If you’re thinking a couple minutes of treadmill running can make up for a candy bar moment of weakness, some calculations from Harvard Health Publications HEALTHbeat might change your mind. That few minutes of enjoyment a typical candy bar brings will require about 45 minutes on the treadmill to erase.
The magic number is 3,500. This represents the number of calories in one pound of body fat. Walking or jogging burns about 100 calories per mile, so you’d have to put in 35 miles to lose one pound of body fat. That’s about 9 miles more than a marathon.
True Strength Moment: If this sounds discouraging, consider the power of calorie reduction. By cutting 250 calories out of your daily intake, you could lose a pound of body fat in a little more than a week just by walking for 30 minutes a day. Weight training helps increase your resting metabolic rate, so you burn more calories even when you aren’t exercising. Now you’ve got the needle moving in the right direction.