Yesterday at Home Depot while buying hardboard for my next painting project, I tossed a pack of Mixed Nuts on the counter to take back for a snack during work. I figured nuts are pretty harmless. Not many calories and no sugar. Safe snack right?
This morning that pack of nuts happened to be lying next to my laptop with the Nutrition Facts showing on the back side of the packaging. It said Calories: 170/per serving 470 per package.
Reading those numbers meant an alarm went off in my head. As a matter of practice, I ignore the suggested serving size on every item I buy. But 470 calories? Just in a package of nuts? That’s nuts.
Around the middle
No wonder I’ve put on a few pounds. My waist is pudgy. I just never thought my body would come to this in life. I was so skinny in my 30s and even into my early forties. The last time I weighed below 170 lbs was in the mid-to-late 2000s. That was the summer I rode 4000 miles and weighed 163 lbs. And felt great. I think 170 is actually a good goal to reach again. Lean and mean.
However, when I was that thin again, people commented that I looked (too) thin, and even wondered if I was healthy. The implication there was disturbing. Someone my age looking that thin must have cancer or some other condition? That does happen to some people who get cancer. Either their appetite wanes due to chemo or other treatments or the stress of treatment simply wears them thin.
So I suppose I “look healthy” according to some kind of normal expectation of senior presentation. But looks can be deceiving. That belly fat around my middle is anything but healthy. It is a sign of an unhealthy system that is storing energy as fat rather than burning it as fuel. So two things thus need to happen. Cut down the energy intake and increase the energy output.
It must start with some calorie counting since I excel at ignoring what I’m eating in terms of calories and types of food. It’s time to download an app that helps me do it. I welcome suggestions, or tell us how you manage your calorie intake? Would love to share.
Coke Is Nuts
I’m also ashamed that Coca-Cola keeps creeping back into my life after years of happily and willingly ignoring the stuff. The caffeine used to keep me away because my prostate didn’t like it. But with time and a bit more passive prostate, I can handle a bit of caffeine and appreciate the boost now and then. That starts the cycle and the sweet taste of Coke completes it. So there are some easy yet difficult calories to eliminate. RESIST THE SODA! Drinking Coke is nuts!
Except on really long rides on hot days. Then it’s the bomb.
But if nuts are also a problem in terms of glomming up calories, then it’s time for a true strategy. I’ve been good in buying salads from Trader Joes to eat for lunch, but sometimes they sit in the fridge a couple days rather than get eaten. It’s little things like having to trudge downstairs to fetch the salad that keep me from being disciplined. Instead I grab lunch while running around town. And that seldom ends well.
So while my goals next year include some that are focused around fitness and performance, the real long term goal is being better about eating and health.
My wife Sue and I will likely engage in a bit of dietary change once her twenty-somethings move out of the house in late January. Then we can better control what sits in our pantry and what temptations we indulge. The timing will be perfect as winter gives way to spring. Then we can go nuts with the training and focus on better diet instead of looking so forward to desserts.
But I still have to face down that pack of nuts today, and not eat it all in one sitting.
I’ve been trying to cut sugar out of my diet, but it keeps creeping back.
I cut soda a few years ago, but I really enjoy my iced coffee with milk and some sugar.
Try a food journal for a week or two. You may be surprised to see where calories come from.
Happy New Year!
Excellent suggestions. That is what I’m going to do. And thanks.