Bryce’s Handy Guide to Eating Light

Just in case you were all wondering, I hit my goal again this past month: still at “normal” body weight. I got to reward myself with a Magic the Gathering card. (Mindslaver, in case anyone was curious. It’s going into a commander deck.) But yesterday, I was reminded of something when I went out to eat in the evening.

My mom’s in town, so we went out to a nice restaurant. I ordered a pork chop and ate a fair bit, then went on to have ice cream afterward. I really felt like I’d eaten quite a bit, so I wasn’t looking forward to getting on the scale this morning. But that’s exactly when I need to be sure to hold myself accountable, so on the scale I went. The damage?

I lost .4 pounds compared to yesterday.

Some of that’s probably just luck of the draw. Weight fluctuates no matter what, within a range of a few pounds, so I’m fairly certain my heavy eating yesterday will come back to visit me sooner or later. But it also reminded me of one principle I’ve learned over my dieting career: not all foods are created equal. By cutting out or watching the right sort of foods (or the wrong sort, depending on your perspective), you can really trim off swathes of calories.

To put this in perspective. here are the calories from 100 grams of various foods:

  • Broiled pork: 242
  • White rice: 151
  • Brown rice: 111
  • White pasta: 131
  • White bread: 265
  • Butter: 717
  • White sugar: 387
  • White flour: 364
  • Dark chocolate: 546
  • Peanut butter: 588
  • Peas: 81
  • Corn: 365

I could go on, but that’s enough to be representative. Remember, each one of those is 100 grams. Weight-wise, they’re all the same. Calorie-wise? Huge difference. Avoiding things made with butter is a really easy thing to do, and it has an even better effect than avoiding things with sugar. (And if you can stay away from things with butter AND sugar? All the better.) But look at that difference between peas and corn! That was something I’d never suspected before I dieted. All vegetables are great for you, right?

Not from a calorie perspective.

Anyway. Just thought I’d throw this out there, in case anyone else is looking for easy ways to cut out some calories. Every diet I’ve ever done that’s been successful has all come down to calories in/calories out. When I really want to lose weight, I shoot for 1800 calories a day, plus a half hour of exercise. I lost 27 pounds this last time doing that. It works like math for me, though I know I’ve talked to others who have had less success with it.

Happy Friday, everybody!


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