Why is Eating Less More Important than Exercising More?

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Written by Samantha Oliver

Belly fat looks awful, does it not? If you have solemnly decided to sculpt your body into a beach-side head-turner before summer, be prepared to make sacrifices and work up a sweat. Including workouts in your daily schedule is essential to losing weight and toning up muscles, but training alone will produce little or no results unless you adjust your diet as well. Do not think you can cover up the consequences of your sweet tooth by aggressive workouts: here are the daunting facts about the average number of calories burnt through different exercises. (Note that people of different weight, sex and age may not burn the same amount of calories – below are the figures for an average adult weighing around 150 pounds).

Recreational archery vs. cake
An hour of recreational archery totals 170 calories burnt, while an average slice of commercial chocolate cake packs around 240 calories and goes down in a matter of minutes. Still think you can both have your cake and burn it off?

Basketball vs. chocolate chip
An intense half-hour basketball match expends 238 calories, which is equivalent to 3 chocolate chip cookies you routinely wolf down during an office break. Better hit the hoops straight away, eh?

Fencing vs. pork chops
A 3-ounce portion of pork chops contains 161 calories and an hour of fencing burns 340 calories. Bad news: unless you want to go porky in the tummy area, you will either need to cut down on your fatty chops or concede to go vigorously fencing away after every meal.

Frisbee vs. steak
An ounce of boneless, cooked beef steak packs 71 calories. This does not sound much, right?  Wrong: to burn those calories, you will have to go chasing a Frisbee disc for half an hour, and that is an awful lot of breath-catching if you are not used to quick sprints.

Soccer vs. lite crisps
The calorie count for a 100-gram pack of lite crisps: 470. Calories burnt by an hour-long soccer match: 477. You should better crack down on your favorite salted snack unless you normally go chasing a ball across the pitch like a weight-crazed maniac.

Horseback riding vs. white bread
You may think horseback riding is a strenuous sport, but an hour-long fast trot will burn you as few as 374 calories. This is approximately 5.5 slices of white bread, so start counting your bread rations unless you want to spend most of your waking hours in the saddle.

Roller skating vs. French fries
A pack of French fries (85 grams) contains 197 calories, which can be expended through 30 minutes of roller skating. Do not try to cheat: the figures apply to skating on level ground, not downhill descents.

Ice hockey vs. ice cream
A cup of ice cream packs a whooping 267 calories, which is equivalent to 33 minutes of energetic ice hockey. Enjoy your buttery delight, but do not forget to put on your skates and grab a hokey stick afterwards.

CrossFit vs. hamburger
An intense 20-minute CrossFit session burns around 260 calories, which is approximately the same amount of energy you consumed in that hamburger at lunchtime (standard burger, mind you, not a Big Mac; that guy packs 490 calories).

The figures are clear: the more you eat, the longer you will have to stay active to make up for the lack of dietary discipline. You can drop junk food, candies and extra-fatty meals from your plate and hire an experienced fitness trainer to design a custom exercise program based on your weight, build and fitness level – or, you can start working out on your own while stubbornly clinging to your bad dietary choices and see how you fare. (Yes, you can still opt for the latter, but do not go pointing chubby fingers if you wind up like just another plump hamster fruitlessly running in the wheel getting nowhere near a sexy figure.)

Author Bio: Samantha has a B.Sc. in nutrition, and has spent two years working as a personal trainer. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to conquer the blogospere. When not in the gym or on the track, you can find her on Twitter at Sam _ Olivier , or in a tea shop.

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