You Eat Too Much

A few years ago, my roommate asked his his mother (a nurse) for a book on nutrition. She got him a book that was basically a pictorial guide to calorie counts, which is not what he wanted. However, I now realize that I should have borrowed that book, because now that restaurants have to tell you how many calories their dishes have, I’m learning exactly how much I’ve been overeating over the years.

For instance, I went to Islands and discovered my usual chicken breast sandwich is 1,000 calories. Nothing particularly evil about it: mayo, Swiss, mushrooms, lettuce, and tomato. Not breaded and deep fried, no bacon, no avocado. That doesn’t even include the 480 calories for the side of fries it comes with. In other news, Islands (like Red Robin) now offers bottomless fries with their meals, and will happily oblige your request for a side of ranch dressing. So with a second helping of fries, you get 2,000 calories in one meal. More if you get the bottomless Coke. That’s all your calories for the day, consumed in 30 minutes. Insane. I made a 5 oz. turkey burger at home, a smaller version of the above sandwich, and it still came to 480 calories.

If coffee shops had to list calories in the pastry case, their sales would plummet. They’re about 500-900 calories and half of that is fat. Plus the coffee, which is probably a whole milk latte with syrup. This time you only had half a day’s calories as a between meal snack.

Bottom line: everything is horrible for you, and twice as bad if you’re sedentary.

5 thoughts on “You Eat Too Much”

  1. I started doing the calorie counting thing a few years ago using the calories/grams formula. Once I saw that everything I ate was ending up in the “horrid” category, I switched to lighter stuff. Zero calorie drinks are about the biggest impact you can make without lifting a finger. Anyone who knows me could tell you, I was putting down about 2000 calories a day in soda alone. Here’s some awesome things that I pig out on while still losing weight: First place goes to, Oscar Mayer fat free bologna. 22 calories per serving. I down this by the packet. Add mustard. Done. You CANT eat too much of it. Other pig out items: Zero calorie sodas. They come in every major brand now. Sprite, Coke, A&W root beer, Dr Pepper. There’s gotta be at least ONE that you like. Also fat free Ruffles and Pringles. They are less than HALF the calories of other snacks. (70 per serving) Even ones that are supposed to be heathier like Baked Doritoes have 120! For dessert I choose Minute Maid frozen lemonade. Half the calories of ice cream and tastes awesome. Kinda like italian ice. And it comes in different flavors too. If you HAVE to have candy, like I sometimes do, try anything in the gummy category. Not just bears, but stuff like sour patch kids qualifies too. Ill post more if I think of anything else.

  2. Yeah, I listed my favorite diet sodas here:

    Cherry Coke Zero and Diet Cherry 7up are my faves.

    At home I’m pretty healthy because I read the nutrition labels on everything I buy. It’s why I haven’t had stuff like corned beef hash or sausage at home in a long time. It’s the restaurants that kill me. No will power, I order what looks good. Quitting my job helped there, no lunches with the group, but I still go out with friends. And when you run out of food it’s a lot easier and immediately satisfying to get something to go than hit the grocery store.

    I have a similar problem with coffee houses. I started out rarely getting a pastry, now I rarely pass on them. Making coffee at home helps since I’ll use skim milk and a tiny bit of cream and don’t keep any sweets in the house. I’m sure with kids you have a much harder time with that.

  3. Well, how do you fellas feel about using Weight Watchers “points” formula?? It is easy to calculate the points of any food, which not only uses the fat content but also gives you a break for any fiber in the food item.

    Of course, I don’t even remember how many points you are supposed to eat per day. That’s one of the downfalls of these complicated systems. With calories, I only have to remember: 2000 or less.

    I’d include the formula here, but then we’d get sued. Go figure.

  4. I heard there is a free WW web tool, so I think you’re fine with posting the formula. But I agree with you, too complicated. And I’m too lazy. I’d rather count calories or carbs or use an approved food list. If I eat reasonably healthy and keep my calories ~2,000 I should be fine, simply because I got to this size by going way over that.

    For years I assumed I had a low metabolism because I ate the same amount as others but was way fatter, and they weren’t gym rats, either. But on closer examination, they probably had a high metabolism, and I was probably eating at restaurants more than any of them. You’d think I’d have been clued in by the fact that nobody knows more restaurants than me.

  5. My wife uses Weight Watchers. It’s pretty close to what I do.
    My way is simpler. Divide calories by serving size (28 grams is the norm). These numbers are right next to each other on the label. So if your chips say 150 calories, and the serving is 28g. 150 divided by 28 is over 5.
    5 or more is horrid. 4 is bad, 3 is mediocre, 2 or less is eat all you want.
    That’s it. I dont worry about total daily calories. If you set a limit for yourself, say 100 calories per serving, you’ll be able to eat until full without worrying about totals. Most things you can guess without looking, like water and vegetables come out to less than zero when doing the math, so it’s pretty impossible to overeat and get fat off of them. But there are some surprizes. I always figured Sun Chips were healthy. Not in calories they aren’t. Cheese It’s, Goldfish, and Combos aren’t great either when I figured they were kinda healthy. That suprised me. My old favorites turned out to be some of the worst things you can consume: Hot Fries, Coke, Hot Cheese Curls and pepperoni too. Those were daily intakes for me.
    I just remember another cool “good” thing. Dip! If you like to dunk your boring chips or pretzels in stuff, (pretzels are 100 per, so they are OK) you can feel free to dunk in anything vegetable based. onion dips, salsa guacamole. And there’s some awesome yogart dips too, if you like dipping fruit. I use it with strawberries. Strawberries are one of the best things you can consume ON THE PLANET in terms of how filling they are and how much healthy crap they store in them. Get some yogart dip, eat the whole package. Go. Do it.

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