Many of us think if we eat a chocolate, that a quick 20-minute jog would take care of it. But that’s not necessarily the case. Chocolate and candy (or sweets) are extremely calorie dense, and have what nutritionists call ‘empty calories’. This means that unlike a plate of food where you get some fiber, vitamins, and minerals, you get all the calories for nothing in return. Except perhaps satisfying your sweet tooth. This is good to know, as many people think you can simply ‘out-exercise’ a bad diet, which is not the case.

If you have a sweet tooth, you probably know that candy and chocolate are not diet foods. A standard milk chocolate bar has about 230 calories. In case you devoured the whole bar and need to work it off, get you running shoes ready.  A 30-minute run or a brisk walk for 50 minutes should take care of it. Having a habit of choosing soft drinks over water can cost you. A soft drink has approximately 140 calories. That’s 15 minutes of jumping jacks! And that small homemade chocolate chip cookie? A whopping 78 calories for one single cookie. Which means you will need to jump rope for approximately 7 minutes for each cookie you eat. Blueberry muffins sound a bit healthier, probably due to the inclusion of blueberries. But to work of the 460 calories in each muffin, you would need to run for a full 30 minutes.


Your adult indulgences also add to your daily intake. If you enjoy a glass of red wine every now and then, that should be okay. But keep in mind it racks up 125 calories, which means you will need to skip rope for 12 minutes (or do yoga for 20 minutes). A pint of beer will get you moving too. With about 180 calories, you’d need to take a brisk walk for 40 minutes or run for 18 minutes. A glass of champagne has almost 100 calories, so this won’t be a calorie expensive drink – just 15 minutes of push-ups!

So if you were wondering just how long you would need to exercise to burn off that chocolate, now you know. Keep in mind that burnt calories will also vary depending on the intensity of the exercise and your body weight, so these are only estimates. Looking at the amount needed to burn off candy and sodas, it makes sense why you can’t outrun a bad diet. A cheat meal every now and then is acceptable, but the focus should be on a healthy, balanced diet and moderate exercise!