How Far Do You Need to Walk to Burn Off Your Takeaway?

February 27, 2018

With all the news about 10,000 steps lately, it got us to thinking about how far you would need to walk to burn off certain food – namely, the GTL team’s favourite takeaways and restaurants! How many miles does it take to burn off a Big Mac and what does that equal in calories? Read on to find out! (And if you don’t need a guilt trip to get you exercising, check out our range of fitness and gymwear)

We wanted to go beyond GTL HQ though, so we sent out a survey to our customers to get an idea of their lifestyle habits. People were asked how often they get takeaways, whether they calorie count and how they would most like to increase their activity level.

It turns out we’re a nation of self-confessed fast food lovers. We love a takeaway and we’re not alone – according to our survey, almost 3/4 of Brits order in or eat out at least once a week.

And since over half of UK adults surveyed would like to be more active by walking, we’re wanted to know: how far do we need to walk to burn off our takeaways?

To find out, we sumrised that walking the government’s daily target of 10,000 steps – about 5 miles – burns around 500 calories. This is what we’ve based the rest of our calculations on. After much debate and deliberation (and hunger pangs), we decided to investigate the following food outlets – and the calorie amounts themselves will surprise you…

Remember that drinks aren’t included!

Calorie comparisons of our favourite treat food

While over half of our survey respondents don’t calorie count at all, there are plenty of apps and technology to guide you about the nutritional value of our food choices (if we admit to it!). So although knowing about the calories is all well and good, we wanted context.  We wanted to know how many steps we’d have to clock up to counteract stuffing our faces with curry or a Chinese.

Outlet Meal Items Calories Steps
Domino's Margherita pizza (medium) 1376 27520
Nando's 1/4 chicken breast + coleslaw + chips 1031 20620
Indian Chicken tikka massala + naan bread 1300 26000
Chinese Veg spring rolls, sweet & sour chicken, egg fried rice + chips 2500 50000
McDonald's Big Mac + medium fries 845 16900
KFC Original Recipe 3 piece meal 1035 20200
Wetherspoons Cheeseburger + chips 2356 47120
Chip Shop Average portion of fish + chips 1232 24640

Remember the daily 10,000 steps target? That’s been dwarfed by this lot! A typical KFC meal – without a drink – would take two days worth of steps to burn off, while you’d need to walk for FIVE DAYS just to counteract the calories from a typical Chinese. Wow.

How far you need to walk to burn off your favourite takeaway

Perhaps surprisingly, a medium Big Mac meal actually contains the least calories of some of the nation’s favourite takeaways – though you’ll still need to walk eight and a half miles to burn it off, while you’ll need to clock up a whopping 23 miles to burn off a burger and chips from your local ‘Spoons. How far do you need to walk to burn off your weekend indulgences?

Walking for fitness

Two thirds of UK adults say that leading a healthy lifestyle is important to them – and one of the best ways to be healthy is to be active.

Regardless of the steps target, walking is still a really effective exercise. It’s good cardio, improves flexibility and increases your stamina – plus, according to our survey, walking is the preferred way for people to improve their activity level. But it can be difficult to find time to go for a walk – or fit in those extra steps.

We’ve come up with an easy way for you to get more walking done – and if you’re aiming for the controversial 10,000 steps target, this will get you to it. Going for a walk is the perfect excuse to out in the fresh air, clear your head and refresh your mind – and burn off that cheeky Nando’s, of course!

In the morning, walk in one direction for 15 minutes. Then walk back.

At lunchtime, do the same thing. Or take it down to 10 or even 5 minutes if you only have a short lunch break and make the time up in the morning or evening.

After tea, go for a 20 minute walk one way then head home.

When you get bored of the same route, change direction or make it a longer round trip instead. If you’re walking to lose weight, don’t pressure yourself about speed – turns out that it’s distance that matters the most. Hurrah! Of course, the more you walk the faster you’ll get anyway.

Steps vs exercise

You’ve probably heard various claims that shorter amounts of more intensive exercise are more effective for health and weight loss than doing 10,000 steps a day. Whatever your opinion on the matter, we’re all about making things easy, and putting our gym clobber on for the sake of 2 minutes crazy sweating and panting sounds like more effort than going for a quick walk before and after work.

A couple of daily walks is pretty easy to stick to, especially if you have people, pets or a decent playlist to keep you company.  And if you stick to the 10,000 steps a day target, you’ll be walking a lot further than you think in a pretty short space of time. Enough to balance out those weekly food indulgences! It really adds up – in just one day, you’re walking almost the equivalent of the height of Everest! Check out our infographic for more bragging rights… (Click to enlarge)

how far will you walk?


Get fit with Get The Label

Whether you just want to do a bit more walking, are consciously working on getting fitter or you’re getting ready for your next half marathon, Get The Label has the workout clothing you need. We’re all about big brands at little prices – we’ve got everything from running shoes to technical fitness gear to oversized tees and hoodies for the gym. Whatever your activity, we’ve got great value fitness clothing for you.

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