Do You Know How Many Calories You Are Eating?
Most people need about 1800 to 2400 calories per day to maintain their weight. Of course some people need a little bit more if they are active, and some people need a bit less if they are sedentary. And typically women need fewer than men, but between 1800 to 2400 probably includes most of us.
Do you know how much food it takes to amount up to 1800-2400 calories? Unless you've already done some research, you're probably overestimating how much food you need to make up your daily caloric intake. And over estimating is one of the reasons why being over weight is a big problem for many people. Especially after many years of over eating when bad habits become really hard to change.
Since we need 1800-2400 per day, this results in about: 300-500 calories for breakfast, 500-600 calories for lunch, and about 800-900 for dinner. This is based on the assumption that most people eat more at at the end of the day. That works out to 2000 calories, leaving about 200 for a morning snack and an afternoon snack of 100 calories each.
A small bowl of cereal with juice is about 400-500 calories. A lunch, e.g. a sandwhich and a drink can easily be about 500-600 calories (and if you eat out it's probably more). Dinner, which is usually the biggest meal, can easily measure up to 800-900 calories. Now we're left with two snacks, of 100 each. One serving of fruit is almost 100 calories. But if you go for something sweater the caloric intake is much higher.
Let us take a look at some common examples — you can check the web for more data specific to what you eat.
A Tim Horton's Ham & Swiss sandwhich is about 390 calories, a BLT is 420 calories, and this is before the drink and a desert. Do you ever have a muffin after lunch? Well, a raisin bran muffin is about 410 calories!
Here are some more scary examples. A 12 inch assorted cold cuts sub from Mr. Sub is 580 calories! Would you prefer a Louisiana Chicken Wrap, it's still 430 calories. If you typically get a drink with your sub, you better factor in an additional 200-300 calories.
Have you ever gone to McDonald's for dinner? One Big Mac is 540 calories, one large order of fries is 560 calories, and a large soft drink is about 230 calories. That's a total of 1330 calories in just one meal!
Do you ever eat chips? A small bag of just 75 grams of salt & vinegar chips has about 400 calories. That's a meal's worth of calories in just a little bag! Do you drink soda? A 355ml can has about 200 calories. This is the equivalent of two snacks.
This article isn't intended to give nutritional information on all the food out there, but it is intended to raise awareness of the fact that most food has more calories than we think and over-consuming calories is very easy. If you're not careful, that daily caloric target of 1800-2400 can easily balloon, leading to being over weight and all the complications that come with that.