Christmas dinner and burning calories

How long do you have to cycle to ride off the pud? (Photo: CC Flickr)
Victoria Hazael's picture

Christmas dinner and burning calories

Cycling is great exercise and an excellent way to burn off any extra calories you may consume over the Christmas period. But how long will you have to cycle for? Take a look at our handy guide to cycling off your Christmas treats.

The average British person consumes 7000 calories on Christmas Day, but according to the Daily Mail, we all think we are eating about 3000

The great news is cycling can really help burn off those extra calories, it is exercise you can fit in to your daily routine or weekend. You don't need to book a class or check if the gym is open over the Christmas period, you can just get on your bike and go. 

How many calories do you burn cycling? 

It is a tricky question to answer as it depends on your height and weight and the speed you are going. If you need to lose a few pounds, take heart -  the heavier you are the more energy is required to cycle, so the more calories you burn.

The intensity of your cycling will also have an impact on how many calories you burn, and how long you ride for will also make a difference. 

As we're all different, the figures used here are based on burning an average of 5 calories per minute. For a more precise calculation you can use a cycling calorie calculator.

If you want to really monitor your progress, you can use a fitness tracker or smart watch. We recently included the Polar M200 in our Save, spend or splurge? Cycling gadgets article.It’s marketed as a running watch, but this (relatively) inexpensive GPS device (at £129.50) is also suited to cycling, and has a built-in heart-rate monitor (no chest strap needed). You can link it with fitness apps such as Strava and Endomondo to upload activities automatically, and get notifications on screen from compatible smartphones. 

However, it's not just about counting calories - it is important to remember that cycling offers a plethora of health benefits, so read Cycling UK's facts about Health and Cycling and get inspired to get out cycling.  

Christmas dinner

Take three slices of turkey at 303 calories (or 230 for nut roast), add two stuffing balls at 226 cals, plus three roast potatoes at 300 cals, a tablespoon of bread sauce at 141 cals, cranberry sauce 18 cals for two teaspoons, 2 pigs in blankets at 130 cals, then a bit of veg without butter is around 20 cals and slosh on some homemade gravy at 71 calories. The result is 1209 calories (1136 cal with nut roast). 

To burn this off, you can't just go on a quick pootle to the shops for Boxing day bargains, you'll have to ride non-stop for 4 hrs 2 minutes (3 hrs 47 minutes for the vegetarian)

Photo: Edward Howell

Christmas pudding 

100g serving of Christmas pudding is 330 calories add in one tablespoon of brandy butter and that's an extra 98 calories, so that's 1 hour 26 minutes of riding. 

Mince Pie 

230 calories so you'll have to do 46 minutes of cycling. 

A healthy Christmas dinner

If you want ideas to cut down on the calories this Christmas the NHS has some advice about cooking a healthy Christmas dinner

Go cycling 

Any amount of cycling makes a difference, so why not get out cycling and enjoy a winter ride. There are plenty to choose from in our events calendar and our Member Groups and Cycling UK affiliated clubs will welcome new people to join them on their rides. 

Remember: if you just sit on the sofa, the average person burns 75 calories in an hour, whereas if you cycle at a slow to moderate pace you'll burn at least 300!

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