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The Devil Is In The Details

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As I write this, it’s 1:40pm on a Thursday afternoon.  I finished up training clients at 1, and hadn’t eaten lunch yet so I headed across the street from the studio to a quaint little sandwich-type place.

By the way, did you like my use of the word “quaint?”  Sounds very hob-knobby, right?

But I digress.

This particular place has a pretty good macaroni and cheese recipe that I had never tried and it sounded good.  Since I wasn’t overly hungry I only ordered half.  I also ordered a small bag of chips and small drink.

It was a nice little lunch…and I do mean little.

The mac ‘n cheese serving was quite small.  I did order 1/2, but I expected there to be more simply because of the sheer number of calories served in restaurants.

I wasn’t disappointed, just surprised.

I dutifully ate my lunch, but didn’t eat the chips because they were gross, which means all I ended up having was the ½ order of mac ‘n cheese and small Diet Pepsi.

I felt fine afterward because I ate slowly, but had I eaten just a wee bit faster I could have wolfed down that cheesy dish in 3 bites!

But you want to know the scariest part?

After I finished eating I wanted to find the calorie-count for the mac ‘n cheese just out of curiosity.  I had a rough idea what the calories were and wanted to see if my mental counting was near the actual number.

I guessed it was roughly 400 calories, which for me is a decent number for lunch since I was able to have a mid-morning snack.

Do you think I was right?

Do you think my guesswork was on the money or was I off?

I was a bit off…by about 150 calories to be exact and that 150 calories was not lower than my guess.

Yep, that’s right.  My ½ order of Macaroni and Cheese was 550 calories!

Again, that’s not a bad number for me, but for the average lady that’s a bit too much and if your goal is to lose weight, and you’re having snacks throughout the day it is too much.

And remember that I did NOT eat the chips, nor were there any calories in my drink.  Had I eaten the chips and ordered a calorie-containing drink (any calorie-containing drink), that number would have easily gone over the 1000-calorie mark because many personal-sized bags of chips are upwards of 300 calories and a small drink would have been at least 150.

And just imagine if I would have ordered the full serving!  I would have easily consumed it all and would have taken in a whopping 1100 calories!

That’s freaky deaky!

It was quite eye opening, as is every trip to a restaurant.

But why did I under-estimate by 150 calories?

The answer lays in something that you should always be leery of whether dining out or preparing dinner from home and that is sauce.

The cheese sauce on my lunch is what shot the numbers through the roof.  The amount of macaroni included was relatively small and probably only made up about 150 calories and the remaining 400 was all cheese.

Yikes!

So let that be a lesson to you…always assume you are underestimating your calorie counting when there is a sauce involved and assume your underestimation is big.

If you look at something that’s “saucy” and think there are 500 calories, then it’s probably safe to assume it’s closer to 650 or 700.

Sauces, like liquid calories, can make or break your goals and is usually the easiest thing to minimize any time you want to lose weight or get healthier.

So let my little trip to the quaint restaurant be a lesson to you.

Have an awesome day and I’ll talk to you soon!

Ed

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About The Author

Ed Scow, also known as "The Fit Dad", likes long walks on the beach, snuggling, hand stand push-ups and pretending to work. He's also a fitness & nutrition expert, proud papa and husband to a smokin' hot wifey.

Number of Entries : 165

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