There's a lot to love about autumn: boots, weather, Sunday football and, of course, pumpkin-spiced everything. Once the temperature starts to dip (and Thanksgiving is just around the corner), we tend to gobble down rich fall-flavored foods like candy, doughnuts, stuffing, cornbread and pecan pie. While I fully support indulging strategically, sometimes a small splurge can turn into a big diet disaster.
To put things into perspective, I crunched the calories and estimated how much physical activity you would have to do to burn off some typical fall fare. Ready to test your nutrition smarts? Grab your favorite flannel and sharpen your pencils — it's pop quiz time!
1. While waiting for Halloween trick-or-treaters you eat 10 mini-candies (mini Snickers, M&Ms, Kit-Kats and the rest of the gang). How many jumping jacks would you have to do to burn off this chocolate fiesta?
A. 1500 jumping jacks
B. 3500 jumping jacks
C. 5000 jumping jacks
Answer: 3500 jumping jacks. That's because ten of those (not so) fun-sized treats quickly add up to 550 calories. Got the answer wrong? Give me five jumping jacks.
2. You love all things pumpkin and apple-spiced, and can't turn down the pumpkin-spiced doughnut and apple cider your co-worker brought to an office meeting. How long would you have to dance to burn off these this seasonal snack sesh?
A. 45 minutes
B. 1 hour
C. 2 hours
Answer: This doughnut and bevie clock in at around 540 calories. You would have to boogie down for almost 2 hours to burn off these sweet treats. If you guessed wrong, put on those dancing shoes and strut your stuff to one high-energy tune.
3. You attend a cookie party, and (just to be polite!) you take a bite or two of about a dozen cookies... The equivalent of about 4 cookies. How long would you have to walk around your neighborhood to burn off these "innocent" nibbles?
A: 5 miles (100 minutes)
B: 10 miles (200 minutes)
C: 7 miles (140 minutes)
Answer: Those small bites add up to about 400 calories, and you'd have to walk a brisk 5 miles to burn 'em off. Got the answer wrong? Grab your sneakers and walk in place while reading the next question.
4. You're at a Halloween party and pour yourself three glasses of spiked punch... Well, maybe four glasses. How long would you have to spend on the elliptical to burn off those beverages?
A: 45 minutes
B: 1 hour and 15 minutes
C: 2 hours
Answer: To burn off 800 calories, you’d have to spend about 1 hour and 15 minutes on the elliptical. Got the answer wrong? March in place for a minute before moving onto the next question.
5. Your office hosts a lovely pre-Thanksgiving meal, called "Worksgiving." Instead of talking to your co-workers, you take full advantage of the free food and chow down on three medium pastries and one large chocolate brownie. About how many flights of stairs would you have to walk up to burn off those calories?
A: 500 flights (6,000 steps)
B: 200 flights (2,400 steps)
C: 700 flights (8,400 steps)
Answer: I hope those buttery treats were delicious, because they cost you over 1,000 calories and will take 500 flights of stairs to burn them off. Yikes!
6. It's finally Thanksgiving dinner, and you make yourself a full plate of food consisting of one turkey leg, a scoop of mashed potatoes with gravy, some stuffing, cranberry sauce, a piece of cornbread and a slice of pecan pie. Throughout the meal you also drink two glasses of red wine. How long would you have to play football with your friends and family to burn this off?
A: 1 hour
B: 2.5 hours
C. 3 hours and 10 minutes
Answer: You'd have to play a competitive game of football for over 3 hours to burn off this feast. Got the answer wrong? Time for 10 push-ups and hydrating glass of water!