How much exercise does it take to burn off junk food?

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Have you ever wondered just how much exercise you need to undertake to burn off your favourite junk foods? “Calories in, calories out” is an oft-used mantra for fitness fanatics, but the task is much greater when it comes to burning off tasty treats such as chocolate bars, pizzas, sugary drinks and steak burgers. The key to enjoying any good thing in life is always moderation (sadly). Undertaking exercise will enable you to indulge in your favourite junk foods more often, but you may be surprised at just how long it takes to keep that waistline in check.


A small dairy milk chocolate bar is a common snack for many during the day, and its calorie and total fat content weighs in at considerably less than some of the other junk food alternatives. Dark chocolate generally has less sugar, but for all choc types, men and women are looking at around 21 to 25 minutes of cardio or 30 minutes of weightlifting to burn off the tasty treat.


While chocolate bars are generally small, whole fudge cakes are an entirely different proposition and perhaps one of the hardest junk food types to burn off effectively due to other ingredients such as sauce and cream. Men and women are looking at a staggering two-and-a-half hours or more of cardio such as bicep curls or triceps push-downs to rid themselves of the excess baggage. A standard fudge cake has 1,710 calories and 90g of fat, so it’s best to eat this sweet in small portions.


The calorie and fat contained in a pizza will always vary due to toppings and cooking methods. At the bare minimum, a rather plain but tasty margherita will have 22g of fat and 700 calories. While it doesn’t quite rival the fudge cake, men and women will have to work out for upwards of an hour to burn off those calories.

Burger and fries

A beef burger and chips is the classic All American meal, but total fat content can reach almost 50g, which can take quite some time to burn off. You might be surprised to find that French fries have nearly the same amount of calories and fat as a burger, with thinner cuts generally containing more of these units of energy. For a McDonald’s Big Mac and fries meal, women will have to complete cardio for 100 minutes to burn off their meal, with this figure dropping to 82 minutes for men.

Fried chicken

There are around 725 calories and 42g of fat in a three-piece chicken meal, so you will have to complete a cardio workout for more than an hour if you want to burn off that excess entirely. This will increase significantly if you complement the chicken with fries and a sugary drink such as a Coca-Cola.

Soft drinks

Soft drinks are generally very high in sugars but incredibly low in total fats. A standard coke, for example, has 0g of fat and 139 calories, which means that men and women only have to work out for less than 15 minutes to burn it all off, which is a comparatively small amount of time compared to the other foods on the junk list.


You may not know that a pint of lager or beer is actually like eating a small meal – it contains a hefty amount of calories! While fat content is usually at 0g, those that enjoy a tipple at the weekends will have to complete cardio for 21 to 25 minutes to burn off a single pint of beer. This obviously increases depending on how much you like to consume on a big night out, so keep that in mind over the festive period!




Tags: Food Junk Food
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