Friday, November 27, 2009

Is it Possible to Calorie Count During the Holidays?

It's pretty easy to figure out the trend under scrutiny for this blog entry by the title, but if not, it is "Calorie Counting." A very popular trend out there in the world of staying fit, getting in shape, or shedding the pounds. Around 3,690,000 websites came up when googling "calorie count;" including sites for determining one's daily calorie intake or counting up each individual ingredient in your meals, snacks and drinks throughout the day.

Now I am by no means a skinny-minny, nor am I trying to be, but while I was training for the 1/2 Marathon it was incredibly important that I didn't try to run 7 miles on 1,000 calories or I was asking to pass out in pure embarrassment amongst the sportsbra-wearing/protien-shake toting athletes of the gym. So about 4 months ago I jumped on the bandwagon and began eating through my days by numbers. 

However, the beef I have with calories counting, no pun intended, but I like food. I enjoy eating and in fact once I am finished eating I am thinking about my next meal choice. I plan my days around what will be cooked and what meals will be spent eating out. My mouth begins salivating the moment the Food Network channel flips across the screen. And just like every other American I plan my social life around food. But if I were an avid calorie counter my numbers would put many bank deposits to shame. 

I don't know how the Kate Moss's of the world can handle their lack of food. Moss is again lighting up more than just the cameras with her most recent verbal throw-up: "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." She probably doesn't care to calorie count because then that would require her to actually insert food into the dark hallows of her cavernous cheeks.

For example on a random day the Southern Style Chicken Breakfast Sandwich; 400 calories. Barbacoa Chipotle burrito bowl; 1230 calories Doritos; 250 calories Twix Bar; 560 Bottle of Dr. Pepper; 250 calories. That's 2690 calories and I haven't even had dinner which could add an additional 600 calories. 

But it is a hard battle between eating too little and eating too much. I feel like a wafe if I miss a meal and I feel like a walking lard bucket if I eat too much. So I have decided, as long as used in a healthy manner, calorie counting could be a good mathematical balance between eating enough and avoiding overeating.

I've decided to test out my eating habits on Turkey Day. Looking through multiple calorie calculators I have determined on an average day I should eat around 2200 calories to maintain my weight and around 1700 calories to lose weight. This is based on many different calculations; my age, weight, height, and activity rate. 

If this is what I should do on a daily basis I am obviously going to give myself a little breather room for Turkey day, but I thought it would be interesting to actually see how far over I am or how conscious I actually am of the food. (I am running a 4 miler the morning of to help establish a similar activity level for the rest of my daily caloric intake). 

So here goes:

The Turkey  - 450
Stuffing - 400
Mashed Potatoes - 350
Gravy - 300
Apple Pie (1 slice) - 400
Pecan Pie (1 slice) - 650
Dr. Pepper (2 cans) - 500
Broccoli Salad with Bacon - 350
Wine (2 glasses) - 600
Chocolate Covered Pretzels - 200
Chocolate Covered Bananas - 200
Rolls w/butter (2) - 600
Beer (2 bottles) - 320
Veggies and Ranch Dip - 400
That comes down to a total of ..........wait for it......wait for it.....5,720!!

In conclusion, I have decided counting calories is not very successful during the holidays. In fact, the thought that I was even going to keep track of what I was eating, threw me off a bit. It made me second guess what I was putting in my mouth and what the caloric repercussions would turn out to be. 

It looks like I probably should’ve run a marathon before the American day of food consumption and turkey comatoses.

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