If you love fast food, it’s always a balancing act being able to enjoy your meal while still maintaining good health goals. A few days ago, a video on TikTok showed one idea that a McDonald’s in China has tried implementing to solve this problem: They offer an opportunity to ride an exercise bike while dining in and simultaneously enjoying your burger and fries.
In the video, a McDonald’s customer is seen munching on a sandwich and drinking a soda while their legs pedal on the seated recumbent bike at a steady pace.
In the comments section, there were a range of reactions to the idea. “This concept is amazing,” one person wrote while another offered, “I mean, it’s better than nothing.” A few, however, pointed out that the entire exercise was in vain and might not be the best to do while consuming a meal or drinking a soda: “Bad for your digestive system lol. Don’t do physical activities while eating. Eating needs a relaxed state so it can be digested well by the GI tract.” Moreover, it seems that the amount of calories burned while riding the bike is not wholly comparable to the amount gained from a McDonald’s meal.
How much exercise do you need to burn off a fast food meal?
The amount you would need to work out to burn off the effects of a fast food meal largely depends on how you go about exercising and what you ate beforehand, according to experts.
The Daily Mail shares a report from healthy living brand Home Remedy Shop that estimates that if you had a Big Mac, large fries, and a large Coke, it would take almost two-and-a-half hours of biking to burn off the caloric intake. It would take close to the same amount of time if you opt to go running or try another form of cardio. Dancing would take just over four hours while a brisk walk would require just under five hours.
The different menu items you might order and the ways in which you partake in physical activity change these figures. Absent Data offers some ideas for various combinations — for example, a cheeseburger alone can be burned off after a 30-minute jog. So while it might take a while to burn off a full McDonald’s meal, at least some locations are coming up with unique ways to help offset the calories for those times when you want to enjoy a fast food meal and not feel guilty about it. If you have to sit anyway to eat, you might as well get the most out of it.