The new year has just started which means that the next commercial event to darken these shores is Easter. Christmas is past. Our mid-winter festival and feast to celebrate the dark nights and cheer ourselves up is now history. The burgeoning pressure of consumerism has passed for another nine months.
Time then to get the eggs, bunnies, chickens and chocolate on display.
Recently the WW and I have been on a bit of a health regime. This requires us to not worry about supplements (mostly rubbish) and just keep track of food and exercise. It’s been a while since I have felt physically fit and at a healthy weight. There have been a number of times when my mass has been measured by a health professional and they’ve said that I was a bit over-weight. Yes, that was true, but I was also quite aware of it.
So over Christmas I decided to copy the WW and I installed an app on the iPhone that tracks my calorie intake. I can scan the bar code on foods and select the correct amount and then try to keep to a particular daily calorific maximum. This I have done reasonably successfully and have now reached a healthy mass of 82Kg (if you want my weight then just multiply by your local value of g).
More recently because of the change of official time to British Summer Time (something I am not convinced has any particular basis) I can also take advantage of the light evenings and go running. I should point out that my version of running is really just a jog. The biggest problem with this is that I also take the dog. He doesn’t really understand that I just want to go at a steady pace for 30 minutes or so and he runs off to sniff other dogs or just plain gets under my feet. Anyway, the upshot of the last month of running is that I can comfortably run about 5km in just under 30 minutes and am doing this about 4 times a week. A secondary bonus is that the dog has lost a little bit of his winter fat and is now also looking much healthier. See this Fooyah communication for the route I tend to run.
And so to the crux of this Fooyah communication. If you are calorie counting you need to decide whether certain foods are worth it. For me, cake is plainly not worth the calories. My enjoyment of cake per calorie is particularly low. To give me a sense of “is it worth it” I use the international SI unit of food expectation/enjoyment which is a finger of Cadbury’s Twirl. One standard Twirl finger is 115 kCal. Now whenever I am faced with a choice of snacks or foods to eat I balance it with the Twirl. Is the energy content I am about to eat greater in enjoyment to the Twirl or less. If the answer is less then there is a lower chance of me actually eating that particular food. For example: a small iced sponge cake from Tesco is 150kCal. Compared to the equivalent in Twirls the enjoyment is much much lower and so the cake should not be eaten. A banana is about 80 kCal and so although not really tasty is quite cheap in terms of calories and so worth eating. One teaspoon of Nutella is 81 kCal and so not really worth it but is a nice treat if I feel like it.
The rest of my life is probably going to be a calorie counting feast of Twirl decisions but I can live with that if it keeps me on the right side of healthy.
The app on the iPhone is called: MyFitnessPal.