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To Splurge or Not to Splurge?

Whether a splurge is planned in advance or comes up unexpectedly, you can eliminate guilt or prevent a potential lapse by taking control of your choices. Enter the splurge of choice in your planner or tracker. Aim for 250 calories or less. Then, if you choose, you can offset the extra calories from a splurge by increasing your physical activity.

Use the chart below to see how much exercise it takes to make up for your splurge. This could even motivate you to change your decision on whether to splurge or not to splurge.

Foods That Contain
~250 calories
ActivitiesTime it Takes to
Burn ~250
(150 lb person)
Time it Takes to
Burn ~250
(200 lb person)
Brownie (2 1/2” square
Aerobic dance
30 minutes 25 minutes
Chicken Nuggets (6) Bicycling (5.5 mph)50 minutes 40 minutes
Cookies (4 small) Dancing (casual)1 hour, 10 minutes 50 minutes
Corn Chips (2 oz or 12)
& Salsa (1/4 cup)
Gardening 40 minutes 30 minutes
Crab Cakes (2) Housework 1 hour, 10 minutes 50 minutes
Frozen Yogurt (1 cup) Kayaking 40 minutes 30 minutes
Glazed Donut (1) Mowing the
40 minutes 30 minutes
Light Ice Cream (1 cup) Playing basketball 40 minutes 30 minutes
Single Scoop Ice Cream
Playing softball 40 minutes 30 minutes
Slice of Apple Pie (1/6
Playing golf, no cart 50 minutes 40 minutes
Small French Fries Playing tennis (singles)30 minutes 20 minutes
Soft Taco (1 small, meat
& cheese)
Rowing machine
30 minutes 20 minutes
Champagne 2 (4 oz)
Running (5 mph)30 minutes 20 minutes
Frozen Margarita (6 oz) Skating/Rollerblading 20 minutes 15 minutes
Light Beer 2 (12 oz)
Stair stepping 30 minutes 20 minutes
Martini (4 oz) Stretching/Yoga 1 hour, 20 minutes 1 hour
Soda, medium (21 oz) Swimming (casual)30 minutes 25 minutes
Tall Nonfat Mocha w/
Whipped Cream
Walking (3
mph/moderate pace)
1 hour, 10 minutes 50 minutes
Wine 2 (5 oz) Glasses Weight Training
1 hour, 10 minutes 50 minutes

Source: The American Council on Exercise. Available at: Accessed May 21, 2013.

Go ahead, savor that slice of apple pie or celebrate a special occasion with a glass (or two) of champagne. Gain control of your splurges and stay focused on long-term success.