Burn It Off: How Much Walking to Undo a Doughnut?


By: , SparkPeople Blogger

You know the situation all too well. After eating a healthy breakfast at home, you arrive at the office, only to face a box full of fresh doughnuts brought in by a co-worker. They look good. They smell good. Everyone is enjoying them except you. And even though you're not hungry, you don't want to be the odd one out. "I've been so diligent tracking my calories, staying away from tempting sweets, and hitting the gym," you tell yourself. How much damage could one strawberry frosted doughnut really do? Find out how many minutes of brisk walking you'd have to do at the office to undo that doughnut.

Your average strawberry frosted doughnut contains about 240 calories (not too bad) and 10 grams of fat (ouch!). That's not exactly a caloric nightmare—as long as you limit yourself to just one. (And we all know how hard it can be to stop once you get started.)

According to SparkPeople.com's Fitness Tracker, a 150-pound woman who walks briskly at a 15-minute mile pace (4 mph) will burn 5 calories per minute. To burn off the doughnut you'd have to walk around the office (at this quick pace) for 48 minutes, which is just over 3 miles!

When you think of food "extras" in this light, it can make it easier to stick with your healthy eating plan.

Personally, I'd have to really (I mean REALLY) be craving a doughnut in order to put in this extra exercise time.

How about you?

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  • 119
    #!@#% I should have read this yesterday. - 10/24/2008   1:24:06 PM
    i hate when i have a fiber packed breakfast at home- im ready to start a healthy day, and then BAM here i come to work with a box of donuts in my face!
    - heres what i do everyone- IF YOU WORK IN A OFFICE- TRY AND EAT YOUR BREAKFAST AT YOUR DESK :) It works for me- no temptations- im to busy eating my own breakfast! - 10/24/2008   1:03:36 PM
  • 117
    I am glad I do not crave donuts. At least for today I do not crave them - 10/23/2008   8:19:16 PM
    Yummmm, I love donuts !! - 10/23/2008   6:21:36 PM
  • 115
    I love donuts but I don't eat them any more, I'm really commited to loseing the wt. I've managed to keep away from them even though my family eat them. - 10/23/2008   3:46:26 PM
    I can pass up the donuts these days, but I still have to have a vanilla skinny cow every once in a while! - 10/23/2008   3:38:14 PM
  • JENNB4576
    Who can resist a doughnut? Trying to resist these yummy foods is hard when you're trying to lose weight. Darn it!! - 10/23/2008   1:33:52 PM
  • 112
    I don't have any problem passing up the donuts, who'd want to "pay" that much? Where I have big time problems is the big box of Timbits (donut 'holes') usually I get lucky and the chocolate glazed are already gone, the rest are not so tempting, but occaisionaly some thinking person orders half a box chocolate glazed and half a box mixed.......oh am I a sucker for those things, after all they are only little.....little devils always taste like more and it is only a little more....TG they don't turn up very often. - 10/23/2008   11:46:47 AM
  • NIBBIE78
    I wish I read this a couple days ago! LOL... good info... They are outta my diet now!! - 10/23/2008   9:37:31 AM
  • 110
    My gym has Tootsie Roll Midgees on the counter when you walk in. Well, I had 4 (2 when I came in and 2 when I left). Four little midgees, right? Well, it added up to 100 calories... that was half my workout! Argh!!!

