M&M’s are football fields. To understand what this means, let’s take an imaginary trip to your local high school football field and play a game. On the way, stop and buy a small bag of plain M&M’s. Head to the field with your M&M’s tucked away—if you open them prematurely you’ll ruin the game!
How to Play:
- Walk your bag of M&M’s to the end of the field (10 yards behind the goal line).
- Tear off the corner of the bag and push out one and only one M&M into the palm of your hand.
- Stare at that one M&M for a few seconds and think how it will taste melting in your mouth.
- Eat the M&M. Yummy, yummy. Right?
- Stare straight out over the entire length of the football field. That’s how far you’re going to have to walk to burn off the one M&M you’ve just eaten. One football field—end zones included. One hundred and twenty yards!
- Walk it! Yes, walk it! One football field, and don’t forget to keep the rest of the bag in your pocket.
- Upon arriving at the other end of the football field, take your bag of M&M’s and squeeze out just one more M&M.
- Again, stare at it for a while. Then, look back over the entire grass field you just walked. Then stare back at the M&M, then the football field.
- Ask yourself “If I eat this M&M (M&M #2), would I be willing to walk the length of this field again?”
If your answer is “yes”, eat M&M #2, and walk one more football field. If you want to eat the entire small bag of M&M’s that will take you about 55 football fields. If you are like me and prefer the peanut M&M’s to the plain, well, you will have to walk, two football fields per M&M!
If you answer is “no”, the game is over and you can throw your M&M’s in the nearest garbage receptacle and return home.
Now let’s put this in correlation with other foods. A single potato chip is also a football field, slice of pizza is 80 football fields, , Snickers Bar is 54 football fields, a Miller or Bud Lite is 18 football fields, and a Big Mac, fries and shake is 240 football fields or the equivalent of walking 5 straight hours!
This helpful concept for connecting caloric intake with expenditure was developed by walking expert, Rob Sweetgall, for his workbook “Walking Off Weight.” Unfortunately, too many Americans have a sedentary lifestyle and do not make the connection of calories in vs calories out. So remember, just even a small change, like a little M&M, can make a big difference over time.