Many of us have the goal of walking 10,000 steps a day in our quest to stay fit and healthy.
Yet, this isn’t even enough to burn off a Greggs steak bake.
But, as MailOnline’s fascinating guide reveals, it is just about enough to banish all of the calories lurking within a luxurious High Street cookie.
Or, if you’ve not got a sweet tooth, it would stave off five chicken wings at Nando’s, or a ham and cheese toastie from Starbucks.
All three of those options contain fewer than 400 calories, which can, in theory, be blasted away by just 10,000 steps.
Here is a breakdown of some Britain’s best-loved food and how many steps it could take to burn off based on an average height and weight. Eating a Big Mac could cost you 12,325 steps to burn it all off. In comparison, a Greggs sausage roll, which is 329 calories, takes the average person 8,225 steps to burn the calories. Even a cappuccino from Costa is more than 6,600 steps to walk off
This calculation is based on someone being between 5’6 and 5’11 and weighing around 73kg (160lb).
In other words, average height and weight.
A person of this size will burn about about 40 calories every 1,000 steps they take, if they are walking at three miles an hour.
That is according to an online steps to calories calculator based on research by the American College of Sports Medicine.
The 2011 study looked at how many calories are burned in one step. It produced the calorie numbers by taking the average calories burned at walking speeds from 2 to 4 miles per hour.
The energy you burn while walking depends on your height, weight, pace and the number of steps you take.
The faster you walk, the faster your heart beats and the more calories you burn.
And the heavier you are the fewer steps you will need to take to burn off the extra calories.
The recommended calories intake a day for women is 2,000 calories and 2,500 for men, according to the NHS.
MailOnline trawled through the nutritional breakdown of 100 of the UK’s best-loved foods and drinks, ranging from the menu of McDonalds to the aisles of Tesco.
Of the randomly-selected products, the most calorific was Pizza Hut’s margherita individual stuffed crust 11-inch (1,380 calories).
This, according to the calculations, and if you chose to hog it to yourself, would require a mammoth 34,500 steps. That in itself would take, on average, around 5 hours and 15 minutes.
A Big Mac (493 cals) would cost you roughly 12,325 steps, if you wanted to burn it all off.
HOW TO STAY HEALTHY THROUGH EXERCISE
Adults are encouraged to do some type of physical activity every day. Exercise just once or twice a week can reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke.
Over-18s should aim to:
- Do strengthening activities that work all the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) on at least two days a week. This includes carrying heavy shopping bags, yoga, pilates and lifting weights.
- Do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week. Moderate activity includes brisk walking, riding a bike, dancing and doubles tennis. Vigorous activity includes running, swimming and riding a bike fast or on hills.
- Spread exercise evenly over four to five days a week, or every day
- Reduce time spent sitting or lying down and break up long periods of not moving with some activity
Adults can also achieve weekly activity target with:
- Several short sessions of very vigorous intensity activity. This includes lifting heavy weights, circuit training and sprinting up hills.
- A mix of moderate, vigorous and very vigorous intensity activity
For comparison, a Greggs sausage roll (329 cals) would require 8,225 steps to fully banish.
A cinnamon bun from Gail’s amounts to 15,050 steps (602 cals) and a double berry muffin from Pret (441 cals) is close to 11,025 steps.
Drinks are not much better, either.
Unsurprisingly, one of the most calorific is a hot chocolate. A large one from Costa (524 cals) requires about 13,100 steps if you want to march it off.
Around 5,300 steps are needed to burn a large Coca Cola at McDonald’s (212 cals).
A similar number — 5,250 — are needed to power through a pint of Guinness (210 cals).
But a 175ml glass of Sauvignon Blanc is 133 calories and 3,325 steps to burn off.
Small snacks from biscuits to crisps also rack up your daily calorie intake and need a surprising amount of steps to walk off.
Eating just one milk chocolate digestive (83 cals) would need 2,000 steps which is about 18 minutes of walking.
A Jammie Dodger (74 cals) requires 1,850 steps and a KitKat (104 cals) would need to walk 2,600 steps to expel the extra energy.
It’s not just the sweet treat, you would need to walk 5,850 steps to burn off a packet of Walkers ready salted crisps (234 cals).
Personal trainer Matt Roberts, who has helped the likes of Adele, Naomi Campbell and Ellie Goulding, suggests taking the stairs instead of the lift and walking to work as ways of fitting in extra steps.
Mr Roberts said: ‘It’s the quickest way to burn extra calories throughout the day, without setting out a specific training slot in your schedule.
‘With just these small changes, you will be amazed by how many more you can add to your daily count, allowing you to hit even more of the extra 500 plus calories you can burn by reaching or exceeding that 10,000-step goal.’
Registered dietitian Dr Duane Mellor, at Birmingham’s Aston University, warns that we should not feel guilty about the foods we eat and ‘absolve ourselves by doing exercise’.
Instead, he urges people to stick to a healthy and balanced diet and stay active.
