Weightloss Wednesday: Calorie Conscious


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In my quest to get healthy, I’m counting calories–tracking them at My Fitness Pal (there is also an app for your smartphone!). My goal is not to “diet,” but rather to follow a common sense, sustainable eating plan. Counting calories is kind of like a set of training wheels to guide me in that.

Today I want to share with you a little example of hiding calories. Sometimes what we think of as being the healthiest or best low-calorie option may not be.  I had some leftovers from dinner in my fridge, but I opted for a sandwich instead because I wanted to keep it very low-calorie in anticipation of the pizza we’re having for dinner at church tonight.  Seems like a good idea, right?  It did to me until I decided to do the math halfway through lunch.  Here’s what it looked like:

Turkey Sandwich
2 pieces Colonial sandwich bread, 160 calories
1 serving peppered turkey, 50 calories
1 oz. colby-jack cheese, 100 calories
1/2 oz Lays potato chips (7-8 chips), 80 calories
8 pickle slices, 0 calories
Water, 0 calories

Sandwich total: 380 calories

Chicken Meal
4 oz. grilled chicken breast, 120 calories
1/2 cup mashed potatoes, 120 calories (approx)
1/2 cup green beans, 20 calories
3 tomato slices, 25 calories
Water, 0 calories

Chicken meal total: 285 calories

Wow!  Can you believe that?  I could have eaten my entire chicken meal for less calories than my sandwich and 1/2 serving of chips!  And, it would have been healthier, and probably more satisfying.

Now, obviously, there are things I could do to make a sandwich a smarter choice–skip the chips, skip the cheese, opt for a healthier and/or low-calorie bread, etc. But I was just using things I had on hand, to compare my normal sandwich with my normal chicken meal.

Please note, I am not obsessing about those extra 95 calories.  That’s not the point. The point is to be educated and think about our food choices.  Calories are hiding everywhere and what seems to be a low-cal choice may not always be–do the math!  At least until you get a feel for what your smarter choices might be.

PS–Salads can pack a huge punch as well!


Progress Tracker

Top Weight (May 9, 2013): 208.4 lbs
Current Weight (May 22, 2013): 200.4 lbs
Next Goal: 185 lbs (this will get me out of the “obese” category)
Final Goal: 145 lbs (this is at the upper end of the healthy range for my height)


What are your favorite healthy or low-calorie lunch ideas?



  1. Eve says

    Well today I am sitting in Orlando Florida on a trip with some students from a school I work for. So far I have been able to get on every ride until I got to universal island adventure first thing this morning I was escorted off of a roller coaster ride I could not fit on and so I ran quickly to a bathroom stall and cried for 15 minutes! I am still here sitting on benches while everyone is riding the roller coaster but today was the reality check i needed It’s time to take care of my temple and honor God with it! I know he was there while I was in that stall today wiping my tears just as he is while I am sitting on this bench! I am going to ride on the rides I can get on and thank God for where I am today:) I know someone needs this today because I opened my email and you had a post on calories. No coincidence. Be blessed

  2. Katie says

    It’s a roller coaster ride for sure! I’ve battled eating disorders on both sides most of my 33 years of life and feel your pain. I was shocked to see what a half a cup of shredded mini wheat’s looked like not to long ago. I’m learning if it doesn’t come straight from a plant, or the ground I’m probably going to find myself wishing I could eat more after finishing the meal choice for the day. I stumbled onto your site not to long ago and am now a loyal “check at least once a day” follower! Praying for you and your family, for your success in this battle and any other that may come forth.

    • Crystal says

      Oh, Katie, that means so much to me! And you’re so right about wishing for more after certain foods! I’ve found the same thing. After a week and a half of not binging,I feel like the urge is lessening, which is so helpful! Yes, it’s so crazy how much we tend to overeat in this country–so much so that when we see what a serving is supposed to look like, it’s just mind-boggling to see the difference. One of my big things was ice cream…Did you know there is supposed to be 12 servings in a half-gallon??? Thank you so much for your prayers and kindness!

  3. Katie says

    I’m trying to think of the other foods that floored me with how much we can eat, the list is endless! If you really don’t want to depress yourself don’t decide to eat the “one square of dark chocolate a day” for a treat.. I found it really hard to break down a candy bar into 12-14 pieces when there are people that will use an entire bar for a snack on a whim and go back to the day and other normal eating! I’ve found the crock pot with very low cal soup that I can eat, and eat and eat comforting when I’m mad at the world and want to just gorge myself. I’ve also found sprinkling cinnamon on apple slices helps with the filling side and still having something sweet in hand! Weight is an uphill battle, but with little steps we all get there. <3

    • Crystal says

      Thank you so much for the encouragement, but I have to say that I am very much a work-in-progress! I made some very much UNhealthy choices this evening! lol

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