BBQ Foods and the Summer Activities to Burn it Off

by Charles Platkin, PhD

Barbecue Spareribs
(5 medium)    
Calories: 650 
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): 92.5 minutes bicycling (10 mph-11.9 mph)  
Notes: Ribs are typically made with barbecue sauce, which contains sugar, honey and other fattening ingredients. The sauce wouldn’t be so bad if it were applied lightly, but it’s usually slathered on in layers. Since just 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce have about 50 calories, you can see how the damage quickly adds up.
Fit Tip: First of all, use baby back ribs. They’re the smallest, which helps with portion control. Place them on the grill without any barbecue sauce; just season with kosher salt, fresh pepper and garlic powder and cook for 30-40 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. Serve with barbecue sauce or hot sauce on the side.
One 6-ounce Burger 
(80 percent lean ground beef with bun and all the toppings (mayo, cheese, bacon, ketchup, etc.)    
Calories: 700             
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): 132.8           minutes of badminton 
Fit Tip: Instead of the cheese, try lettuce and tomato. Stick to ketchup, mustard and pickles for extra flavor. Also, use lean ground beef instead of regular. Next, give your burger some extra texture and flavor by mixing the meat with chopped mushrooms, peppers and onions. Or, for variety, experiment with other vegetables, like chopped water chestnuts or sun-dried (not oil-packed) tomatoes. You’ll have the same size burger, but it will be much lower in calories, and you’ll also be getting the health benefits of all those vegetables. 

One Chicken Breast with Sauce
Calories: 253 
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): 61.7 minutes of canoeing
Fit Tip:  Go skinless, and you could try lemon and pepper instead of barbecue sauce to lower the calories. Or, at the very least, compare barbecue sauces and pick the lowest-calorie brand (that is still tasty). 
FYI: One chicken drumstick with barbecue sauce has 242 calories and will cost you 34.4 minutes of swimming. 
Veggie Burger on a Bun
Calories: 240 
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Playing tennis for 29.3 minutes
Fit Tip: Keep in mind that as you add extras, such as cheese, the calories will add up just as they would with any other burger. 

Pesto Pasta Salad 

(1 cup) 
Calories: 680 
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): 145.1 minutes of water aerobics or water calisthenics      
Fit Tip: Try adding a few chopped-up vegetables, and go light on the oil. 
(1 cup) 
Calories: 350 
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Mowing the lawn (walking with a power mower) for 59.7 minutes
Fit Tip: Use light or nonfat mayonnaise, and add some green and red peppers to increase the yield while cutting calories per cup. To make it simple, you can find coleslaw mixes in the vegetable section at the grocery store.
Homemade Baked Beans 
(1 cup)           
Calories: 392 
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Golf (walking and carrying clubs) 74.3 minutes
Note: The problem is, baked beans are made with added sugar and/or molasses. 
Fit Tip: You can try using less sugar (or molasses) in your recipe. You’re probably adding too much anyway. Try making your own bean salad instead. Choose your favorite beans, chop up an onion and some peppers, add a little lemon juice and vinegar for flavor, and you’ve got a nutrient-packed side dish. 

Hot Dog 
(2-ounce beef with bun, 2 tablespoons of sweet relish and 2.5 ounces of chili and mustard)
Calories: 366 (Just the hot dog and bun are about 270 calories)
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): 89.2 minutes playing golf (using power cart)    
Fit Tip: This alone, Americans will consume approximately 7 billion hot dogs. The key thing to look for is the bun. Hot dog buns can be very high in calories. Also, you can eat several hot dogs in one sitting ­ try limiting yourself to no more than two as a meal ­ and try putting two dogs in one bun. 
Potato Chips 
(2 handfuls)
Calories: 300 
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Jumping rope         for 32 minutes
Fit Tip: Slice your potatoes and put them on the grill with garlic, pepper and other spices for seasoning.   Also, you can trying grilling a sweet potato, which has only 112 calories. 
Grilled Sweet Corn  
(One ear)
Calories: 90
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Kayaking for          5.4 minutes
Note: With a moderate glycemic index of 56 (compared with 100 for white bread), corn provides carbohydrates for energy without excessively raising blood sugar.
Fit Tip: You don’t need to drench good sweet corn in butter. Grilled corn tastes great without any toppings. 
Two Beers 
(12 ounces each)
Calories: 300 
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Sailing a Sunfish/Laser/Hobie Cat for 85.3 minutes
Fit Tip: Try ultra-light beer ­ do a taste test. 
Pina Colada 
(8 ounces)
Calories: 437 
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Water-skiing for 62.2 minutes
Fit Tip: Drinking a glass of wine instead would save you about 300 calories, or try sparkling wine with a splash of club soda
Glass of Lemonade 
(8 ounces)
Calories: 99   
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Body surfing          for 28.2 minutes
Fit Tip: Most lemonade contains sugar. Try squeezing 2 lemons into a glass of still or sparkling water. 
(One wedge/16 of a melon or about 10 ounces)       
Calories: 87   
Exercise Equivalent (Cost to Burn Off the Calories): Playing hopscotch for 14.8 minutes
Fit Tip:  Make sure you’re not just eating watermelon ­ or any fruit for that matter ­ to quench your thirst. Still, watermelon, overall, is a great snack.

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