For national coverage like this call us on 020 3735 8766



CALORIES TO BURN: Brits drastically underestimate the exercise needed to work off their junk-food calories

  • Research shows the majority of us believe a 20-minute workout can see off a doughnut or a meaty sandwich – but we need to work a lot harder to offset those ‘bad calories’

BRITS are drastically underestimating the amount of exercise they need to do to burn off their favourite junk foods, according to a new report.

Nationwide research has revealed the majority of optimistic Brits believe a doughnut can be burned off with 20 minutes of light running, when actually it is estimated at almost half an hour.

They also believe they could get rid of a chicken and bacon sandwich, which has approximately 445 calories, in just 21 minutes, when the Royal Society for Public Health estimates it would take around 42 minutes.

A pint of beer at 5% ABV and around 215 calories would take more than 22 minutes to run off, but the general public believes it take JUST 17 minutes to reverse the damage.

The 2,000 respondents also thought a 250ml glass of wine, which is around 180 calories, would take 16 minutes to burn off, when it is actually closer to 20 minutes.

More than 70 per cent (71 per cent) confessed that they probably eat more after going to the gym than they worked off in the first place and on average estimate that they consume 417 calories, the equivalent to a cinnamon bun, after working out.

A quarter of respondents admitted that they eat chocolate after hitting the treadmill, while more than a fifth (21 per cent) said they eat crisps, while exactly half of the respondents said if they have worked out, they are likely to order a takeaway.

Experts say women should consume around 2,500 calories and women 2,000 calories on average each day to maintain a healthy weight.

However, the research, which was commissioned by Birds Eye Veggie Bowls, also shows that three quarters of gym goers (75 per cent) are thinking about the food they are going to treat themselves with while still working out.
On average, we now do some form of physical exercise three times a week, but twice a week, we also follow a work out with unhealthy foods such as a TAKE-AWAY.



Nutritionist Lauren Woodley said “Finding the time to balance work, exercise and making healthy meal choices can be hard.

“So, it’s no surprise that, while, on average, people work out three times a week, they admit to eating food that has little nutritional value after at least two of these gym sessions.

Some 58 per cent of those who exercise at the gym reward themselves with food they see as a treat afterwards. The younger generation has considerably less willpower than their elders, with 72 per cent of 16 to 29 year-olds admitting to eating badly after working out, compared to just 20 per cent of those over 60.

Almost half (46 per cent) of men confessed to drinking alcohol rather than water after working out, compared to just 35 per cent of women.

Despite this, nearly three quarters (72 per cent) know that they should eat better after working out and 77 per cent confirmed that they find it difficult to lose weight no matter how much exercise they do.



  • Doughnuts: 27 mins
  • Chicken/Bacon sandwich: 42 mins
  • Chocolate bar: 22 mins
  • Pint of beer (5%): 22 mins
  • Glass of wine: 18 mins