Ester Marsh: Is your ‘cheat food’ calorie worthy?

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 23, 2021

Today we are looking into calories in and calories out. First, one big eye opener is that you need to burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound.

Crazy right? But its doable. Cut 500 calories each day for seven days and that adds up to 3,500 calories in one week. Double that and you lose 2 pounds. A 10-minute jog burns about 100 calories. A brisk walk at 4 miles per hour burns 500 calories.

So when you eat a typical Dutch apple pie, you eat around 480 calories in one setting of 1/6 of a pie.

I enjoy a pie once in a while, but I can truly enjoy grapes and strawberries too to “fix” my sweet tooth. One cup of grapes is about 62 calories, and one cup of strawberries is about 49 calories. Unfortunately, people do not know what and how much goes into their body.

One slice of apple pie is not a big deal, right?

It’s not if you are willing to walk fast for 90 minutes. A typical female needs around 1,500 calories and a male needs around 2,000 calories per day.

Of course, the more you move the more you need. And age has a lot to do with it too.

Try to make your calories as healthy as possible. Not only can you eat more, but it also gives you the nutrition you need. Losing weight is all about calories. You eat 1,500 calories, and you burn 1,500, you stay the same. You eat 1,500 calories and burn 2,000 calories, you lose weight. You eat 2,000 calories and burn 1,500 calories, you gain weight.

So many free apps and information are  available to plug in what you eat and what kind of exercises you do to see if you are where you need to be. If you need more help, a visit with a certified nutritionist/dietitian can really benefit you and get you on the right, and healthy, path.

Ask your doctor if this is something for you. Start reading the calories on packages. See what amount makes a serving. For example, 13 Cheetos make one serving of  160 calories. I don’t know about you but I can eat a lot more easily!

A healthier option, a serving of cashew nuts at 160 calories is about 23 nuts (a small handful).

But as most people do, it ends up being half a can or even a whole can and way more calories.

As last week’s article mentioned, increase the amount of vegetables and fruits you eat. I’ve never met anyone who gained weight while eating broccoli!

Be aware what goes in your mouth, and how much it is and keep a calculator handy. Weight watchers is another great program that teaches people how to eat healthier and move more.

Meal planning will also help you keep the calories where you need them. Increase your exercises so you can lose the weight faster or eat more calories.

Find tasty and healthy options to reduce your cravings. Start by cutting the 500 calories per day.

It sounds like a lot, but that one slice of Dutch apple pie will take care of it. The slower (1-2 pounds per week) it comes off, the more likely it stays off. Usually, the faster the weight loss, the faster it comes back on (and many times including additional pounds).

So slow and steady, with determination, will win this race.

Ester H. Marsh is Health and Fitness Director of JF Hurley Family YMCA

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