Counting Calories for Dummies

None of these suggestions are intended to treat or cure any disease. Don’t listen to any of it. The FDA hasn’t reviewed them either. Those are the same morons who gave us the “Food Pyramid” that made us all fat in the first place.

283040_1250085411352_fullAbout two months ago I was online ordering some even larger pants and I came to the conclusion it was time to maybe reevaluate my lifestyle and diet. I didn’t do it for New Years because a few years ago I made a resolution not to make any more resolutions and it’s the only one I’ve ever stuck to. No, I did it because I got tired of feeling like every shirt I own is really a sausage casing. And I like breasts but I don’t really like having a pair of my own. So I decided to try and stick to a lower calorie diet and exercise more often than the “never” I was doing before. So, here are some tips if you are interested in a half-assed diet plan to hopefully cut your ass in half.

The smart phone really makes counting calories easy.myfitnesspal Since being lazy is the reason I got fat in the first place, this was perfect for me. The app I use is called “My Fitness Pal.” “Pal” is such an annoying word that I almost dumped it like I did the last person who called me “Pal,” but as Rodney Dangerfield said, “what’s in a name?” The nice thing about this app is that you control the settings instead of it telling you how much you should be eating. If you want to set your daily calorie limit to “walrus” that is your prerogative. I set mine to “baby seal.” I also like this app because you can scan the barcode of almost all the junk you eat and it automatically uploads all the nutrition information for said junk.

One problem with using a calorie counting app is that you can’t really admit you’re drinking. Once you enter a session of Coors Lights into it, you might as well open a bag of chips, sniff it for a minute and then go to bed because you have no more calories left for the day. That is definitely the biggest lie I’ve ever told my phone. If I hadn’t been drinking all this time, I’d look like Bruce Jenner by now. Er, bad example. If I hadn’t been drinking all this time, I’d look like (you fill it in, just don’t use Bruce Jenner). I will say that using the counting app has helped me cut down on the beer. I realized how dumb it was to sit on my can and drink 4-5 beers a night just because. You don’t get drunk and those are calories you could use for much better things like eating a big ole piece of pie. Kidding, but you get the point. For the nights that you do get drunk, well, whoops.

Some things have calories in them that shouldn’t, like fruit. One thing I have definitely changed is the amount of fruit I eat. I’m eating oranges like a scurvy-ridden pirate. But it pisses me off when you enter a banana into the app and it has 110 damn calories. I know these are “good” calories but give me a break. If you are short for the day, deleting the fruit will get you back on track. I’m not saying don’t eat it, I’m saying don’t count it. It’s fruit, not cheesecake, so I think we will be ok. Beer and fruit, it’s what we lie about eating.

nutribullet-productBuy a Nutri-bullet. I love this thing. They used to be advertised in infomercials before the health craze as the “Magic Bullet.” Then some geniuses rebranded it as the “Nutri-bullet” and bought a second, second home. I think it could turn a brick into a smoothie. I use it to eat stuff I hate. You could use it for margaritas if you’re in to that sort of thing. Make a kale margarita and you’re killing two birds with one blender.

Sugar really is a bastard. Bastards hide it in stuff like “non-fat yogurt,” “energy bars” and “vitamin water.” Bastards give that stuff healthy names and say “0” fat and then pump it with so much sugar that if you eat it, your toe falls off. It really is amazing when you begin to pay attention to the stuff you eat how much of it has tons of sugar. Luckily, I don’t have a sweet tooth nor do I drink sodas but there’s always the beer. I’m covered in it (Boooooo). Like everything, I eat sugar in moderation and I have tried to cut down on my intake. Instead of eating flavored yogurt, I’m putting boring plain yogurt into the Nutri-bullet and adding my own fruit, which doesn’t count. Bastards.

womanEat stuff that doesn’t have any calories in them like pickles. Ok, they have like 5 calories, but come on, if we aren’t counting bananas. Boxes of “popcorn chips” or flavored rice cakes, usually with a dumb looking woman on the box, are pretty good too. They aren’t great but they do keep you busy. You could probably also eat five pounds of spinach and get full but we aren’t cows. How do they get so fat eating grass?

Calorie counting is dumb. This post is more about learning how to eat better so LL Bean doesn’t run out of elastic to hide in the waistline of my new bigger pants. I gained a lot of weight over a long period of time, so it’s going to take some time to get rid of it. I did some sit-ups today that looked like someone trying to fold a loaf of bread in half (which I don’t even eat any more). But, I’m going to keep trying. Who knows, it just might work.

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50 thoughts on “Counting Calories for Dummies

  1. Forget the calories. In January, 2012, I swore I was going to reduce from a 40 waist to 36. After six months of starvation, I hadn’t lost an inch. Tried the Caveman diet, and by the end of the year, I could wear my old 34 inch pants. I’ve kept it off, and I’m never hungry.

  2. I hear ya. My doctor told me to cut back on the sugar — like eat less chocolate — but I’m all, “That’s the only thing I look forward to eating!” >_<

    On a completely different note I love John Pinette, thanks for sharing that. BTW, you only need to go on a gluten free diet if you have celiac disease. Other than that, it's really a placebo effect.

