Thursday, March 3, 2011

The truth about counting calories

Studies have shown that eating a balanced diet with in the recommended guidelines and exercising will help you lose weight. It's true, we all know it. Sometimes I struggle with food choices that are not only low in calories but also low in carbs, cholesterol, fat and sodium in addition to being high in fiber and protein. The Holy Grail, right?

Sometimes it can feel that way. Right now, I'm eating a bowl of grapefruit and a banana. Low in calories, the right kind of carbs and some fiber. Do I wish it was a pancake? You betcha. Food is my struggle, my Mt. Everest, my Goliath.

I've always been blessed with low cholesterol (thank you Ballou genes) but two years ago when James lost his job, we started eating a lot of fast food. The next time I went to the doctor, my cholesterol had risen so much she checked it again. I couldn't believe it! Had eating fast food really done that to me? Not only was my cholesterol up, but I had gained weight. Yuck.

We've all seen or read articles telling us how gross fast food is and how holy un-natural it is the way they make it so that it endures for eternity. Yuck, why are we putting that kind of stuff into our bodies? James and I decided I while ago we were going to try to eliminate fast food entirely, especially for Bridget. No more chicken nuggies from McDonald's. They aren't good for us, why would I feed them to my beloved little princess? I do make one fast food exception and that's Chick-Fil-A because I logged many hours in their kitchen and I know they use actual chicken and fry their products in peanut oil. We don't eat her often, but if the Midge wants nuggies, that's where she gets them from.

I read a wonderful article today from one of my favorite weight loss blogs, A Black Girl's Guide to Weight Loss (It's also on our favorite blogs list!) Erika Kendall writes funny and informative articles about all aspects of weight loss. Some is more specific to African American women, but I've read so much on there that has really made me think. The article I read today is about KFC's Double Down sandwich. Two fried pieces of chicken, bacon and that fake yellow cheese. She talks about how its only 540 calories but then goes on to talk about how much fat, cholesterol and sodium it has. Yikes!

This is a great example of how easy we can be mislead to think something is "good" for us simply because its low in calories. Read this article and tell me what you think. I'd love to hear your stories about battling the food label beast.


  1. You are so...right Bren, just because the food label says "low calorie" or low whatever there is always a bigger picture. Thanks for your insight!!

  2. Hey, really great blog posts… I've enjoyed reading through your blog because of the great style and energy you put into each post. I actually run, a blog of my personal research and experiences. If you're interested, I would love to have you on as a guest blogger. Please send me an e-mail: bob.mauer65(at)gmail(dot)com, and I can give you more information. Looking forward to hearing from you.