Like Money, Spend Your Calories Wisely
We get about 2,000 calories a day to “spend” (taking into account height/weight, age, gender & activity level), so why not think of those calories like money in the bank? Valuable little commodities for you to do with what you will. It’s a fun way to think of it, and other diet programs have jumped on the bandwagon in similar ways of thinking as well — like Weight Watchers with their “point” system.
The first time I joined Weight Watchers, I was 15 years old. Things were very specific in 1977. Liver was a required once a week. We weighed and measured everything. Fish was required 3-4 times a week. Food groups were counted, every bite meticulously written down. We studied proteins, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, bread products and starchy vegetables. I lost 30 pounds, and kept it off for six years.
Then Weight Watchers found out that people were “cheating.” Eating “illegal” foods. Gasp! Miraculously, sometimes they still lost weight. How could this be? So the program was altered. The “point system” was implemented, and dieters could eat whatever they wanted, as long as they only ate their allotted amount of “points” each day. Now, no foods are forbidden, and none are required.
Now, with living the thin lifestyle, I like to think of it like having money in the bank (or, calories), and how I get to decide to spend those calories every day. It makes life a little more manageable, and helps with weight maintenance.
Sonja, spending some calories on fruit
Nutrition certainly is important, and I love diet programs that teach about healthy food choices. Then we can make educated decisions about how to spend our calories, and we can also have treats every day and still lose weight and maintain weight.
I once went on a diet where I could eat whatever I wanted, as long as I consumed only 1,000 calories a day. The first day I only ate Reese’s Peanut Butter cups
. Crazy, right? The next day, same thing. Soon I was sick of them. To this day, I really don’t care for them, not even for a treat. I lost four pounds the first week on that diet. And promptly gained four pounds back the next week when I went off the diet.
Healthy is better. Treating your calories like 2,000 that you get to spend each day is kind of like a game, and I like to keep things fun. Learn how to “live thin” and spend your calories wisely!
A typical 2,000 calorie day in the life of Sonja:
1/2 grapefruit: 60 calories, 1 container low-fat yogurt, 70 calories, 1 tbps. Grape Nuts, 25 calories.
5.5 oz. can V-8 and 20 almonds: 110 calories
Salad mixture of lettuce, spinach, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, broccoli and celery: 150 calories; 6 croutons, 30 calories, 2 tbsps. raspberry vinagarette dressing, 45 calories, 3 slices turkey, 220 calories.
5.5 oz. can V-8 and 20 almonds, plus another V-8 later: 140 calories
3-oz grilled chicken breast, 250 calories; 1/2 cup steamed rice with soy sauce, 100 calories; 1 cup stir-fry vegetables, 75 calories.
Drinks: 2 Diet Cokes (0 calories), 2-3 bottles of water (0 calories) “Treat:” Two Widmer beers after work (300 calories) .
Total for the day: 1,825 calories (pretty close! I would rather be a little under in my estimation than over. “Treat” calories vary daily. To see the calorie count of over 70,000 foods, click here: thecaloriecounter.com).