A Realistic Look at Calories

If you want to get a good idea of what it takes to burn off calories, jump on a Concept2 rower. That’s what I did yesterday. After a brief warm up, I cranked up the intensity for about three minutes until I was spent. Then I slowed it down for a minute or two. After this brief rest, I repeated the process six or seven times. At the end of my 30 minute workout, I was covered in sweat. The readout told me that I had burned 490 calories.

That number was brought into sharp focus today when I saw an article put out by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The CSPI is bringing attention to the extreme number of calories that are in many popular foods. Here are a few examples:

  • Starbucks Frappuccino coffee with whipped cream

550 calories

  • Dunkin Donuts sesame seed bagel with cream cheese

570 calories

  • McDonald’s large chocolate shake

1,160 calories

Here’s a rule of thumb. The number of calories your body burns depends upon your weight, your metabolic rate, and the intensity of the exercise you are doing. If you weigh 110 pounds, you will burn approximately 980 calories rowing for one hour at a moderate to intense pace. If you weigh 160 pounds, that same number of calories will take about 45 minutes to burn.

Is that cream-cheese-slathered bagel really worth your hour on the rower? It’s a better idea to stick to foods that are nutrient-dense, high in protein, and naturally low in calories.

Enjoy an active day!