Monday, March 29, 2010

Adding up the "extras"

I have a tendency to add "extras" to my food plan and then just kinda sorta forget to add them to my food journal. I think every dieter is guilty of this to some degree although I think the truly successful dieters account for each and every calorie they consume.

I'm attempting to be more honest with myself about these calories. Since I'm on a strict 1250 calorie per day plan, technically, every single calorie counts.

That bite of donut isn't devoid of calories (as much as I might try to will it to be that way). That unmeasured dose of salad dressing is probably more than 40 calories in and of itself. Those couple of bites of cottage cheese from the container really do have calories too. And yes, even the hard candies I sneak from a coworkers candy jar have more than a few calories hidden in their sugary sweetness.

Adding all those calories together can add up quickly. Sauces, sugary candies, dressing, extra bites, little tastes, etc. Shockingly, they all have calories. A 1250 calorie diet could quickly turn into a 1500 calorie diet and therefore cut into my weekly weight loss goals.

It takes 3500 calories to lose and gain a pound. That means I need to expend 3500 more calories than I take in in order to lose.

Not too long ago my trainer had me row until I lost 7 calories. I was amazed at how hard it was to work off 7 calories. I mean, seriously? How hard did I need to sweat to beat those buggers outta me? That just seems so ironic. If I remember correctly, it was about 2 minutes of really hard rowing. 2 mins. For 7 measly calories!!!!

That kinda made me re-evaluate that extra tablespoon of salad dressing with 20 extra calories. 20 calories is 4 mins of back breaking, arm pulling, stinky sweating hard work. No thank you!

Given that, I'm rededicating myself to accounting for all my calories ... big and small. A calorie is a calorie and every single one is either helping or hurting me in reaching my goal.


  1. I think that SOME calories can be eaten and you shouldn't count them in your total for the day. You can have an apple for a snack and not worry about it. Or a handful of grapes. Cottage cheese too. But look at the snacks you're complaining about: donuts, salad dressing, candies, sauces! Remember that the calorie monitors on machines are not 100% accurate either. If you need to snack so snack but healthy and just keep exercising. Best wishes

  2. I read some of your story and what you have done is truley remarkable. You have done a great job so far. I am a Beachbody Coach and help people do the same things with diet and exercise. If you are ever looking for some in-home fitness programs look me up at:

  3. Reinaldo: Since I'm on a calorie restricted diet ... I'm keeping track of any and all calories. Apples have calories, so does that bite of cottage cheese. If I don't account for everything, there's no way for me to keep an accurate "estimate" of the calories I'm consuming. I wrote about worst case scenario because, frankly, as a dieter, that's where we all go. The truth is though that every single thing we put into our mouths has calories and therefore "matters" when it comes to weight loss.

    Thanks, Darin. I appreciate the encouragement!


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