Goal Setting: Eating & Physical Activity

Expectations about Eating and Physical Activity: Calories In & Calories Out

Whether we forget to count that fancy coffee or extra-large soda as “calories in” or we assume that taking the stairs instead of the elevator burned an extra 250 “calories out,” sometimes our expectations about how much we’re taking in or how much we’re burning off can be, well, a little off. Here are some rough estimates of how much exercise it takes to burn off the calories of some favorite treats:
  • Snack-sized bag of chips: 1.5 hours of strength training
  • Medium order of fries: Biking 1 hour and 35 minutes
  • Energy bar: Climbing up stairs for 25 minutes
  • Large vanilla latte with whip cream: Jogging for 50 minutes
  • Large frozen yogurt with no toppings: 1 hour and 5 minutes on an elliptical
It's a great day to start new goals or recommit to old ones.

Setting Eating and Physical Activity Goals

One of the important things to remember is that eating healthier and being more physically active is good for your health, even if you don’t lose weight. So when setting goals for eating healthier it may help to focus on other things that healthy eating might do for you – like trying new (healthy) foods or learning how to cook for the first time. Also, when setting physical activity goals, you may want to think about how being more active will help you regain energy or provide you with a fun physical activity challenge to work toward over time, like walking or running a 5K.