Quintessentially most junk foods are fast, processed, high-calorie, fatty and they taste awesome.
For most of us, they are irresistible. Just the thought of Cheeseburger, Pizza, Fried Chicken, French Fries, Mac & Cheese, Grilled Sandwiches Hot dogs, Philly cheese steak is enough to make us levitate. So what if they are junk foods. We love our food and often ignore it’s after effects, why shouldn’t we? After all, it is our life and we love it to be king size.
Don’t we all know the ill effects of smoking, alcohol etc? We still do it knowing the long-term consequences. Same goes for food too. We are aware what is good for our health and what is not, we make responsible choices in life about what we eat and drink. Who wants’s to be obese, be overweight, look fat? Guess no one does, in fact, we all want to be fit & healthy, at the same time, look good. There are times, when we need comfort food to sooth our souls on a cold winter evening or a night out with friends, and why not?
We crave for it!
Let us indulge responsibly.
In 1990, Nutrition Facts label were made mandatory by FDA on all processed food packaging companies. Did that stop people from not eating chips? No, it did not. In fact, the nutrition labels made consumers more conscious about how much extra calories they might be consuming. As a result, consumers reduced portions.
Calorie labeling in university cafeterias showed encouraging results. in A study presented by the Obesity Journal Symposium in Boston. The outcome was really encouraging and helped reduce weight gain in students by 7.7 pounds. They chose healthier options compared to junk foods. Probably we might see calorie labeling become standard on the menus at all eating outlets. At least it will curb overeating and drive people away from junk food.
What could be even great if you also knew how much you might need to exercise, apart from just knowing the calorie count. Maybe it is not feasible to have such labels on packaging or food menus as of now and can’t say about the future.
Be Aware of calories you consume
It is true that most people are not even aware of calorie count of their favorite food and how much they need to exercise to burn them off. Most people just look at the size of a burger or a pizza slice and say “oh that’s a small piece, it won’t do any harm”. Start counting your calories if your goal is to stay healthy, lose or maintain your weight.
Perhaps, once you realize how much exercise is needed to burn off the extra calories and fat from a junk food meal, you might give more thought while ordering and restrict the frequency.
According to NHS, healthy men need around 2,500k calories a day, whereas women need around 2,000k a day. It also states that these values can vary based on age, metabolism, levels of physical activity, profession among other things.
Let us look at this infographic and video provided by BuddyLoans on popular junk foods. Apart from calorie count, it also suggests how much you might have to exercise to burn out extra calories.
1. Burger (McDonalds Big Mac)
In 1999, three Court of Appeal judges ruled that a diet of McDonald’s products may lead to heart disease. On an average, 550 million Big Macs are sold in the United States every year. Approximately 17 Big Macs are sold every second. That means, 17 are sold even before you can speak ‘Big Mac’.
This top selling junk food contains 490 calories and 24 gms of fat. That works out to around 5th of your daily calories intake, and a quarter of your daily suggested fat intake.
It does not seem bad at this point of time. You would need 42 minutes of cardio if you are a male, and 53 minutes if you are female. In case you are into weights then, you would need 53 minutes of weightlifting if you are male and 57 minutes of the workout if you are a female. That’s not all, we have not considered the fries and sodas. which comes by default in most of the cases. Let us relook into it with fries and sodas.
McDonald’s large fries would add another 460 calories and 22gms of fat. If we add up big mac and french fries, it totals up to 950 calories and 46 gms of fat. That is additional 40 minutes of cardio for men and 48 minutes for females. Whooof
Another 139 calories come from 330ml coke. Total calorie consumption shoots up to 1089 calories and 46gms of fat. Total calories and fat consumed are almost half of your daily limits. To put it in perspective, men would need 82 minutes of cardio and women, 113 minutes. Next time you want to eat junk foods, cut back on upsells like fries, wedges, shakes and look for healthy additions.
That’s how effective calorie counting could be!
2. Pizza (Pizza Express Margherita)
One of the simplest and most delicious pizzas of all times and considered to be low-fat and low-calorie option. This food could also prove to be as costly as any other junk foods available in the market. It comes with 682 calories and 22 gms of fat. Imagine if it was one of those fancy pizzas with meat toppings and extra cheese.
For this humble pizza, you just need to exercise for 59 minutes if you are male and 71 minutes as a female. Interesting, let us see when to decide to order a Margarita!
3. KFC Fried Chicken (3 Pieces)
According to Daily Mail, KFC sells around 23 million chickens each year, which works out to almost 400 pieces of chicken every minute. No wonder KFC is one of the most popular junk foods worldwide. Just three pieces of fried chicken load you up with 726 calories and whopping 42 grams of fat. In reality, no-one stops at 3 pieces unless you have other KFC food on your table.Healthy looking coleslaw could set you up for another 290 calories. Watch out guys!
4. Tesco Chocolate Fudge Cake 450g
Bakery, especially cakes are well known for their high-calorie and high-fat content and we still love to indulge in them. They are part of all our celebrations, be it weddings, birthdays, anniversaries et al. In fact if you search the web, top desserts in the world are cakes. They are irresistible, period. Do indulge and in moderation.
Tesco Chocolate Fudge Cake comes with a pretty hefty calorie tag, 1710 calories, and 90gms of fat. In case you devour it all by yourselves, the walk is pretty long. You would need to workout for at least 149 minutes as a male and 178 minutes as a female. That’s over two and a half hours of cardio. Willing to do that? if no, have a small bite and leave the rest for another day! remember the thin line between junk foods which is easy to cross.
5. Chocolate (Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Bar 45gms)
It is difficult to find a person who does not like chocolates, though there are exceptions. According to Statista, chocolate sale in US alone is $20.1 billion. On an average, 11 kgs of chocolates are consumed per person in the UK. That speaks for itself how popular chocolate is.
A regular Cadbury milk chocolate bar will only set you back by 237 calories. Not too much but you will still need to put in at least 21 minutes of cardio. Considering this, it is very easy to go overboard with this devil so watch out.
6. French Fries (McDonald’s French Fries – Large)
Potatoes – Considered as a comfort food by many and enjoyed world over. People love it mashed, baked, roasted, fried and more. It is an exceptionally healthy food with low calories and high fibre composition. Unfortunately, most people eat such great health food in the wrong form like French fries & wedges, potato chips, or load it with fats such as butter, sour cream, melted cheese, which makes it junk food. Such treatment can turn potatoes into a potential contributor to a heart attack.
173 gms of baked potatoes will give you just 160 calories and total of 0.22 gms of fat according to WHFoods. Now compare this with its deep fried cousin, French Fries. It will give you 460 calories, and 22g of fat.
It’s so incredible how your daily eating habits can have an impact on your health and wellbeing once you put these small things in perspective. Being cautious here and there would take you long way unless you are willing to sacrifice your health or spend hours of your day exercising. Consume junk foods in moderation, exercise regularly and live long and happy!