3 Ways to Make it Easier to Enjoy a “Coping Burger”

Posted: October 8, 2013 in Blog, Fitness, Nutrition
half a burger with fries

Is a hamburger a beautiful thing? Yes, if you watch the TV commercials that make them look like nothing you’ve ever unwrapped at McDonald’s. Some call it “food porn”, but whatever you call it, millions of dollars are spent to make hamburgers look mouth-wateringly beautiful in advertising images.

For anyone trying to lose weight or eat healthier foods, hamburgers are not pretty. Loaded with calories and high in fat (about a third of it is saturated fat) a single hamburger, fries and regular soft drink meal packs in over half your recommended daily calories.

Yet, even though you know the bad news about hamburgers, they still call your name. It’s tough to resist and sometimes you give in. Many consider it cheating”, but for some it’s a way to tolerate the difficulties of weight management and it gets them through the tough spots. It’s a way to cope.

Reducing the Impact of a “Coping Burger”

Just by using a few easy tips, you can drastically reduce the impact a hamburger will have on your weight and health.

Since we touched on a hamburger being “a beautiful thing”, we’ll use a Harvey’s Original Hamburger for our example. And we’re not even going to mention their “Healthier Options” (although we recommend you check them out too).

  1. Skip the Fries and Regular soft drink – OK, we don’t want to start off on a downer, but we’re talking about ways to make it easier for you to enjoy a real hamburger. Taking this one step, and replacing the fries and regular drink with a salad and diet drink, cuts your calorie intake by half for the entire meal.
  2. Pick the right dressing – Of course we wouldn’t expect you to eat a naked salad. Harvey’s Asian Sesame dressing has about 60% of the calories of their Creamy Ceasar.
  3. Increase your daily activity a little – We’re not talking about an exercise program here, but just being aware of how many calories different daily activities burn and adding them to your routine to compensate for the calories in the hamburger.

The following chart shows the calories burned by a 150 lb. person when he or she does 30 minutes of different activities (According to Harvard Medical School):

Activity                                               Calories Burned

Cooking                                               93

Bowling                                               112

Raking a lawn                                     149

Playing with your kids (moderate)      149

Tai chi                                                 149

Walk – not brisk                                  149

Hang some wallpaper                         167

Square dancing                                   205

So if you added an extra half an hour to the time you spend with the kids, went bowling and took a walk, you would burn off all the calories from the entire hamburger meal.

There’s lots other considerations before giving in to your hamburger temptation, including the bad effects of saturated fat and excess sodium, neither of which can be compensated for with extra activity. Your nutritional counsellor can help you understand more about your diet, how to cope with weight management and even how to reduce your hamburger cravings.