Friday, September 19, 2008

What Are These Calories Worth?

Thinking before you eat can save you lots of calories--not to mention indigestion-- and health problems in the long run. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself before you indulge in high calorie foods that may help you decide "It's not really worth it".
1) How will I feel after I eat this candy bar/donut/milkshake? Of course you want it now, that goes without saying. But how will you feel 15 minutes later? Will you feel satisfied? satiated? relaxed? If the answer is in some way better than you feel right now, it might seem to be a good choice. If you know you will not feel better in any way after enjoying the first few delicious bites, then think again before buying or biting. Realizing that you may feel guilty about it, tired shortly after from a sugar crash, or that having one piece of candy will just leave you wanting more, might help you wait 10 or 15 minutes to let the craving pass. You save 300 Calories!
2) Is this food worth the calories it will put into my body? Find out how many calories are in foods you are eating. Look up the calorie content of things you eat often. Search internet sites that provide calorie information, fast food restaurant nutrition information (just google 'burger king nutrition' for instance), and labels on foods you eat to get the information. Think about the number of calories you are getting from a side of fries, from a dessert, or from a piece of office birthday cake. Ask yourself beforehand, "Is this really worth the enjoyment I'll be getting in exchange for the calories I'm taking in?" Remember that if every day you bypass a 300 calorie indulgence it will mean a three pound weight loss at the end of the month! Maybe this sounds like too little to matter, but remember that a year from now that will add up to 36 pounds--not bad for just skipping a few treats that you didn't really want in the first place.
3) What would I have to do to burn off this number of calories? Again, checking internet sites for calories burned, find out what activities you would have to perform to burn off 200 or 300 calories. Remind yourself what you will have to do to even out the extra calories you take in from high calorie foods during the day. Ask yourself, "If I eat this ice cream am I willing to go out for a 40 minute walk to burn those calories?" If the exercise isn't in your plans, maybe the food shouldn't be either!

Think before you eat and decide whether you will really enjoy the food and feel good about eating it; whether you can spare a few hundred calories or you would rather lose weight by passing up on those fattening treats; and whether you are willing to be more active to burn the calories off. See how often you decide it's not really worth it!

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