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How hard do I have to workout to be able to eat more?

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Learn how to get the most out of your diet and fitness plan with these simple tips. By: Carolyn Williams, PhD, RD

You want to be smart and plan ahead by working out a little extra to compensate for that slice of pizza and glass of wine you know you’re having tomorrow night. So, how much do you have to exercise to enjoy this treat without guilt?

For the average 160-pound person, every 10 minutes of high-intensity exercise (running, speed cycling, singles tennis, basketball, jumping rope, etc.) burns approximately 100 calories. Every 15 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (walking at 3.5mph or faster, bicycling, weight training, etc.) burns roughly 100 calories. So if you want to eat a little extra, use these time increments and calories burned to find out how much you can actually eat without going overboard. Just remember that the amount of calories you burn throughout the day is based on your activity level and how much you weigh (the more you weigh, the more calories you burn). Check out this list of activities and the calories burned per hour for a person at 160 lbs, 200 lbs, and 240 lbs.

An important thing to also remember is that the Cooking Light Diet plan has already factored in your weekly exercise into your calorie needs for weight loss. If you are doing more than what you indicated when you signed up, then using the time increments in the list mentioned above may be helpful.