When the lockdown ends many of us will have to plan on losing the pounds gained during our involuntary confinement. Working diligently we can eventually go from being hippy to being happy. It’s a matter of simple arithmetic. We have to burn more calories than we consume.

Don’t be discouraged. It’s not that difficult. You’re using about 20 calories just reading this. However, if you happen to be eating a 280-calorie Snickers bar, your positive calorie balance and your physical bottom line will both be enlarged.

By keeping close track you can make sure the burn is greater than the swallow. I once read about a local diet club that traveled to California to attend an all-you-can-eat dessert festival. Before returning to New Jersey they climbed 14,000-foot Mount Shasta and just about broke even calorie-wise, but they had to deal with frostbite, a terrifying near-miss avalanche, minor injuries and exhaustion. They said it was well worth it and planned to attend the festival the following year with a hired Sherpa guide.

Your program doesn’t have to be that drastic. On a smaller scale you can reduce the damage of an eating splurge with sensible exercise. For instance, if you’re ingesting a Double Whopper with cheese (994 calories) while running at 8 mph, you will burn those intake calories during a one-hour jog. Cardiologist approval is recommended and it’s best to run on a circular path or you’ll end up eight miles from home and be wiped out..

If you’re overweight the calorie burn rate is higher for the same run. An extra 20 pounds can give you a 20 percent benefit, but it would be counter productive to increase your blubber. A more flexible plan would be to carry the added weight in a backpack. Then, after the first mile or two when you decide the bowling ball was a bad idea, you can unload it. Small dog owners can be even more flexible. If Fido gets restless in the backpack, the leashed dog can join in the run until he gets tired and needs to be carried again. Be warned: The Fido method can result in interruptions with tree and hydrant encounters and speed bursts during squirrel sightings.

Exercise machines work for some. A friend bought one that was called the Brawny Bicep Buildup Bench. He burned 500 extra calories the very first day, 250 lugging it home from the store and another 250 returning it after his wife caught him taking a nap on the bench.

Then there are those who take exercise seriously enough to invest big money in fitness club memberships. But did you ever notice in the parking lots of these clubs, most members park as close as possible to the entrance to avoid a long walk? Well, maybe some of them are carrying bowling balls or small dogs.

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