He said: ‘Although some may find it beneficial to see the number of steps might be equivalent to certain foods, the key is to look at our overall dietary pattern and seek to enjoy foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar only occasionally, so that we can mostly eat a varied and healthy diet and maintain health through being active as part of our daily lives, not trying to match activity to eating.’
|One Oreo Vanilla||52kcal||1,300|
|One Jammie Dodger||74kcal||1,850|
|One Mcvitie’s Milk Chocolate Digestive Biscuit||83kcal||2,075|
|Haribo Starmix Mini Bag||85.5kcal||2,137|
|Nestle Aero chocolate mouse||89kcal||2,225|
|Tesco green olives with herbs||92kcal||2,300|
|McDonalds large Fanta||95kcal||2,375|
|5 Tesco pork cocktail sausages||104kcal||2,600|
|Activia strawberry yoghurt||104kcal||2,600|
|Tesco organic houmous 1/4 pot||107kcal||2,675|
|Kellogg’s Frosties per 30g||113kcal||2,825|
|Jacobs Mini Cheddars||117kcal||2,925|
|Innocent mangoes passion fruit smoothie||127kcal||3,175|
|One slice of Hovis Original 7 Seeds Bread||131kcal||3,275|
|Wetherspoon villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc 175ml||133kcal||3,325|
|Weetabix 2 biscuits||136kcal||3,400|
|Greggs hash brown 2 pack||151kcal||3,775|
|Sainsbury’s garlic baguette 1/4||166kcal||4,150|
|Grande Starbucks latte||175kcal||4,375|
|KFC 2 hot wings||180kcal||4,500|
|Sainsbury’s fruity hot cross buns||189kcal||4,725|
|Nature Valley crunchy oats & honey cereal bars||196kcal||4,900|
|Sainsbury’s 4 falafels||199kcal||4,975|
|Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup 400g can||204kcal||5,100|
|Lovett’s Family Favourite Profiterole Dessert||208kcal||5,200|
|Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons Chocolate Dessert||211kcal||5,275|
|McDonalds large Coca-Cola||212kcal||5,300|
|Tesco beer battered onion rings 3||213kcal||5,325|
|John West tuna Italian light lunch||216kcal||5,400|
|Tesco extra large vegetable samosa||218kcal||5,450|
|Taco Bell crunchy taco supreme beef||220kcal||5,500|
|McCain home chips straight cut 110g||222kcal||5,550|
|Stella Artois pint||227 kcal||5,675|
|Walkers ready salted crisps||234kcal||5,850|
|2 Tesco egg waffles||238kcal||5,950|
|Doritos Tangy Cheese||240kcal||6,000|
|Sainsbury’s sultana scones||241kcal||6,025|
|Higgidy spinach feta red pepper quiche||246kcal||6,150|
|Burger King 6 chicken nuggets||249.4kcal||6,235|
|1/4 Tesco quiche lorraine||256kcal||6,400|
|Sainsbury’s On the Go fish sushi selection||260kcal||6,500|
|Costa large cappuccino||265kcal||6,625|
|Tesco scotch egg||265kcal||6,625|
|Starbucks tall caramel frappuccino||275kcal||6,875|
|Wendy’s regular vanilla frosty||296kcal||7,400|
|Costa almond croissant||319kcal||7,975|
|Pret smashed avo open sandwich||322kcal||8,050|
|Greggs yum yum||323kcal||8,075|
|Greggs bacon breakfast roll||329kcal||8,225|
|Greggs sausage roll||329kcal||8,225|
|Heinz Baked Beans 415g can||336kcal||8,400|
|Costa BLT sandwich||393kcal||9,825|
|Nando’s 5 chicken wings||393kcal||9,825|
|Starbucks oak smoked ham & cheese toastie||394kcal||9,850|
|Ben’s Cookie milk chocolate chunk||398kcal||9,950|
|Tesco smoked ham & cheddar sandwich||405kcal||10,125|
|Greggs steak bake||409kcal||10,225|
|Tesco spicy bean wrap||412kcal||10,300|
|McDonalds Sausage & Egg McMuffin||423kcal||10,575|
|Tesco tuna & sweetcorn pasta||434kcal||10,850|
|Bachelors Super Noodles Chicken 90g||438kcal||10,950|
|Sainsbury’s chicken salad sandwich||438kcal||10,950|
|Pret double berry muffin||441kcal||11,025|
|McDonalds large fries||444kcal||11,100|
|Itsu spicy salmon dragon rolls||448kcal||11,200|
|Taco Bell 7-layer Burrito||467kcal||11,675|
|Subway footlong The Notorious B.M.T||476kcal||11,900|
|Wendy’s chili cheese fries||481kcal||12,025|
|Pukka steak and kidney pie||481kcal||12,025|
|KFC Kentucky Mayo Twister||520kcal||13,000|
|Costa large hot chocolate||524kcal||13,100|
|Subway footlong The Baller||530kcal||13,250|
|Pukka veggie leek & potato pie||553kcal||13,825|
|Leon grilled halloumi wrap||561kcal||14,025|
|Nando’s grilled chicken wrap||566kcal||14,150|
|Wasabi spicy tom yum soup||568kcal||14,200|
|Ginsters large Cornish pasty||569kcal||14,225|
|Leon Love Burger||574kcal||14,350|
|The Real Greek pork skewer souvlaki wrap||585kcal||14,625|
|Gail’s cinnamon bun||602kcal||15,050|
|Burger King Whopper||609.2kcal||15,227|
|Dominoes New Yorker classic crust three slices||644kcal||16,100|
|Sainsbury’s pepperoni pizza||736kcal||18,400|
|West Cornwall Pasty Co cheese & onion pasty||781kcal||19,525|
|Wetherspoon traditional breakfast||812kcal||20,300|
|West Cornwall Pasty Co traditional pasty||847kcal||21,175|
|Wagamama chicken katsu curry||998kcal||24,950|
|Five Guys bacon cheeseburger||1,060kcal||26,500|
|Wendy’s Dave’s Triple Burger||1204kcal||30,100|
|Wetherspoon freshly battered cod and chips||1303kcal||32,575|
|Pizza Hut margherita individual stuffed crust 11″||1380kcal||34,500|
WHAT SHOULD A BALANCED DIET LOOK LIKE?
Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS
• Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count
• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain
• 30 grams of fibre a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and large baked potato with the skin on
• Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks) choosing lower fat and lower sugar options
• Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily)
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consuming in small amounts
• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of water a day
• Adults should have less than 6g of salt and 20g of saturated fat for women or 30g for men a day
Source: NHS Eatwell Guide