Counting calories? That may be only half the numbers in the mathematical equation you need to lose weight.
Many restaurants offer nutritional information online. Some are even adding the number of calories in each food item on their menus. While knowing that the blueberry muffin you just ordered has 450 calories is good information, knowing how long it will take you to burn off those calories is even better information. The answer: A 150-pound person could burn those 450 calories with a nice brisk walk. A nice, two-hour brisk walk.
In fact, researchers at Texas Christian University found that when the time needed to burn off calories was added to a menu, diners made healthier choices. It is unlikely restaurants will add burn-off information to their menus anytime soon, but you can find the data online. For a "Time to Burn Calculator," go to bit.ly/fitwatch-calculator.