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Martial Arts & Weight Loss

Martial arts is a great way to lose weight. For example, according to this Mayo Clinic article, a 160 pound person burns 730 calories per hour at Taekwondo. However, a person must burn off approximately 3,500 calories (this amount varies based on a person's size & weight) in order to lose just one pound.  Therefore, to lose one pound of fat per week, you will need to take roughly 5 Taekwondo classes per week. Or to lose ten pounds, you need to participate in 5 Taekwondo classes per week for 2.5 months or take 50 Taekwondo classes without changing your eating habits (such as eating more because you are hungry from all of the calories that you are burning off).

People trying to lose weight will experiment with many types of diets (i.e. meat diets or no carb diets). However, in my mind, it comes down to consuming less calories and/or burning off more calories. I believe in the basic eat less (especially junk food) and exercise more (i.e. participate in more martial art classes) philosophy of weight loss.

FYI - Over the years, Taekwondo has helped me to lose 10+ pounds, firmed up my body & face and I am looking 10 years younger (okay, at least a few years younger!).

Taekwondo burns off a lot of calories but don't "defeat" this calorie burn by eating too much junk food. The 730 calories burned by an entire one hour Taekwondo class is roughly equal to the following foods/drinks:

  • One Taekwondo class equals 7-9 small chocolate chip cookies.

  • One Taekwondo class equals 4-5 glasses of beer.

  • One Taekwondo class equals 2-3 slices of pepperoni pizza.

  • One Taekwondo class equals less than a Big Mac, large fries and medium Coke (730 calories versus 1,250 calories). For more McDonald's calorie info, please visit their nutrition page.

Therefore having cookies, beer and McDonald's during the week might mean weeks of Taekwondo classes in order to burn off the accumulated calories! :) For "better" food & snack ideas, you should visit our Taekwondo Diet & Nutrition page.

A Taekwondo class is fun and importantly a "quicker" way to burn off calories than many other activities. One hour of Taekwondo (in terms of calories burned) is equal to the following activities:

  • 2 hours of shoveling snow

  • 2 hours of golf - WHAT????! No way. I don't believe that golf burns so many calories! :) Seriously, the golf calories are based on walking the golf course and carrying a golf bag.

  • 2.5 hours of raking the lawn

  • 3 hours of walking (at 2 miles per hour)

  • 3 hours of cleaning

  • 4 hours of cooking

  • 5.5 hours of working at your desk

  • 13 hours of watching TV - Hmm... Do we burn more calories if we are watch UFC fighting? :)

  • 16 hours of sleeping

Final conclusion - Forget the Atkins Diet and join a Taekwondo class! :)

You might also be interested in these martial arts & weight loss books:

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