Friday, May 27, 2011

A (Fun) Day in the Life of a Calorie Counter

Yesterday I wrote about A (Regular) Day in the Life of a Calorie Counter, but not all days are regular. Weekends especially provide occasions that make it more difficult to watch calories.  Cookouts, lunch with friends, movie dates, etc.  So what is to be done?  Well, I have some ideas and you can see if any of this might work for you.

Last Friday was such a day for me.  I had a lunch date with my husband at Atlanta Bread Co, and then we were planning to go see Thor that night at the movie theater.  One thing I know about myself is that I LOVE movie theater popcorn and snacks.  That, to me, is part of the experience.  We don't go that often, so when we do, I want the entire package.  Knowing this, I knew I had to make room for those calories if I wanted to keep up with my goal.

So I did a little research before hand.  I looked up movie theater popcorn.  There were a ton of options, but I rounded up and got a general idea (it is really not that bad if you don't add more butter).  I also knew I would get something sweet to follow my popcorn, so I planned for that as well.  For lunch, I looked up Atlanta Bread Co nutrition information online and there I could see every menu item and how many calories they contained.  My favorite sandwich is the Turkey Club Panini and the whole thing was 710 calories.  Whoa.  I usually try to keep each meal below 600 if I can, so that was not going to work.  I decided to get half a sandwich (355 calories), kettle chips (150 calories) and water.  I knew I'd want a coke at the movies and I try to limit those as well for multiple reasons.

I'll include my menu below and then share some tips that I think may be useful for weekends and such.

Friday, May 20

  • Raisin bran, 1.2 cups - 234 cals
  • Skim milk, 1 cup - 90 cals
  • Coffee, 2 cups - 4 cals
  • Half and half, 4 tbsp - 40 cals
  • Sugar, 4 tbsp - 195 cals
  • Simply Orange Juice, 5 fl oz - 69 cals
  • Cottage cheese, 4 oz - 102 cals
  • Grapes, 1 cup - 110 cals
  • Peaches, 4 oz - 46 cals
  • Strawberries, .4 cup - 19 cals
  • Turkey Club Panini, half sandwich - 355 cals
  • Honey mustard, 2 tbsp - 20 cals
  • Kettle chips, 1 serving - 150 cals
  • Movie theater popcorn, 4 tbsp (unpopped) - 320 cals
  • Twizzlers, 2 servings - 320 cals
  • Lance Van-o-Lunch cookies, 1 package - 230 cals
  • Skim milk, 1 cup - 90 cals
Exercise - Ran 7 miles in 64 minutes - 665 cals

Not the most nutritious day, but I was careful where I could be careful, while still enjoying some treats along the way.  I think this is important if you want to stick to a plan.  You have to eat what you like.  I could have settled for a less favorite sandwich at Atlanta Bread, but I knew I wanted my fave.  So I ate half of one instead of the whole thing.  Even though my popcorn and twizzlers were high calorie, I shared them with Jason, which caused me to eat less than I would have otherwise.  Believe me, I could polish off an entire bag of twizzlers and a medium popcorn all on my own.

My calorie intake for Friday ended up being 23 calories over my daily allotment without exercise.  Since I burned 665 calories running, however, I had about 642 I could still have and meet my weight loss goal. 

So here are my tips for fun weekends and outings:
  1. Try to fit in a little exercise if you know you might be eating more calories than usual.  
  2. Share - that way you get what you like but you don't eat too much of it.
  3. Half or lessen the portion size - same rule as #2
  4. Make a deal with yourself.  "I know I will want dessert tonight, so I'm eating a light lunch."  "I know I will want wine with dinner, so I will skip a roll."  You can still have what you enjoy and watch calories at the same time.  You just have to be choosy.  
  5. Do your research. Look online to see how many calories your favorite foods contain and make a plan of what you will eat before you get there.
And on that note, enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

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