Shocking Equations

How long do you have to run, swim, or do yoga to burn off a handful of almonds or a Big Mac? VIEW OUR GALLERY of the surprising time you have to exercise to cancel out snacks and meals.

1. No Sweat

Pickle = 5 calories

Running (8 mph): < 1 minute
Swimming (laps): 1 minute
Hatha Yoga: 2 minutes
Jumping Rope: < 1 minute

Looking to curb a craving for something salty, crunchy, and guaranteed to give you bad breath? Hit the pickle jar. Now hoping to burn it off? Jump rope for less than a minute.

2. In the Raw

Celery (1 large stalk) = 10 calories

Running: under 1 minute
Swimming: > 1 minute
Hatha Yoga: 2.4 minutes
Rollerblading: < 1 minute

It's possible that the mere act of eating celery works off the calories you find in this water-dense vegetable. Just to be sure, though, for every large stalk you eat, consider performing about two and a half minutes of hatha yoga.

4. Cheesy and Carefree

Sargento string cheese (1 stick) = 80 calories

Running: 6 minutes
Swimming: 10 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 19 minutes
Pilates (beginner): 18 minutes

As fromage goes, string cheese isn't a major offender. The lunchbox favorite packs only 80 calories per stick. And it helps to provide you with the protein you'll need to build muscle while performing the 18 minutes of beginner Pilates necessary to burn it off.

3. An Apple a Day Keeps Love Handles Away

Apple = 70 calories

Running: 5 minutes
Swimming: 9 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 17 minutes
Ping Pong: 15 minutes

There's a reason apples are the preferred healthy snack for many athletes. Not only do they provide carbs for energy, but they don't pack on the extra pounds. Want to eat two apples, guilt free? Gear up for 30 minutes of intense ping pong.

5. Not Really Pigging Out

Bacon (2 generous slices) = 110 calories

Running: 8 minutes
Swimming: 14 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 27 minutes
Tennis (singles): 12 minutes

No one's recommending bacon as a health food—but calorie-wise, it's not so bad. You'll burn off the two slices you ate at Sunday brunch in less than a quarter-hour of singles tennis.

6. The King of Calories?

Budweiser (12 oz) = 145 calories

Running: 10 minutes
Swimming: 18 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 35 minutes
Darts: 54 minutes

True, one can of brewski is no worse than your average can of soda or fruit juice, when it comes to calories. But does anyone stop at just one can? Drink three Buds, and you'll need to play nearly three hours of darts to burn it off.

7. Nutty But Wise

Almonds (1 oz or 24 nuts) = 170 calories

Running: 12 minutes
Swimming: 20 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 42 minutes
Hula Hoop: 28 minutes

Almonds may be high in calories, but they're loaded with nutrients and healthy fats. They also fill you up and give you enough energy to help you avoid other temptations—like that bag of potato chips. Still, there is too much of a good thing: To burn off the calories in two ounces of almonds, you have to hula hoop for almost an entire hour.

8. Don’t Glaze Over Labels

Krispy Kreme Glazed Donut = 250 calories

Running: 17 minutes
Swimming: 30 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 1 hour
Pool (Billiards): 1 hour and 16 minutes

Who can resist a glistening Krispy Kreme donut every now and then? They sure are tasty—but you'd have to perform an hour of hatha yoga to compensate for eating just one.

9. Eat Fresh, and Lean

Subway turkey sandwich (6-inch, on wheat bread with mayo, American cheese, and veggies) = 300 calories

Running: 20 minutes
Swimming: 36 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 1 hour and 12 minutes
Ultimate Frisbee: 1 hour and 13 minutes

As the perpetually slim and trim Jared Fogle can attest: Eating right at Subway can lead to a smaller waistline. After noshing on a sensible turkey sandwich, swim laps for less than 40 minutes, and you're back to square one.

10. Stick It to Your Midsection

Wendy's French Toast Sticks = 310 calories

Running: 21 minutes
Swimming: 37 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Bowling: 1 hour and 25 minutes

Craving Wendy's sweet and crispy French toast? Not a problem, as long as you're prepared to play an intense hour and twenty-five minutes of bowling afterward!

11. Salud, Sort Of

Margarita (large) = 325 calories

Running: 22 minutes
Swimming: 40 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Beach Volleyball: 35 minutes

The festive Mexican cocktail is as delicious as it is high in calories. Thankfully, beach volleyball is a terrific form of exercise. The next time you're sipping a margarita to the sound of an ocean breeze, consider hitting the court next—even if your aim may suffer.

