How Long Do You Have to Work Out to Burn Off the Calories from Potato Chips?

Potato chips make a satisfying snack food—crispy, salty and flavorful, thanks to the deep-fried preparation. However, eating potato chips can cause problems for your fitness and health routines because they're loaded with fat and calories. Depending on your body weight and exercise intensity, you can definitely plan to work out hard and long in order to burn off the calories from potato chips. Preventing this situation by choosing healthier alternatives could be a smarter move.

A pile of potato chips. Credit: elioxuni/iStock/Getty Images

Calories and Working Out

Even when you're not working out, your body requires a certain amount of calories to complete basic functions like breathing, pumping your heart and maintaining cells, according to the University of New Mexico. When you exercise, your body needs extra calories to complete functions like running, lifting weights, swimming or performing yoga postures. In this way, calories from food you consume—for example, a bag of potato chips—becomes fuel to complete those functions. The more you work out, the more calories you'll burn. Conversely, if you continually munch on potato chips without working out, you'll be stuck with those extra calories in the form of accumulated fat on your body.

The Basic Chip

Calorie amount will vary depending on what brand or type or potato chip you've eaten. However, one example of the amount of calories for a 1-ounce serving of potato chips—about 15 chips—might include 160 calories, according to Frito Lay.com. Of those 160 calories, 90 calories come from fat, making this a high-fat snack. In fact, a 1-ounce portion of potato chips might also pack 10 grams of fat, or 16 percent of the recommended amount based on a 2,000-calorie daily diet plan.

Body Weight Matters

How long you'll have to work out to burn off roughly 160 calories partly depends on your body size and the type of activity you select, according to Harvard Health Publications. For example, a 125-pound person would have to complete 30 minutes of low-impact aerobics in order to burn approximately 160 calories, whereas a 155-pound person would burn 205 calories performing the same activity in the same amount of time. A 155-pound person could burn about 160 calories performing 30 minutes of calisthenics, while a 185-pound person could burn over 160 calories performing 30 minutes of water aerobics. In general, the more vigorous the workout, the faster you'll burn off the potato chips. Examples of high-energy workouts include running, skin diving, playing competitive soccer, and speed skating, according to NutriStrategy.

Skip the Chips

One way to reduce your workout includes reducing your portion size; that is, eating a smaller handful of potato chips, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But you can also swap out healthier alternatives to potato chips to avoid lengthier workouts. Examples include baked apple slices, baked taro root slices, baked sweet potatoes, or baked kale leaves, according to Time Magazine.

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