Friday, March 23, 2012

Understanding where calories come from

Do you think most people understand where their calories come from? Or are they pretty clueless? Like, do they think, "This is a small serving, so it won't be much damage." When size of an item is no indication at all?

I don't understand how people can really not know where their calories come from. At least anyone my age or younger. We all had health. We all saw the food pyramids. We all had at least some home economics, right?

I wonder about it now because I don't think my mother-in-law gets it. For her I can use the excuse that she is older, from a different country and just never learned more than "fruits and veggies are good for you. Cakes and cookies are treats and should be eaten with moderation."

My mother in law watches what I eat a lot recently and I think it's because she too wants to lose weight. Actually, she's even said it, "Summer is coming and I need to lose 2-3 pounds." That right there shows you she doesn't understand weight loss. 2-3 pounds will show nothing. Maybe she meant 2-3 kilos.

She has been taking super small portions at meal time. Like really small. Yet, she'll grab a small dessert too. I saw her the last two days watching me eat my salad. I made enormous salads the last two days for dinner. And I mean enormous. Those salads were about 250-300 calories. I had about half a pound of lettuce, half a green pepper, half an avocado, several cherry tomatoes, some sliced purple onion, a few dried cranberries, a couple teaspoons of sliced almonds, a teaspoon of parmesan cheese and then a sprinkling of olive oil and red wine vinegar. No real protein was added as I had proteins at breakfast and lunch. This was basically to fill my stomach. Sometimes I'll throw on a  hard boiled egg instead of the avocado.

I'm sure she is wondering how I can be losing weight with eating such huge portions. I always eat huge portions of veggies (greens) and then a decent protein and then skip the starch. I am realizing that she has no idea where the calories are in food. Last night she ate a wee bit of brown rice, a wee bit of chicken, a medium size salad and then two slices of a Croatian dessert which is equivalent to eating 3 chocolate chip cookies. She ate more dessert calories than dinner calories and I'm sure she thinks that she ate less than me. She probably ate 700 calorie dinner on a small plate and small dessert plate. I ate a 250-300 calorie dinner and filled a large bowl with salad 3 times.

And I'm not trying to pick on my mother in law. She really doesn't know, but I wonder how many other people have to completely learn about what goes in their mouths? That they somehow didn't absorb anything in school. Or they never read or got in the habit of reading nutritional labels. How much of the obesity problem an ignorance about how fattening foods can be? I wonder how much it would help if every single restaurant had to write down what the calories are per item. If every grocery store had to put in the produce section and bakery, etc how many calories per item/cup.  How eye opening would it be? Would it change people's behaviors?

I know some restaurants are already doing it and I'm so thankful for that as it makes it easier for me to decide on what is safe (hidden calories can be anywhere), but do others pay attention? And are they shocked by it? I'm curious!

Stats for 3/23/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 169.6
Total hours exercised in 2012: 57/250

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