Sunday, March 3, 2013

Calories that totally don’t count

In general, I make thoughtful and intelligent food choices.  I cook from scratch with whole foods, and lots of fruits and veggies.  Sometimes we make homemade pizza, but then the next day, the meal plan compensates with fish and a salad.  But over the winter, the number on the scale has crept up a little and the waistband of my jeans has crept ever-so-slightly deeper into my skin.  How can this be?  I am meal planning so thoughtfully…

Except, you know, for the loopholes.  Some calories don’t count.  Here are just a few of those calories:

  • Food eaten off your children’s plates.  Because you wouldn't want to waste it.
  • Broken cookies or chips.  Everyone knows that crumbs are not caloric.
  • Food tasted while cooking.  It’s important to sample all of your ingredients.  Especially the cheese. 
  • Food eaten during major storms or when the power is out, especially if it is being eaten to save it from going bad.  (Or if it is being eaten because you don’t have internet or TV.)
  • Birthday cake.  Zero calories.
  • Road trip food.  Any road trip longer than five hours demands kettle chips and individually wrapped pie and pizza-flavored pretzel combos and a fourthmeal Italian sub from Wawa at midnight. 
  • Wine.  Obviously the calories in wine don’t count.  The calories in other drinks, like margaritas, are slightly more complicated.  If you order a margarita at a restaurant, it has a shit-ton of calories.  But if you’re at someone’s house and they hand you a margarita, all of the calories fall out. 
  • Similarly, food consumed when wine or other mood-altering substances have rendered you unable to make good food choices have considerably fewer calories than they would if you chose them in the light of day.  Like, say, a plate of nachos. 
  • Food eaten to combat ennui or soothe a broken heart.  Or to help a friend combat ennui or soothe a broken heart.
  • Naughty foods wrapped around healthy foods.  For example, if you were to make and eat fresh figs with bacon and blue cheese, broiled lightly, and then drizzled with balsamic reduction, the cheese and bacon are magically transformed into fruit.
  • Also bacon.  Just in general.
  • Holidays.  Thanksgiving pie. Christmas cookies. Traditional Arbor Day Doritos.
  • Seasonally available food.  Pumpkin lattes.  Stauffer’s chocolate star cookies.  Reese’s eggs.
  • Leftovers.  Naughty food choices only count once.  So you ordered chicken parmesan or fettuccine Alfredo at a restaurant in a moment of weakness, and a veritable trough of food arrived?  It’s OK.  Just eat a reasonable portion.  And then eat the rest for the next two days.  The leftovers totally don’t count.
  • Food eaten on really good workout days.  If you had a good workout, it was probably enough to counteract that bag of chips.  And the burger too.  Because your muscles must need the protein.
  • Regional foods when in that region.  Beignets.  Poutine.  Philly cheese steaks. New York pizza.
  • Food eaten after midnight, because if you are up that late, your body is surely burning more calories than it would be if you were sleeping.  Even if you’re just on the couch watching back episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. 
  • Food from a buffet.  Because you want to get your money’s worth.
  • Food that you virtuously declined, but then someone came and ate right next to you and you smelled it and couldn't help yourself.

Any to add?  Comment away! 


  1. Food experiments from Pinterest!

  2. Anything you eat when you're sick. Because surely your body is working so hard to fight whatever you've come down with, that it needs the extra fat and calories.

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  5. Any food eaten while standing in the kitchen at the sink not only has no calories, but it is totally null and void. Foods typically served hot, when eaten unheated are also null and void.

    "I haven't had anything to eat all day."
    "What about that left-over egg mcmuffin you ate [ed. cold, while standing in the kitchen over the sink]?"
    "What are you talking about? What's for lunch?"

    "Honey, have you seen that left-over egg mcmuffin? Where is the pizza from last night?"