Tuesday, June 25, 2013

SCIENCE! For The Geek In You...

Hey, *I* thought this was cool...

What Does 200 Calories Look Like?
Some foods have significantly more Calories than others but what does the difference actually look like. Each of the photographs below represents 200 Calories of the particular type of food; the images are sorted from low to high calorie density. When you consider that an entire plate of broccoli contains the same number of Calories as a small spoonful of peanut butter, you might think twice the next time you decide what to eat. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average adult needs to consume about 2000 - 2500 Calories to maintain their weight. In other words, you have a fixed amount of Calories to "spend" each day; based on the following pictures, which would you eat?
They've got a whole bunch of foods and drinks in picture form, with items on the same white plate or bowl as appropriate. It's a nice pictorial on what, exactly, you're putting in your piehole with every 200 calories.

When folks hear that I used to weigh close to 300 pounds, the big question is "How did you do it?" The answer is disgustingly simple, and yet so hard. I counted calories, plain and simple. When I started the diet, I took two weeks, ate what I normally ate, and counted every single calorie. The results were staggering: As a sedentary office-bound drone, I was shoveling down over 4,000 calories a day. No wonder even the "fat guy" pants were tight...

I started cutting back on what I was eating, basically making small changed I could live with for the rest of my life. I had gone on crash diets before, plenty of times. Eat grapefruit and rice cakes for a couple months, drop 25 pounds, then go right back to having a full size chocolate bar smothered in peanut butter for a midnight snack. Big surprise, the weight came right back, and then some. This time, I wanted to change how I ate, not simply what I ate.

It took time and a helluva lot of willpower, that's for sure. I don't have the weekly/monthly "office cake" every time it's someone's birthday/kid announcement/special occasion. Instead of a large regular from Dunkin Donuts, I have my own coffee, black, with Splenda - I went from ~ 200 calories between creamer and sugar to maybe 10 calories (coffee is just about no calories). Small steps. Over time.

It also takes knowledge. You've got to know what you're putting down your gullet, and things have gotten a lot better than they were even 20 years ago. Most restaurants have their nutritional information online; the vast majority I've found even have low(er) calories entrees that taste pretty yummy. Sure, it's not the same thing as going out and having a Bloomin' Onion for an appetizer with a bacon-and-cheese stuffed chicken breast for dinner, followed by a big bowl of ice cream, but then again, it makes those rare times you do splurge that much more special, right?

In any case, now you know what 200 calories looks like!

That is all.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's really just balancing your calorie intake to your activity level. When I wrestled it was a daily calculation. Now it's just a simple understanding that if I'm not going to exercise like a 20 year old athlete, I can't eat like a 20 year old athlete.

Gerry

TheAxe said...

Bacon :)

wv: bitediu table

How big is 200 calories of wood?

Dave H said...

TheAxe: 200 calories of wood is about 2.8 ounces (about 7 cubic inches, a little bigger than a deck of cards, depending on what kind of wood).

Yes, I have no life.

Ed said...

The wood's caloric content can only be released if you either burn it, or you are a termite with cellulose consuming microorganisms in your gut. If you finely grind the wood and consume it (such as an additive to bread), it may generate extra flatulence as it passes through your human digestive tract.

Joshua said...

Wow, it really does not take much to reach that nice round number does it...bummer. Eye opening when looking to get more fit while looking for a pistol training class.

Brad_in_MA said...

Jay,

Before even heading down the path of food types & amounts that represent 200 calories I have to ask ....

If you survey 100 people at random, how many can even give a definition of one calorie? I know I can -- I paid attention in high school chemistry.

Regards,

Brad