how many ski runs to eliminate those pesky calories?

Skiing is one of the most energy-consuming sports. How much can you buy as much raclette as you want? (excerpt from the film Bridget Jones: The Age of Reason2004.)
2004 Universal Studios and Studio Canal and Miramax Film Corp.

If holidays in the mountains usually involve large expenses, in terms of energy and budget, it is common to reward your skiing efforts with copious nights of raclette, often too drunk. Zero-sum game or danger for the line? An alpine nutritionist answers us.

The experts are clear: all it takes is a few days in the high mountains to feel as alive as a free-range bird. Long sessions of sliding, sessions of fierce fighting against the cold from mid-morning onwards, oxygenation of the body as a whole… Enough to feel like melting like snow in the sun, or at least allowing yourself some excesses without any guilt, including hot chocolate, steaming toddy, roasted Mont d’Or and another formidable family raclette. All, of course, for a caloric amount as high as the price of a night in Courchevel.

If the ski is among the sports that consume the most energy, it is necessary to qualify its range, as the caloric expenditure will depend on your skier profile: thus, a strong individual descending the red and black slopes can expect to burn 400 calories per hour, while another, more slender , gliding with the grace of a cake through green and blue, will hardly exceed 200. In other words, in a day of five hours of exercise, 2,000 calories for the first, and “only” 1,000 for the second. And no matter how much we protest by brandishing our sticks, physiology will not kneel down and apologize. An observation confirmed by Alexis Mongellaz, nutritionist and ski instructor at Les Saisies in Savoy : “there are many parameters that will impact energy expenditure: gender, age, body size, external temperature… The important thing is the intensity, therefore the level of the skier“.

It is difficult, therefore, to compare our learned calculations with the average caloric intake of a raclette. But let’s not stop halfway: with 150 grams of cheese, the same amount of cold cuts, 300 grams of potatoes and two glasses of dry white wine, the bill will reach around 1,600 calories. Our chubby skier will therefore be left with around 400 calories of margin, while the unfortunate wasp-waisted person will have an extra 600 calories on their conscience. At least in theory.

Beware of the sin of gluttony and conviviality

Eating another potato to finish off the cheese, a sliver of cheese for the last piece of potato… A delicious tantalum torture that is therefore not without consequences. However, our expert advises forgetting the calculations in favor of common sense: “You have to have a view of your diet as a whole, and this unfortunately doesn’t come into play during the holidays. The diet should be moderate daily, as long as sine qua non condition of the few excesses we allow ourselves during winter sports.

Much to the consternation of mathematicians, there is no need to be precise and play the equivalence game. “It’s much easier to trust your feelings. After a day of skiing, we often feel very hungry and it is important to satisfy that hunger. The trap lies in gluttony and conviviality, as well as alcoholic drinks, which do not have a satiating effect.“. In short, no more raclette – in moderation, then – and no more Roussette de Savoie. Between sport and epicureanism, now you know which way the scales tip.

AND ALSO – What wine(s) should you drink with a raclette?

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