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Calorie Reality
By Laurie Batchelder   View more articles by this author
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March 01

The first quarter of the year is half over and so are most of our New Year’s resolutions.  Now it’s time to focus on warm weather.  There always seems to be a marker or an excuse to start or end the journey toward a healthier life style.  As I am getting older, I am struggling more and more with the thought of individuals not taking responsibility for their health.  Why can’t we see the alternative?  Would people rather coast through life possibly requiring some sort of assistance, whether medically or physically, in order to make it to the “end”?  I honestly, don’t get it!

For the past 28 years, people have asked me how to lose weight.  Throughout the years, I have given different advice based on information I have gathered.  I have always felt that exercise plays a major role with weight loss.  It has always been a simple math formula. If calories in are less than calories out, the result will equal weight loss.  For example, if you consume 1,200 calories throughout the day and expend 1,600 through exercise and getting through the day, weight loss will occur.  Although I believe this is true, food consumption is way out of control in this country and we would have to exercise all day to break even.

I am sure you are aware of our country’s push to stop obesity.  Airlines now charge an obese passenger more for a plane ticket and in some cases require them to purchase an additional seat.  A tax has been added to sugar sodas.  Restaurants are now required to post calorie counts next to menu items depending on the number of locations they have.  I have an obsession for nutritional information, particularly calories.  I recently walked into a Friday’s restaurant and noticed the calorie count beside each of the menu items.  I walked out immediately.  I was so disgusted by the information posted.  It was at that moment, I realized people have no clue as to the calories one can consume in a day.  One of the dinner choices a customer can select is the three course meal for $12.99.  The price is right, but the calorie consumption is in the neighborhood of 3,000 to 5,000 just for dinner.  That equates to approximately three days worth of calories in one meal.  Maybe they messed up and the title should have read, “three days for $12.99.”

Bottom line, we are eating way too many calories!  In order for us to gain control toward a healthier life style, we must open our eyes.  Start by reading the nutritional information whenever possible.  If it is not available, maybe we should think twice about eating it.  Salads are one of the biggest offenders of high calorie meals.  Most of us feel, if we eat a salad, we are eating healthy.  This is not necessarily so, especially if it is piled high and deep, unless it is lettuce and raw vegetables.  I suggest that you pick up a calorie count book at your local bookstore.  Many of the new books list most of the popular fast food restaurant items.  This will begin to give you some idea of what you could potentially consume and help to make better choices.  The more you are aware, the more you won’t dare.

So where does exercise fit into all of this?  My philosophy is just move.  Exercise is not just for calorie burning.  Motion is lotion, if you don’t move it you’ll lose it!  I pledge if everyone moved their bodies as much as possible, we will feel and be healthier inside and out.  For instance, take the stairs instead of an escalator or elevator.  This is an every day decision that can help you start burning today.  Take this pledge with me now and make one change toward a healthier way of life.  I promise you, the more you move and the less garbage you put in your body the better you will feel.  Commit to a week and if you do not feel better, I will eat McDonald’s for seven days straight.  Believe me that’s how strongly I feel about this.  I can’t remember the last time I have eaten fast food.

Commit Today and Stay Healthy!!

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Comment by hapa4you
21 Feb 2013 02:03 PM
There are phone apps that have calories for many chain restaurants as well as food you can make yourself. They are much easier to use than a book, and let you see what you are really eating. I'm using CalorieKing right now.
Comment by asolano81
19 Sep 2011 03:21 PM
I enjoyed reading this.
Comment by absport19
28 Mar 2011 07:50 PM
Hi Laurie,

When you state: "Commit to a week and if you do not feel better, I will eat McDonald’s for seven days straight" do you mean eating healthily and exercising every day for a week straight?

Good article by the way!

Thanks, Ashley
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