional 5.3-mile hike. If you don’t want to walk it off then don’t gobble it up.

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If you would like a fantastic straight to the point real and proven guide to achieving and maintaining optimal weight get a hold of my book Lose Live published by Lulu and available right here. If you prefer you may also obtain this book from and

To read more of Ron’s health columns and theatre reviews, click here. And we invite you to join Ron on the Hollywood Health Hike April 30.

Photos by Ron Irwin unless otherwise noted