Burning Off High-Calorie Foods: Water Sports Edition

Find out what it takes to burn off high-calorie foods with water sports.


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Are water sports your activities of choice during the summer months? Along with kayaking trips and stand-up paddleboarding at the beach come trips to the snack bar, clam shacks and barbecues. Find out just how much water play it can take to work off those summer favorites so you can adjust your diet accordingly.

Mains & Sides:
Lobster Roll = 600 Calories

Hold your breath; that butter- or mayo-drenched lobster sammie will require two hours of snorkeling to work off.

Fried Clams = 400 calories

A small order of this fried fave will mean one hour of water skiing for you to break even.

BBQ Ribs (Half Slab) = 900 Calories

Craving a huge serving of finger-licking ribs? Plan to kick it for three-and-a-half hours in a paddleboat to expend all those calories.

8-Ounce Cheeseburger = 600 Calories

Practice your flip turn! That big fat burger will have you swimming laps (vigorously) for one hour.

Pasta Salad = 200 Calories

A large spoonful of mayo-drenched pasta salad demands treading water for 45 minutes. Might be better to stick to a simple green salad.

Strawberry Milkshake = 820 Calories

Slather on the sunscreen, because a large shake from a popular fast-food joint breaks down to four hours on a body board.

Banana Split = 1,000 Calories

Find some friends to split that banana split with. Otherwise, prepare for some waterlogged fingers and toes after four hours of water aerobics.

Peach Cobbler = 550 Calories

A fruit-based dessert may seem like a better choice, but this classic summertime dessert still takes 90 minutes of kayaking to burn off.

Best Options:

You can still enjoy all those summertime foods, but be smart about portions and steer clear of fatty foods that are fried or soaked in mayo. Bring along low-cal and refreshing fruits and veggies to snack on during your next beach bash, and go easy on the liquid calories while you splash your way through summer.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of  Dana White Nutrition, Inc. , which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

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