13 Ways to burn off pizza calories

stk74753corPizza is a popular New Zealand meal, with 26% of Canstar Blue’s recent survey respondents nominating pizza as their favourite takeaway food.  And 41% of respondents admitted that they always end up adding extras to my order (e.g. garlic bread, drink, dessert). Yum!

But what does that delicious meal mean for your waistline? We’ve crunched some data to try and figure out how much exercise you’ll have to do to justify that last slice of pizza in the box.

Please note: (a) these are rough figures, and the exact calories burnt will differ depending on your weight, the intensity of the exercise you do, etc. and (b) most foods are fine in moderation, so don’t feel too guilty about spoiling yourself!

The average calorie count of a slice of pizza

The calorie count of a slice of pizza will differ depending on the thickness of the base and the type of toppings used. If we assume an average calorie count of around 207 calories per slice of pizza (rest assured we’ve done some fieldwork to approximate this assumption) then how much exercise will be needed to work off that final guilty slice?

How long it may take to work off that pizza

Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine previously detailed how many calories we burn per minute (on average) when performing various types of exercise. We divided the average calorie count of a slice of pizza by the ‘calories burnt per minute’ figure, to determine an answer to our question.

Exercise Calories burnt per minute How long to work off the average piece of pizza
Walking at a relaxed pace 3.5 kcals per minute Roughly 59 minutes
Bicycling at a relaxed pace
Swimming slowly
Slow stretching
Doing chores, sweeping
4 kcals per minute Roughly 52 minutes
Raking or mopping

Power walking

4-5 kcals per minute Roughly 41 to 52 minutes
Painting, repairing things around your home

Mowing the lawn

4.5 kcals per minute Roughly 46 minutes
Table tennis, doubles tennis 5 kcals per minute Roughly 41 minutes
Golf, in conjunction with carrying clubs 5.5 kcals per minute Roughly 38 minutes
General resistance calisthenics 6 kcals per minute Roughly 34 minutes
Ice or roller skating


7 kcals per minute Roughly 29 minutes
Moving furniture

Stair stepper, ski machine

More than 7 kcals per minute Roughly 29 minutes or less
Singles tennis 7-8 kcals per minute Roughly 26 and a half  to 29 minutes

Basketball game

8 kcals per minute Roughly 26 minutes
Fast/racing cycling 10 or more kcals per minute Roughly 21 minutes or less
Squash 12 kcals per minute Roughly 17 minutes


Again, we should stress that this is not an expert study, but rather a rough estimate. The short answer is that it takes a long time to burn off those yummy slices of pizza.

There are lots of ways to mitigate your intake, however. For example, you could ask for no cheese on your pizza and the calorie count will drop dramatically. Alternatively, there should be several healthy eating options at your pizza store, so think about trying some of these options the next time you order.

Finally, you should consider cutting back on some of the extras. With 41% of our survey respondents always ordering these extras, stripping them from your order will save you both money and calories.

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