Daniel Acker / Bloomberg via Getty Images

12. Cool Down and Perk Up

Dunkin' Donuts Coffee Coolatta with Cream (16 oz.) = 330 calories

Running: 22 minutes
Swimming: 40 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Ice Skating: 39 minutes

Just because a coffee drink has, well, “coffee” in its name, don't be fooled—it can be just as decadent as some desserts. Dunkin' Donuts Coffee Coolattas are made with a sweet concentrate, and once you mix in milk or cream, the calories add up. On the bright side, all that sugar and caffeine will likely give you a burst of energy for the gym.

13. Seedy and Shocking

Sunflower seeds (1/2 cup, with shell) = 420 calories

Running: 28 minutes
Swimming: 51 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 1 hour and 41 minutes
Tai Chi: 1 hour and 44 minutes

Like nuts, sunflower seeds are packed with nutrients—and calories. You'd have to perform close to two hours of tai chi to burn off a half-cup of the little suckers. Not to mention how annoying they are when stuck in your teeth…

14. Serious Cereal

Granola (1 cup) = 440 calories

Running: 30 minutes
Swimming: 53 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 1 hour and 36 minutes
Ballroom Dancing (slow): 2 hours and 5 minutes

Granola is tasty and boasts health benefits, but it's also a stealth calorie offender. To burn off just one cup (not counting any milk or yogurt poured in), you'd have to swim laps for 53 minutes. At least you're far better off eating a cup of granola than one of these 50 breakfasts that can kill you.

15. Carbs Away!

Bagel with Cream Cheese (medium to large) = 440 calories

Running: 30 minutes
Swimming: 53 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 1 hour and 36 minutes
Basketball: 46 minutes

Yes, by now it's well-known that bagels with cream cheese aren't exactly a health food. On the bright side, less than an hour of vigorous basketball will make up for the deli delight.

Paul Sakuma / AP Photo; Getty Images

16. Of Pies and Thighs

Pizza Hut Margherita Pizza (2 slices) = 540 calories

Running: 36 minutes
Swimming: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 2 hours and 10 minutes
Elliptical Machine: 41 minutes

If you're hitting the pizza box, be prepared to hit the elliptical machine for awhile. Two hearty slices of Pizza Hut's margherita pizza are a surprisingly dangerous calorie bomb.

L: Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

17. Fast Food, Fast Pounds

McDonald's Big Mac = 540 calories

Running: 36 minutes
Swimming: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 2 hours and 10 minutes
Pole dancing (intermediate): 1 hour and 48 minutes

Sure, a McDonald's Big Mac packs 540 calories—but who cares, when you can dance it off in an hour and 48 minutes? Not that we recommend this. It's just an option.

R: Getty Images

18. Shake It Up

Denny's Chocolate Milk Shake (12 oz.) = 560 calories

Running: 34 minutes
Swimming: 1 hour and 8 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 2 hours and 15 minutes
Stair Machine: 51 minutes

Sometimes the allure of a chocolate milk shake is just too powerful to ignore. No worries—simply run (fast) for 34 minutes afterward, and you won't experience any extra shake in your step.

19. Salad Surprises

Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad = 770 calories

Running: 52 minutes
Swimming: 1 hour and 32 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 3 hours
Kickboxing: 1 hour and 6 minutes

After eating Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad, you may be inclined to start kickboxing—once you learn that you just inhaled 770 calories. Not only can the activity provide an excellent release for unwanted anger, it's a fantastic calorie-burner, too.

20. Don’t Snicker

The Cheesecake Factory Snickers Cheesecake (1 slice) = 920 calories


Running: 1 hour and 2 minutes
Swimming: 1 hour and 51 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 3 hours and 42 minutes
Squash: 1 hour 6 minutes

The fact that a slice of The Cheesecake Factory's Snickers Cheesecake adds up to 920 calories is no laughing matter. Even for die-hard yogis and yoginis, 3 hours and 42 minutes of hatha yoga is a lot of time on the mat.

21. Whoa, Burrito!

Chipotle Steak Burrito (tortilla, rice, black beans, tomato salsa, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce) = 1,125 calories

Running: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Swimming: 2 hours and 15 minutes
Hatha Yoga: 4 hours and 30 minutes
Sex: 3 hours 40 minutes

First, the bad news: A loaded Chipotle steak burrito packs as many calories as 14 pieces of string cheese. Now, the good news: You can burn the Mexican staple off in 3 hours and 40 minutes of sex! That is, if you can find a romantic partner after eating a steak burrito.