“I’ve got to get the food ready for Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa.”
“I’ve got to get up early for Black Friday.”
“I’ve been out all night for Black Friday.”
“I just ate.” (Statement repeated multiple times a day)
“I want to spend time with my brother/sister/kids/family.”
“I’m snowed in.” (For all you Northerners)
So, we thought we’d come up with a number of ways you can burn off a holiday meal or two without interfering with your holiday festivities. Heck, it may even make them more fun! Calories burned are based on a 150 lb person and in parentheses we put an approximate equivalent amount of food.
Holiday Preparation (food calculations from Calorie Counter)
1. House Cleaning: 6hrs of vigorous cleaning = 2,177 calories (1 serving each: cheese and crackers appetizer, turkey, crescent roll, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, cornbread stuffing, pumpkin pie)
You all know damn well that all of us wait until the last possible minute to clean the house before
company…and it’s with a fury, seconds before the family walks in.
2. Decorating the House: 8hrs = 1360 calories (2 cups of eggnog w/ alcohol and 4 1/2 gingerbread men)
This includes putting up the tree, decorating the house and hanging the lights outside. Now if your house glows like the aurora borealis you probably burned a couple more calories than this.
3. Holiday Shopping: 12hrs = 1878 calories (4 slices of cheesecake)
Yeah, this is probably an underestimate of the cumulative amount of time shopping for gifts, but I based it
on a marathon night of Black Friday shopping. (This is a best guess…you won’t catch my hinny out there at
3am…I like my sleep too much!)
4. Wrapping Gifts: 6hrs = 612 calories (3/4 c. mixed nuts)
I’m figuring if you can shop for 12 straight hours you probably need at least half that time wrapping the
5. Grocery Shopping: 2hrs = 313 calories (1c bread pudding)
Yes 2hrs…it’s the holidays…lots of groceries and even more people to get around. Make it a win win…give the kids (if their old enough) half the list and race them. Last one done has to put the groceries away.
6. Beautifying: 4hrs = 272 calories (2 glasses of wine)
Hey we all want to look our best for the Holidays…a couple hours for the hair, an hour each for a
mani/pedi and WHAM…you just burned a couple hundred calories! That is, as long as you are not chugging all
the free champagne/wine some places offer…
7. Shoveling Snow: 2hrs = 816 calories (2c Apple Crisp)
Again, for my Northern followers ’cause we don’t have any of that down here in southern TX! I’m sure your
best friend is the guy with the snowplow attached to his truck and he’s on speed dial. However, in the event
company was on their way over, your drive way looks like a bunny slope and he was unavailable, you could
be burning some serious calories shoveling!
8. Lawn Care: 2hrs = 585 calories (4 Beers)
The Southerners are still mowing their lawn and raking leaves this time of year. It may burn fewer calories…but most of us are not complaining about that.
Holiday Time (food calculations from Holiday Calorie Counter)
1. Flag Football: 2hrs = 1089 calories (2 Turkey sandwiches w/ mayo and cranberry sauce and a slice of pumpkin pie)
Bet if you added in snow, you’d be burning a lot more than 1100 calories! Ever try running in snow pants? No matter, it’s a great way to burn some calories while hanging with family members (oh and maybe taking your frustration out on the annoying ones…).
2. Karaoke Holiday Songs:2hrs = 204 calories (1c Hot Buttered Rum)
Probably way more entertaining for all parties after a couple drinks…but then you negate the calories burned. However, if Uncle Ned is up there for the 3rd time singing “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”…well, then it may be worth having the drink.
3. Holiday Caroling: 2hrs = 272 calories (2 Shortbread cookies and a piece of fudge)
Once you’ve all had enough liquid courage and decide to take your show on the road, you’ll burn a couple more calories than you would just sitting at home crooning…I’m mean singing.
4. Gift Opening: 2hrs = 340 calories (2 Swedish meatballs, 1/2 c. Chex mix)
Instead of just sitting and patiently waiting for Aunt Sally to slowly unwrap her new mittens (she’s a Northener), kick it up a notch. Spinning off from Monkey in the Middle, toss the gifts around instead of a ball… make the kiddos earn their toys.
5. Dancing: 1hr = 306 calories (2 small Chocolate Chip Cookies)
Whether it is shaking it in a Just Dance competition, during Karaoke (Uncle Ned sings a mean Santa Got Run Over By a Reindeer), or as an additional attraction during your Holiday Caroling…dancing burns quite a few calories.
6. Interactive Games: 1hr = 248 calories (4 Candy Canes)
Forget the board games, get everyone up and moving for a “friendly” game of volleyball/soccer/golf/bowling/racing/obstacle courses on a Wii or Playstation. Not only will you burn way more calories, you may just get Uncle Ned away from the Karaoke machine.
7. Looking at Holiday Lights: 1hr = 204 calories (3 Crackers w/ cheese)
Great way to spend some quality family time, expend some energy and enjoy the sights. Oh and remember the key here is to WALK around looking at lights…
Cumulatively that is a total of 10, 676 calories burned! As you can see, it also doesn’t take a heck of a lot to consume those 10,000 calories. Now I would be a complete hypocrite if I said don’t indulge at all…please, I am a sucker for a turkey w/ cranberry and light mayo sandwich. At the same time, eating like you are in an episode of Man vs Food, it probably not the best idea.
So, keep to the middle…go Holiday Caroling with Uncle Ned and pick up a game of flag football with your most annoying cousins to burn off some calories. But instead of the noshing the entire buffet, stick with a serving of your favorite indulgence. It will make your New Year’s Resolution list that much shorter. Happy Holidays!