St Patrick’s Day is just around the corner — a day when Americans don green and kick back a few pints at a local bar.
Many major American food chains also cash in on the holiday, offering limited green and leprechaun-themed treats. What might go unnoticed during festivities is how unhealthy many of these treats are and how far you would need to ‘walk it off’ later.
Dairy Queen’s Mint Brownie Blizzard and Jack in the Box’s Mint Mobile Shake, for example, both have over 1,000 calories each.
For the average 5’9 male person to walk one of those off it would require a 14 mile stroll — or nearly 30,000 steps – which would take you nearly five hours.
Even a pint of the iconic Guinness Draught — a staple on St Paddy’s Day — carries a large sum of calories, with more than 200 per pint. Drink four of those, which is not too far-fetched, and you’d need to walk nearly 10 miles.
Unfortunately, many Americans hoping a brisk walk in the park is enough to offset a day of treats and drinks may be in for a big surprise:
McDonald’s Shamrock Shake
The popular drink from the Golden Arches is a staple St Patrick’s Day-themed drink.
The iconic green drink has made an appearance on McDonald’s menus each March for more than 50 years.
What’s hiding in the pale green milkshake with whipped cream on top is enough calories to undo a whole day’s workout.
McDonald’s Shamrock Shake has been a drink of choice for many over the past 50 years. A large drink has 20,000 steps-worth of calories
A large Shamrock Shake has 800 calories. Experts suggest a person that weighs 150 pounds burns off 40 calories with every 1,000 steps taken.
This means an average person will have to walk 20,000 steps — enough to travel ten miles — to undo the caloric impact of the drink.
Calories are not the only worry.
The 84 grams of added sugar in a large shake is also well over the 50g daily maximum recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
There is also 13g of saturated fat, 64 percent of the maximum, and 260mg of sodium — 11 percent of the max allowance.
Krispy Kreme’s Golden Cookies & Kreme Doughnut
Stopping at Krispy Kreme to grab a few doughnuts is a part of the morning routine for thousands of Americans, and the chain has a few St Patrick’s day themed treats available this month.
The Golden Cookies & Kreme Doughnut is one of seven limited time offerings from Krispy Kreme this March. Just one donut needs 10,250 steps to walk-off
Krispy Kreme has seven holiday-themed doughnuts this month, each based on the holiday.
These include the Golden Cookies & Kreme Doughnut, a cream-filled doughnut topped with white icing, golden cookie crumbles and sprinkles.
The treat is based on the famous unfound pot of gold believed to be hiding at the end of rainbows across the world.
While there are some disputes over how likely you are to find riches at the end of a colorful crescent — the amount of sugar and calories in Krispy Kreme’s doughnut is known.
The doughnut has 410 calories. Just one would take 10,250 steps, or walking 5.13 miles to burn off.
One of Ireland’s most famous exports, Guinness is a popular drink of choice at bars across America on St Patrick’s Day. 5,250 steps burn off the calories of one pint
Limiting yourself to just one can be a challenge, though, with many eating a few treats at a time. This racks up the calories — and the miles needed — in quick time.
While a favorite for many boozers year-round, Guinness will be among the drinks of choice for millions of partiers this weekend.
The iconic Irish beer comes in bottles and cans, but a perfectly poured pint of the dry stout is among sophisticated beer lovers’ favorite drinks.
A pint of Guinness poured from a draft — or a draught for the more cultured — packs around 210 calories.
It would take 5,250 steps — or the equivalent of 2.63 miles — to burn off that many calories.
And that’s for only one pint. Someone who indulges in four pints of Guinness on St Patrick’s day will need to wake more than 10 miles to offset the damage.
Dairy Queen’s Mint Brownie Blizzard Treat
Another minty treat hitting menus to celebrate St Patrick’s day this March, Dairy Queen is offering its famous blizzard ice cream with a twist.
The ice cream chain’s ‘March Blizzard of the Month’ is a swirl of mint ice cream with brownie pieces and chocolate chunks mixed in.
While the treat may be packed with flavor, it comes loaded with calories and sugar too.
The large blizzard includes a whopping 1,180 calories. It also has 142g of sugar — nearly three times the daily FDA allowance in one drink alone.
It would take 29,500 steps — or nearly 15 miles, more than a half-marathon — to wipe out the ice cream treat.
On top of the high sugar and caloric intake, a large blizzard also has 85mg of cholesterol (28 percent of FDA daily intake) and 490mg of sodium (21 percent).
Jack in the Box’s Mint Mobile Shake
Rivaling DQ’s mammoth drink is one from Jack in the Box, which partnered with budget cell phone service Mint Mobile for its St Patrick’s drink this year.
The Mint Mobile Shake features mint ice cream with Oreos mixed in, whipped cream and — of course — a cherry on top.
Its large size also features 1,130 calories. This means someone who gets the shake will need to walk 28,250 steps to offset it — a sum that will see them traveling 14.13 miles.
It is one of many sugar, calorie and fat-packed shakes available at the fast-food chain with over 2,000 locations nationwide.
Dueling mint ice cream shakes, DQ’s Mint Blizzard includes 29,500 steps to burn off, compared to 28,250 for Jack in the Box’s Mint Mobile shake
Applebee’s Pot O’Gold Colada
The ‘Neighborhood Bar & Grill’ found in communities across America is rolling out two signature cocktails for St Patrick’s Day.
The Pot O’Gold Colada — also a play on the treasures leprechauns are hiding at the end of rainbows — is a mango-flavored, gold-tinted, cocktail.
The drink, mixed with Captain Morgan rum, comes with 490 calories. It would take 12,250 steps, or the equivalent of 6.13 miles, to work off the drink.
And, if you’re having a boozy night – the mileage could grow even more.
Applebee’s Pot O’Gold Colada is a mix of mango flavoring and Captain Morgan rum. It would take 12,250 steps to burn its calories
Applebee’s is also rolling out a ‘Tipsy Leprechaun’ drink, featuring melon liquer, lemon-lime soda and Jameson Irish Whisky, with 220 calories per drink.
It would take 5,500 steps — or 2.75 miles — to undo the drink.
Mint Oreos and M&M’s
A plate of mint Oreos and a bowl of light-green M&M’s are a snack-table staple at this weekend’s St Patrick’s day party.
Many will pick a few of the cookies and a handful of the chocolates up while mingling with the crowd and probably forget they even had any.
But, slowly eating treats as the night goes on can quickly build up calories.
A single serving of M&M’s, 16 candies, and Oreos, two cookies, include 140 calories each.
Working off a single serving of each would require 3,500 steps – or 1.75 miles.
Unwittingly snacking as the night goes on will just build those calories up even more — and combined with the booze, could leave someone with a lot of working out ahead of them.
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