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Calorie Counting Culture

What do you notice about this box?  I love what Ziploc is doing to try to change our culture.  When you read their 100-Calorie Ideas they are giving us some decent options for foods you can put in their ziploc bags to snack on while you're running errands.  However, look at these other pre-packaged 100-Calorie-Snack ideas that are on the grocery shelves today:

  • Chips Ahoy
  • Doritos
  • Oreos
  • Fudge Stripes
  • these are all sold in 100-Calorie packets

The issue:  If you're only focused on counting calories you can easily slip into making poor decisions and eating the wrong kind of foods.

In simple terms, a calorie is a unit of energy.  Your body uses calories for every bodily function from thinking to running.  Your body cannot survive without food and the calories it provides.  However, the kind of calories that a large portion of society are consuming consist of processed junk, full of preservatives we can't pronounce and non-foods that our body doesn't recognize as food.

Many people are under the impression that if they keep their calorie intake at a certain level, no matter where the calories come from, that they will be thin and healthy.  It is nearly impossible to live this way, counting calories.  It gets old, and is rarely sustainable, at least with the people I know who have tried it.

I remember when Snackwell's Devil's Food Cookies came out on the market many years ago.  I was Nabisco's target market.  I completely got suckered into the 'fat free' craze of the times.  I would buy 3-4 boxes at a time and because they were 'fat free,' I would eat 6, or even 9 cookies in one sitting.  I was obviously uneducated, but I heard what I wanted to hear.  I began to only eat foods that were 'fat free,' but I started to notice that I was putting on weight, and it was very confusing to me.  Years later, I realized I was racking up on nutritionally deficient foods loaded with sugar, artificial flavors and ingredients that my body had no idea how to process.  It was all starting to make sense to me.

Question: Are you used to walking into the grocery store and seeing sultry, beautiful women on the magazine covers; Billboards, TV commercials?  It's the norm isn't it?  I almost don't even notice it anymore.  I've become numb to it.  Society has defined the standard of how women should look.  I have two daughters.  They're getting to the ages where they're becoming more aware of their bodies, and of the bodies around them.  My husband and I have been educating them about the images they're bombarded with every day, and to not just follow the herd to feel like they have to look like that.  The women in scantily clad outfits with airbrushed abs, hips and arms is not reality.  Guess what: 'Fat Free' is not fat free!

My point here is that if you want to, once and for all, make a lifestyle change then you have to unlearn all of the things that you've been taught by society for years.  Eating has become habitual for Americans.  You have to be like a child and be willing to search for the truth behind the curtain.  Just because common culture, billboards, cereal boxes say it's so, does not make it so.