Diet · Lifestyle

Your sweet, sweet loving, won’t you put some weight on me?

Image generated on Canva


We deserve to treat ourselves every now and then – and sugary treats usually do make the cut!

But how much exercise* would we need to do in order to take off that extra weight?

We calculated how much exercise we would have to do to work off the sugars in a rainbow paddle pop, a beef burger, a 350mL can of Coke and a doughnut coated with chocolate icing.
The exercises we chose included running at 6.5km/h, swimming freestyle continuously, resistance training such as squats and stationary bicycling with no breaks in between.
The following calculations were made on the Bupa website using their calorie calculator.

So in case you were wondering how many kilojoules are in one gram of sugar:

1 gram of sugar = 3.87 calories = 16.19208 kilojoules


Exhibit A: Rainbow Paddle Pop

The rainbow paddle pop is the most enticing ice cream to eat on a hot summer day. It could be bought in any Australian supermarket and selected convenience stores e.g. 7-Eleven stores.

It is known for its rainbow swirls and sweet “rainbow” taste.

However, its appearance acts as a cover up for all the hidden sugars in just one single paddle pop.

Image generated on Canva


13.5 grams of sugar = 846 kilojoules

Exercise duration:

Running (6.5km/h) – 41 mins

Lap swimming (Freestyle) – 42 mins

Resistance weight training – 49 mins

Stationary bicycling – 35 mins


Exhibit B: Beef Burger

Australians love their burgers, particularly the ones with beef patties. These could be conveniently bought in your local Australian Maccas or burger food chains e.g. Grill’d.

They are usually consumed during lunch hour as a “savoury”meal.

However, that “savoury” classification doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t contain any sugar.

Image generated on Canva


5.9 grams of sugar = 369.7 kilojoules

Exercise duration:

Running (6.5km/h) – 18 mins

Lap swimming (Freestyle) – 19 mins

Resistance weight training – 22 mins

Stationary bicycling – 16 mins


Exhibit C: Coke

It is globally recognised by its startling red label and could be bought at any convenient stores and supermarkets across Australia and around the world.

It’s iconic for its strong fizz and sweet taste, and it’s usually consumed by people who wants a “caffeinated boost”.

One standard serving of coke (350mL) can easily reach your recommended daily sugar intake – which is around 90 grams of sugar** (Dietitians Associaton of Australia, 2016).

Image generated on Canva


35 grams of sugar = 2193.2 kilojoules

Exercise duration:

Running (6.5km/h) – 105 mins

Lap swimming (Freestyle) – 109 mins

Resistance weight training – 126 mins

Stationary bicycling – 90 mins


Exhibit D: Doughnut

There has been an increase in demand for doughnut stores across Australia. Popular favourites include Doughnut Time and Krispy Kreme doughnut chains.

Say goodbye to the old-fashioned cinnamon doughnut and say hello to triple-iced doughnuts with sprinkles on top.

The fancier they get, the higher your blood sugar levels.

Image generated on Canva


27 grams of sugar = 1691.9 kilojoules

Exercise duration:

Running (6.5km/h) – 81 mins

Lap swimming (Freestyle) – 84 mins

Resistance weight training – 98 mins

Stationary bicycling – 70 mins


Remember, these calculations are only to work off the amount of sugar in each sweet treat.

Therefore, you’ll be expecting to exercise a lot more to work off the sugary treat you just ate!

Image via Daily Mail


*The amount of exercise is based on a 50kg person (Bupa, 2016)

** 90grams of sugar is the recommended daily sugar intake for an average adult (Dietitians Associaton of Australia, 2016)


Written by Flora C.


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