Super Size Me Please: The Importance of Understanding Caloric Intake

Super Size Me Please: The Importance of Understanding Caloric Intake

I believe most people cannot take their dream job or open their dream business or chase their dreams because of 2 major reasons: inflexibility due to debt and living a neglectful, unhealthy lifestyle.

I have spent a lot of time trying to understand why someone that is physically capable (lacks a real doctor’s excuse) neglects his or her health to the point of risking death.  And I am beginning to understand the level of misunderstanding that a lot of people have in their knowledge of consumption and the importance of understanding caloric intake.

Advertising is a powerful tool.  It is a science and you are the target.  Advertisers show you juicy burgers, refreshing sodas and delicious french fries and 15 minutes later the drive-thru line is packed!  I have fallen victim.  And a recent conversation with a friend opened my eyes to a couple points: 1. Some people do not understand how absurdly high in calories takeout food can be, and 2. People do not understand why calories matter. So I decided to break down a typical breakfast, lunch and dinner anyone could find at a fast-style eating establishment.

First I want to set some guidelines.  For the average woman working an office job with little physical activity, she needs to consume approximately 1700 calories per day.  A man working the same job needs approximately 2300 per day.  Now these numbers can change based on a number of factors, but these are average and will work for our example.

Now I have heard people talk about how fattening fast food is as if the food itself is full of fat.  And while that may be true,  eating an occasional fast meal is not going to derail a healthy lifestyle.  The problem with fast food is the caloric values in relation to your daily consumption.  For instance, a breakfast at McDonald’s consisting of a Sausage McMuffin with egg, hash brown and a sweet tea totals 820 calories!!  That is nearly half of a woman’s daily total of 1700 calories per day!  Now that same woman forgot her lunch and a coworker runs to Burger King.  A Whopper with cheese, small fry and a soda totals 1100 calories!!  This lady has now consumed 1920 calories by lunchtime,  assuming she has not snacked on a thing.  Now she arrives at home to a couple irritable, uncooperative kids and a tired hubby and decides to order a pizza because, well she is too wiped out to cook.  A 14″ pepperoni will total 298 calories per slice…she eats 2 slices totaling 596 calories.

Her daily total is now at 2516!  Add on a couple sodas, a pack of crackers or any other snack and her total could reach 3000 for the day.  Add alcohol to the equation and these numbers sky rocket! All of those extra calories are what you feel around your waistline!  Go ahead and grab your belly.  Feel it, acknowledge it, hold it.  I remember the moment I realized I needed to change.  I had been on vacation with my friends Clarke and Galen and didn’t recognize myself in one of our photos due to my weight gain.  I made a decision there and then that I would do my best to lose the fat.

Now I already hear a few of you saying, “this doesn’t apply to me, I don’t eat fast food.”  Okie dokie, let’s take a look at a finer dining establishment!  One of my personal favorites is Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.  Here are a few of their most popular (and ridiculously tasty) menu items: BBQ Shrimp over mashed
potatoes….2042 cal.  Tempura onion rings…850 cal.  Sweet potato casserole…315 cal.  Wedge salad without dressing…220 cal.  Lamb chop…860 cal.  Hong Kong Style sea bass…810 cal.  One with an appetite could easily consume 3000 calories in one meal!!!!!!!  Do some investigating of your own.

Side note: (What about the person that doesn’t eat out, but cooks from a box?  Processed boxed food represents 70% of American diets!  Here are a few favorites: Hamburger Helper…726 calories per cup serving.  Mac n Cheese…200 calories per cup serving.  Hotdogs…350 calories per.  And trust me folks, no one is measuring out a cup serving so you can easily double or triple those calorie numbers!)

Here is the truth.  You cannot eat out often and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  The food in restaurants is loaded with hidden ingredients like butter, mayonnaise and sour cream to add great flavor AND high calories.  The reason most of America is fat is due to the failure of understanding how many calories need to be consumed each day, tracking caloric intake each day and aiming to consume at or slightly under the daily requirement.  The average citizen consumes between 2000-3000 calories per day depending on which source you read.  Holy fat bellies Batman!!  Do you see the problem with this equation??  That means the average female is storing an extra 500-1300 calories each day in fat and the average male 200-700.  Wow!

Are your eyes open yet?  Do I have your attention?  Any extra calorie over your body’s need for fuel will be stored as fat and will eventually cause health problems and or death.  Don’t believe me?  1 in 3 women die every year to heart disease with a high percentage of those directly connected to obesity.  Overeating calories is killing your dreams and your life, you just don’t realize it.  I know for a fact that most of my readers need to adopt a healthier lifestyle or have someone living under their roof that needs to change.

Eat more home cooked veggies.  Eat less red meat.  Eat more fruits.  Track your calories!  Know your daily caloric target.

 

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