  3. I agree with you ! It is a never ending battle ! Of course I did find it interesting today that after all these years of everyone trying NOT to eat anything with cholesterol, they are now saying go ahead and eat it. It is all genetics !

  4. Smoothies, i’m hooked too….check out simplegreensmoothies.com and you will be eating/drinking stuff you NEVER thought you would eat….no processed food in these. All of us, well alot of us….have done all that you have outlined above….substitute wine for beer and it could be me…

  5. Thanks for a) articulating the nutritional philosophy I’d have if only I’d girt round to having a nutritional philosophy, and b) making me laugh out loud. That’s gotta be at least 50 calories burned. If I didn’t have such a good memory I could read it again. Then I could have another latte 🙂

  6. OK, here is the secret, get a convection oven, roast everything on a rack with olive oil, herbs and garlic, it is good and the fat falls off. I know you are Southern, so you can do it. Don’t drink cokes or smoothies, Smoothies are Gen X bull****, full fat Greek vanilla yogurt with fruit (no bananas) for dessert and a couple of lite beers – you’ll be fine.

  7. Thanks for being frank (better than Bruce?) but not too self-congratulatory about what’s been going well for you. My lazy self is sensitive to, and easily annoyed by, those who “have been where you are!” I’ve never put hotdogs in my Nutribullet, but it sounds delicious.

  8. I forgot how funny you are! This was hilarious. Good luck with losing weight (sounds sarcastic, but I mean it encouragingly.) I am on my fourth round of P90X (annoying to brag, but I work hard, damn it) and have seen very little weight loss. I wasn’t huge to begin with, but bigger than I’d like, and had visions of looking like a 25 year old (um, impossible when I’m 41 and have had 3 kids…just not going to happen.) Bruce Jenner…too funny.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

  9. You just blogged my life. Like, every day since I hit puberty. Okay, puberty was actually pretty okay because I had all those growth hormones going on – for the first (and only) time of my life, I was a “healthy” weight. Since then – overweight or obese according to the chart. I don’t read that lying bastard chart anymore though. I mostly try to do what you are doing, but damn if that f-ing sugar doesn’t trip me up. And flour isn’t much better, because it basically turns right into sugar. Anywho – just thought I would chime in – I know it helps to know you are not alone in your quest.
    Sue

  10. I have that app. I call it “my fitness bitch”. Ive got to say, it does keep me in track. But i crack up on the very few days when I come in under the calorie goal. My bitch gets all huffy: danger! You’re eating too few calories! You’ll starve yourself! …..as if.

  11. Kudos to you! I’m so proud of your sit ups. I can’t manage one. Seriously. I tried last year and I gave up. Being almost sixty- three and appearing five months pregnant is downright shameful. I eat less food than I ever have, but I’m hoping my new Fitbit will embarrass me into stepping up the foot action.
    Good luck to the both of us…better yet, to all of us. Too bad it took going to the closet to find out who we really are (pun intended), I’m talking about our clothes not fitting.🙀, not our friends.

      • Well, you’re probably right. I most likely would have been cursing you, especially since I’m unable to even pry my shoulders off the floor in an attempt to bend at my five-month old baby ‘waistline’. I even tried the girlish style, with bent knees. Still no movement. I’d make a YouTube video, but the SHAME factor would send me right to the refrigerator.

  12. Loved this, and YES — it drives me crazy that bananas have so many calories! Even the little Cuties mandarin oranges are higher than you think they’d be. I’ve been counting calories too, BTW, for about 1-1/2 years — it works! It gets easier the longer you do it. 🙂

  13. It took me two years to get from cutting the labels out of all my clothes because I couldn’t bear looking at the size on them to ‘normal person’ size. Before that it took me ten years of fannying about with get thin quick magic diets. Counting calories and exercise is the only way to do it and have it stay off. Plus, if you count calories, you can eat your whole daily allowance in chocolate if you wish. I may have done that once or twice. Ok, honesty here, about five times a week.

  14. I used My Fitness Pal for awhile, and yes, blech. I guess it’s useful, but… The comedian was hilarious! Especially because I’ve been eating gluten free for the past 6 months (thyroid issue) and he is EXACTLY RIGHT: gluten is in freakin’ everything …?

    Seriously, though, I have been eating healthy and exercising for like the past 20 years and still couldn’t get the weight off. Want to know what changed everything for me? Exercising after dinner. Try it and see what happens.

    Thanks for the chuckles!
    -C

    • I did that after dinner thing for a few months and got scared that there was something the matter with me…..weight fell off….that, unfortunately, was a few years back….

      • There was nothing the matter, Mary-James! 🙂 When we exercise after we eat a meal, we are helping out bodies control blood sugar. You should go back to it. I sleep really well now, too (but you can’t exercise too close to bedtime or it will keep you up). God bless! -C

  15. Greatly enjoyed your wit and insight into a touchy subject. As one the fortunate ones that can and have been able to eat whatever I wanted since birth with no ill effects, I do still empathize with anyone attempting to improve their overall well-being. Good luck on your journey and look forward to future updates.

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