If Santa Claus Walked Instead of Rode In His Sleigh — How Many Calories Would He Burn?

Even Santa has weight challenges – and he certainly has a lot of carb and calorie temptation with all of the cookies and milk left out for him! He uses a sleigh pulled by reindeer that lands him on the roof of each house he visits – so he doesn’t get much exercise just sliding down the chimney (tough with that belly and bag of presents). Should Santa change to walking for transport and eat healthier snacks?

On Christmas Eve, Santa visits an estimated 92 million households. Walking.about.com figures that if all households were evenly distributed across the earth, Santa would travel 0.78 miles between houses, for a total of 71,760,000 (71.8 million) miles.

Guessing Santa’s weight at 250 pounds and assuming that he’s a pretty fast walker – after all, he does have to get his deliveries done in one night – walking.about.com’s calorie counter estimates that he would burn 13 billion calories.

Would He Burn Off All That Milk And Cookies?

Two small cookies and a cup of skim milk (giving households the benefit of doubt about full fat dairy) clock in at about 200 calories. If Santa snacks at each of the 92 million households, that works out to a payday of 18.4 billion calories.

So, Santa would gain 1,529,350 pounds every Christmas Eve — even if he walked instead of rode in his sleigh. Walking, he’d have to circle the earth 1,183 times to burn off the extras.

What If Santa Snacked On Veggies Instead Of Cookies?

If Santa had a cup of carrot and celery sticks at each house rather than cookies and milk, Walking’s Calorie Calculator shows that he would have just 50 calories at each house — which adds up to 4.6 billion calories. Since he would burn off 13 billion calories by walking, he’d actually lose all of his weight and disappear.

Maybe the best idea for him would be a nice combination of veggies at most households and cookies and low fat milk every few households to keep him in caloric balance!


If holiday eating is on your mind, for some hints and tips get my book,  The Sensible Holiday Eating Guide: How To Enjoy Your Favorite Foods Without Gaining Weight, available from Amazon for your kindle or kindle reader.


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