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Sunday, January 30, 2011

What 400 calories looks like..

I'll admit it. I chose clothes shopping over grocery shopping today. So when I got home ravenous from a long day of shopping, I was stuck with two options - frozen food or delivery. It was close.. sushi was calling my name - practically dialing my number - ordering me!!, BUT, I resisted and went with the freezer fare instead. It was delicious. Here's what I had:

PC Blue Menu Crunchy Chicken Breast

I love these. They're great. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Done. They're crunchy and delicious. They're great dipped in Ketchup or PC Blue Menu low calorie Plum Sauce.

One chicken breast has 170 calories and only 3 g grams of fat.

McCain Sweet Potato Fries

   I really love these. Crispy, flavourful. Here's the nutrition:

Not bad! 85 grams for 150 calories with 4 grams of fiber. To give you an idea of what 85 grams looks like, a bag of small McDonald's French Fries is 71 grams. So.. picture dumping a bag of small fries on your plate. It's not a huge portion but good enough to hit the spot.

Baby zucchini

Well I did manage to find one fresh thing in my fridge. Mini zucchini. I simply chopped off the ends, sliced them in half lengthwise and popped them in the microwave for 1.5 minutes to steam. I then added some salt. Done. Phew.. at least I included some green with my makeshift meal.

So, all said and done, here's what a lazy Sunday night dinner looked like for a total of 400 calories:

Alright so this isn't the best picture and it certainly doesn't do justice to how tasty the meal actually was (I should have laid it on a bed of greens and cut open the chicken and hired a food time). But, I have included it anyways because it reminds us what 400 calories really looks like. Not that much. So, here's the takeaway:

The  next time your plate is overflowing with a large piece of meat, chicken or fish covered in sauce (mine was the size of my hand and had no sauce), fried potatoes or rice covering half your plate (my baked fries took up only 1/4 of the plate), and sauteed vegetables covered in butter or oil (mine were steamed and had only a sprinkle of salt), don't kid yourself. Your meal probably has double the calories; 800. The truth hurts baby.

Now, for comparison's sake, had I ordered sushi, here's what I could have had for 400 calories:

Option 1: Spicy Tuna Maki Roll (with a few tempura bits in it) + 1 miso soup = approx 400 calories
Option 2: 3 pieces of tuna (30 calories/piece) and 3 pieces salmon sashimi (50 calories/piece) + 1 single person order edamame (150 calories) = approx 400 calories
Option 3: 1 Spicy Tuna Roll wrapped in cucumber *no rice (150 calories), 1 order salmon sashimi (150 calories), 1 miso soup and 1 wakame salad (100 calories) = 400 calories

Why did I choose 400 as the magic number? It just happened based on my meal. But -- if you have a 300 calorie breakfast, 400 calorie lunch, and 400 calorie dinner, it leaves room for two 200 calorie snacks for you to arrive at 1500 calorie/day, which in my experience, is the typical daily allotment for adults to lose weight comfortably yet see the results they crave.

Bon appetit! (Eat slowly. It helps.) 

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