    Never again! - 10/23/2008   9:32:41 AM
  • 109
    Right now its not the donuts, its all the halloween candy my co-workers bring in. Your old friend, the unhealthy devil who got you into this mess says, "its just a little bity butterfinger," but your healthy angle says that'll spoil the 3 miles you ran in the morning. Its though, even when you make public proclaimations about your diet its still all over the place. - 10/23/2008   9:09:21 AM
  • 108
    My late husband and I owned Donut Shops -- I never really loved donuts...but they are good.
    One of the ways, I keep my eating in control is to only eat, what I absolutely love...fortunately for me, donuts (most days) aren't on that list. - 10/23/2008   8:42:21 AM
  • 107
    I am one of those people who do not like sweets. That is a good thing. I do however have a small slice of cake for birthdays. Or maybe a protein bar that tastes very good, and is good for you. My calcium intake is from chocolate cubes that you eat. What a great idea that is. - 10/23/2008   8:14:32 AM
  • 106
    I saw this and knew it was for me. I started working in a European Bakery Yesterday. And yesterday I was strong, I didn't want any of it. Today is a different story. 1. I was tired I hadn't worked in almost a year, my body wasn't used to being on it's feet all day. 2. I was tired, since I haven't worked I was not used to getting up to an alarm clock. 3. I only get on break and that's about 5 hours after I had breakfast, which means I'm hungry. I
    I haven't had a doughnut in over 2 years........I brought some home today. Mostly for My Husband and My brother who lives with us. But there was /is one there especially for me........until I read this article......it's just not worth it. - 10/22/2008   8:34:04 PM
    I know the danger and damage that fried white flour can cause. So now when we have donuts at the office I simply put my nose near them, take a whiff and walk away with a smile on my face. That's all I need now!! - 10/22/2008   4:40:42 PM
  • 104
    Just because you can walk the equivalent in calories, doesn't mean you're walking off the damage. Just imagine what all those icky trans fats, artificial colorings, flavorings and preservatives are doing to your cells. Make homemade desserts instead. At least you can control the ingredients. - 10/22/2008   2:49:43 PM
  • 103
    Donuts are a tough one for me to turn down. Old fashion buttermilk! But I've learned that it isn't worth it. There are tons of other foods I love that are actually good for me. It wouldn't be fair to them. Hehe. - 10/22/2008   2:46:16 PM
  • 102
    Darn it! I love doughnuts and strawberry frosted ones with sprinkles, yum but after reading this I am not sure that just one is worth walking 3 miles. I was thinking it would be more like half a mile. I try to stay away from doughnuts most of the time and now I have an even better reason to stay away. - 10/22/2008   2:35:06 PM
  • 101
    Is there anything that doesn't take 2 hours to burn off that tastes really decadent? - 10/22/2008   2:25:10 PM
  • 100
    Personally, I have no problem resisting strawberry frosted donuts.

    Of course, that could have something to do with not being able to palate artificial fruit flavors. Chocolate glazed, however, and I'm in trouble.... - 10/22/2008   12:32:45 PM
  • 99
    Not worth it! I don't eat donuts, anyway, as vegan ones don't exist in this area. - 10/22/2008   11:52:35 AM
    Actually donuts aren't so bad..its cakes..those heavenly ones that really kills..they cost easily over 500kcal per slice! - 10/22/2008   11:45:27 AM
  • 97
    Personally I can't stand donuts, but if it was a brownie oh boy now that is a treat for me. But what I now do is this, take the brownie and cut it into quarters and share with co workers and then to make it last i cut it into smaller pieces and everytime I eat a piece instead of emailing someone I walk over to their desk. - 10/22/2008   11:05:49 AM
  • 96
    In the 80's I worked part time weekend nights in a donut shop, Paradise DoNuts, while home schooling. One of the bakers called them "cholesterol blobs" which I think about when donuts are available...... I'd rather walk for ice cream :-) - 10/22/2008   10:43:32 AM
  • 95
    This is one of those unhealthy foods that i just say NO to. Now if that just worked for chocolate, too..... - 10/22/2008   9:32:43 AM
  • 94
    I am one of those poeple who isn't really into doughnuts, but I do enjoy other sweet treats. I feel that deprivation can lead to binge eating, so if I were going to eat a doughnut or a piece of cake, I would simply make adjustments to the rest of my eating for the day. Why we bother to feel guilt or shame over eating a certain food is a waste of time! Enjoy life, but exercise moderation. - 10/22/2008   9:30:18 AM
  • 93
    OUCH!! is right. I'm going to remember that. I like donuts on occassion, but with that bit of knowledge I think I'll just stay away from them completely! Thanks! - 10/22/2008   9:22:23 AM
    It is funny how we lose a taste for certain foods. I can pass on donuts....but cookies still call my name. - 10/22/2008   9:21:09 AM
  • 91
    Absolutely LOVE donuts, It is a good thing that when I get some for the kids there is none left. I mean, I like walking but not an extra hour for a donut. - 10/22/2008   9:13:13 AM
  • 90
    I have lost the craving for things like donuts. I just don't want them. I will have the taste for a pice of chocolate candy. But I have no problem eating a small piece without having the whole thing. I feel like those who have said that as part of an overall healthy diet, having a treat isn't bad. Enjoy it. I see it as a way to reward yourself for good chocies over a long period of time. - 10/22/2008   9:11:42 AM
  • 89
    Eh, I really don't sweat this kind of stuff. If I'm making otherwise healthy choices, one doughnut every once in awhile isn't going to throw everything off. I figure, treat myself now and I won't binge later. - 10/22/2008   8:57:35 AM
    This happened to me this morning. Thankfully I read my sparkmail after only *HALF* my doughnut. ~_~;; D'Oh! I threw out the other half.. and I'll put in my miles after work.. *sigh* - 10/22/2008   8:45:42 AM
  • 87
    There was a time all I needed to see was the hot doughtnut sign at Krispy Kreme to make me go by there. The fact they have buy one dozen, get another ½ price doesn't help either. I haven't been there in nearly a year :-D and I don't really miss it. - 10/22/2008   8:39:40 AM
  • 86
    In making this decision, I weigh my mood and whether I am truly hungry. If I let myself have the donut, I don't beat myself up about it later. I enjoy it and move on to better choices later. - 10/22/2008   8:27:58 AM
  • 85
    Personally I allow for a doughnut or something like that a couple times a week because I know that pastries are my downfall & in the past I've limited them totally & always fell off the wagon & ended up gaining back the weight & then some. I would sooner account for my lack of will power and have the doughnut, and eat salad & veggies for the rest of the day. :) - 10/22/2008   1:02:46 AM
  • 84
    pfff.. not worth 48 minutes of my day... haven't had one in 2 years now and don't plan to :)
    So many other better treats out there for less cals and fat.. treat yourself good everyone!! - 10/22/2008   12:52:22 AM
  • 83
    I have control of my eating and I would pass up eating the donuts at work.

