Everyone knows that Spring Break is bad for your health – many will drink and/or smoke too much, most will not do any serious exercise. This is all before we start to consider some of the more nefarious nocturnal activities that reputedly go on during this American tradition. This article attempts to get to the bottom of three questions. How many calories will be I consume on Spring Break? How many calories will I burn on Spring Break? What do I do to burn the calories when I return?
Question: How many calories will I consume on Spring Break?
Answer: The calories you will consume on Spring Break fall into three categories: meals, snacks and drinks.
As far as meals are concerned, the average Spring Breaker will only consume two meals each day – the first at brunch, and the second at dinner. Given the likelihood of hangovers, we will assume that brunch will be two fried eggs, some bacon, some mushrooms and some toast. Each of these meals is worth 790 calories, which gives 5,530 calories when multiplied by seven for the whole week. Dinner meals are also likely to be heavy, and not healthy, so I’ve assumed four meals of burgers and fries at 705 calories each and three nights of pizza at 630 calories each.
MEALS SUBTOTAL: 10,240 calories.
When it comes to drinks, we need to consider alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks separately. Alcoholic drinks are notoriously high in calorie content, especially beer. I assume that the average Spring Breaker drinks on six of seven days and has four beers per day at 150 calories each, plus four mixed drinks per day at 195 calories each. These total 8,280 calories, to which we can add seven nonalcoholic juices at 100 calories apiece and seven 140 calorie sodas.
DRINKS SUBTOTAL: 9,960 calories.
Given that we’ve only assumed two meals per day, there will likely be some snacking that goes on. For simplicity, I’ve added one bag of crisps per day, at 100 calories each. Not to mention six 200 calorie chocolate bars thrown in there somewhere.
SNACKS SUBTOTAL: 1,900
So, from this we can conclude that the average person will ingest 22,100 calories during Spring Break.
Question: How many calories will I burn on Spring Break?
Answer: The calories you will burn on Spring Break fall into five categories: resting, dancing, incidental exercise, sport and sex.
At rest, the average human burns 1,400 calories per day just to survive.
RESTING SUBTOTAL: 9,800 calories
There will be a lot of going out on Spring Break. Some people may dance all night, while others will have a little boogie each night. If we assume the average amount of dancing is half an hour per day, and we know dancing burns 360 calories per hour, we can get our first calorie burn figure.
DANCING SUBTOTAL: 1,260 calories.
Given that people will not always want to take taxis, that places are often within walking distance and so on, an amount of incidental exercise will take place. If we assume half an hour of walking per day, on six days, and posit that you burn 240 calories per hour from walking, we know what our incidental exercise burn looks like.
INCIDENTAL EXERCISE SUBTOTAL: 720 calories.
While many will entertain noble visions of playing lots of sport on Spring Break, this is highly unlikely.
SPORT SUBTOTAL: 0 calories.
A colleague of mine at McKinsey once told me that ‘everyone gets laid on Spring Break’. I am going to assume that everyone gets some just twice on Spring Break, though this seems very bearish, as people with partners, and true players will make up for those that get no love. Current statistics have intercourse as a 70 calorie act (sad isn’t it?), although you can probably pro-rate this if you are of greater stamina or ferocity.
SEX SUBTOTAL: 140 calories.
Here, then, we have the disturbing conclusion. You will only burn 11,920 calories on Spring Break. Yet, you know that you will have consumed 22,100 calories. That leaves you with a frighteningly large TEN THOUSAND, ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY CALORIES unaccounted for. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
Question: What do I do to burn the calories when I return?
Answer: Exercise more and eat less. Isn’t it obvious, fatso?