Thursday, August 20, 2009

Internet Eating

I hadn’t been out to lunch since I started my new program and I was getting cabin (office) fever. Even though it meant blowing my lunch hour walking routine and throwing my exercise requirements into this evening, I escaped the building with my friend Peg. We decided on Panera Bread. Before we left, I got on the website to check the nutritional information of my various lunch options. I’m not counting calories in my new lifestyle, but since I was going to eat food someone else prepared, I wanted to know what I was putting into my mouth (stomach, thighs, butt, etc). I was amazed in a bad way at the calorie and fat content of most of their delicious, seemingly healthy sandwiches. The salads and soups were better but some still had quite a bit of fat. That got me to thinking about how many calories and fat grams I was allowed to eat according to dear old Uncle Sam.

I don’t know how I lived before Al Gore invented the internet ;-). With a quick Google search I found out that the Recommended Daily Allowance for non-lactating, non-pregnant women (neither label has applied to me in more than 20 years) is 2000 calories and 65 grams of fat. To lose a pound a week, that 2000 a day has to be cut by 500 calories to 1500. Losing two pounds a week requires a cut of 1000 calories a day, splitting the RDA in half. Or alternatively, those calories would have to be burned.

Now that I knew what I was dealing with, I went back to the task of lunch selection. I chose to get ½ of a smoked turkey sandwich on sourdough and ½ of a strawberry poppy seed salad for a total of 320 calories, 12 grams of fat. Having done the analysis, I was able to enjoy a nice lunch with a good friend and no side order of guilt. My only issue was that the salad dressing had some kind of fake sweetener in it which tainted an otherwise gorgeous array of lettuce, fruit, and pecans. Next time, I’ll ask them to leave the salad dressing off. Or go back go Google.

Tonight I’ll replace my lunch hour walk with a stint on the rowing machine that I bought two years ago and have used twice up till now. I knew I’d use that thing…eventually.

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