How to Burn Calories

Energy that your body uses and stores is measured in calories. A little math can help you determine how many calories you need.
Bowling Pins
Exercising and playing uses lots of
energy.

How many calories you need depends on how much you weigh and how much energy your body requires just to stay alive. Calories come from three nutrients: carbohydrate, fat, and protein. As you digest food, calories are released, taken into your bloodstream and converted to blood sugar.

Energy is used during exercise. If you are a 100-pound person, you will burn this number of calories in each of these activities per minute:

  • Jumping rope: 8 calories
  • Playing basketball: 6-1/2 calories
  • Ice skating: 5-1/2 calories
  • Swimming laps: 8 calories
  • Reading a book: 1 calorie
  • Playing soccer: 5-1/2 calories
  • Sleeping: 1/2 calorie
  • Playing touch football: 6-1/2 calories
  • Jogging: 7-1/2 calories
  • Yoga: 3 calories

Calorie Myths

Myth: Toast is lower in calories than bread. Truth: The texture is changed but not the number of calories.

Myth: Grapefruit burns calories. Truth: No food has special magic to melt away fat.

Myth: Margarine has fewer calories than butter. Truth: They are exactly the same, about 36 calories per pat.

Myth: Bread and potatoes are fattening. Truth: Neither is high in calories, but they turn into high-calorie foods with the topping used, such as butter, sour cream, mayonnaise, and other fat-laden condiments.