    Donuts are not serious to gain weight when I on a roll getting the pounds off.

    Thanks for the information. - 10/22/2008   12:30:48 AM
    I upped my exercise in general to be able to eat a little more. However, I eat bran cereals with soy milk, beans and brown rice, chicken breast, a glass of wine, feta cheese on my salad or okay, okay, I admit it - an ice cream treat (bar or sandwich - around 140 calories). But I try not to fall into the doughnut trap! - 10/21/2008   10:36:04 PM
  • 81
    If I'd known I'd only have to walk an extra 48 minutes I wouldn't have given them up cold turkey! LOL - 10/21/2008   10:12:02 PM
  • 80
    While working at an internship in college, I would frequently stop and get a large hot chocolate and a frosted donut for my coffee break. One time, mid-November, I bought two, and set the extra on the dash of my car, thinking I would eat it later. By the time I came out of work, it was stale, so I left it on the dash. Eventually, I wondered how long it would take before it began to show its age.... Finally tossed it Mid-May, because the frosting was beginning to run a bit. Other than that, it looked THE SAME as the day I bought it!!! I couldn't eat donuts for YEARS! - 10/21/2008   8:26:28 PM
  • 79
    They are a health nightmare. You can pretty much guarrantee they also contain trans fats, saturated fats, and high fructose corn syrup. They are most certainly not whole grain. Even if you factor them into your meal plan they are replacing needed nutrients with empty calories and unhealthy fats. They are not worth it even if you are willing to do extra exercise. I have a son who went to work for Dunkin' Donuts this summer and he does not understand when I refuse his every offer of free donuts by the boxful. And I worry about him consuming so many of them. I call them gut bombs. - 10/21/2008   6:54:38 PM
  • 78
    So, before I found SP I really thought eating two donuts was no big deal... Now I have not had a donut in 5 months..and don't really miss them that much. moderation in all things is the key here to have donuts as a treat once in a while is not going to kill you...but I would not make it a regular habit. - 10/21/2008   5:12:51 PM
  • 77
    I can't give up my favorite thing -- McDonalds French Fries -- even though they are horrid for me. I just factor them into my daily allowance, however! - 10/21/2008   5:03:43 PM
  • 76
    I love doughnuts they just dont love me - 10/21/2008   4:25:31 PM
  • 75
    I don't care for regular donuts, but I do love a good old fashioned!! They're a bit more calories, but I just incorporate them into the daily allowance, and I'm fine! It's worth it once in a while! - 10/21/2008   4:12:31 PM
  • 74
    Personally, I don't like donuts, but I love chocolate eclairs. I would eat one of those & do the added excercise, it's worth it once in a while. - 10/21/2008   3:58:28 PM
  • 73
    doughnuts leave a weird grimy film substance in my mouth after i eat them. Yuck! - 10/21/2008   3:42:31 PM
  • 72
    If I have the donut then, I will watch the other meals & snack I consume. I some times will build my daily food intake by what sweets I may have snuck in. I still may indulge because I don't believe in depriving one self. - 10/21/2008   3:30:08 PM
  • TWINSMOM0429
    The extra exercise just doesn't seem worth it to me! Although an occassional sweet treat is nice, when reading about the extra exercise, it really makes me stop & think about what I am eating and is it good for me or bad for me? - 10/21/2008   3:15:00 PM
  • 70
    I always try to think about what I will have to do/or give up in that day before indulging in an extra treat. Sometimes it is worth it. Sometimes not indulging makes me make worse choices later in the day. - 10/21/2008   3:13:32 PM

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