Saturday, October 3, 2015


by Mary Kennedy
Saboteur: someone who destroys or damages something deliberately. When you think of a saboteur, you picture someone deadly, menacing, dangerous. But if you were your own diet saboteur? Is that possible? Is it possible to derail your diet with muddled thinking and poor food choices? Here are a few "lies we tell ourselves" when it comes to dieting and healthy eating.

1. "I eat healthy." Um, okay, maybe you do, but are you watching the total calorie count of the healthy foods you eat? One innocent-looking bowl of granola can contain 400 calories!
2. "It's a special occasion. I have to celebrate!"
      Maybe so, but did you know one piece of birthday cake has 396 calories? Your birthday only comes once a year, but are you "celebrating" a lot of other people's birthdays? (and anniversaries and graduations and christenings and weddings...)
  3. "I exercise, so I can get away with the occasional treat." The sad truth is that exercise may not burn as many calories as you think. Here are a few depressing examples.                                                      
Three Oreo cookies contain 160 calories. Considering that most people burn off 100 calories by walking a mile (this number varies by how fast you walk and how much you weigh), you would have to walk a mile and a half to burn off this tasty treat.
Another fun fact. A Krispy Kreme glazed donut contains 190 calories. You would have to mow the lawn for 26 minutes to burn it off.
And pepperoni pizza? One slice equals 324 calories. Hope you're in the mood for a bike ride because it will take 30 minutes to burn it off.
Potato chips are another way to wreck your diet. No wonder they say, "You can't eat just one." You would have to exercise for 12 minutes to burn off the calories in 15 potato chips.
The key of course, is moderation. And also awareness. A recent study showed that when college cafeterias started posting calorie counts on foods (along with how much exercise it takes to burn them off), students started making healthier choices. You can, too! No need to be obsessive about it. Just stop and think before you reach for that "treat." As one of my friends always says, "Check yourself before you wreck yourself." If you're going to indulge in something that falls into the "junk food" variety, make sure you make healthier choices the rest of the day. And sneak in a quick walk that evening. Everything can balance out, but you have to plan carefully.
Good luck!!
Mary Kennedy


Nicole said...

Hi Mary, I've learned that the easiest way to sabotage my diet is to deny myself something, so I try to make healthy substations or compromises (if possible), and to do additional exercise to work it off. A Weight Watchers leader told me years ago that you need to walk 100 yards to burn off the calories in one m&m and I've never forgotten that!

Nicole said...

Oh dear, it's too early for me and autocorrect - lol! Substitutions, not substations! :-)

Dr. Mary Kennedy said...

Hi Nicole, wow, I didn't know that, that's is an amazing statistic. I try to make healthy substitutions, too (like cutting pasta portions in half and adding veggies instead.). Thanks so much for stopping by and don't worry about the typos, I do the same thing! Have a great week-end.

Carol N Wong said...

Sometimes I really crave a little piece of chocolate then hubby brings home a big container of potato salad! So I eat the potato salad but it is chocolate that I want. It has been years since I have eaten a donut, potato chips. At least that!

Dr. Mary Kennedy said...

Hi Carol--that's good that you have sworn off donuts and potato chips, they are so tempting!

Carrie Datema said...

It is even harder to diet when you live with two kids and a husband. My husband had gastric bybass three years ago and he has lost almost 150 lbs. Yet the man can eat sweets, salty, and he has crazy cravings at times. Does he eat as much as he used to? No, yet I don't like wasting food. So he will take a huge piece of pie and I will take a small piece; then he can't finish his. I end up eating it because of the waste. I try to eat better; yet it is hard to do when sweets, salty, and snacks are always in the house.

Dr. Mary Kennedy said...

Carrie, that is so true. It's so tempting to have goodies hanging around. As Dr. Phil says, "If you don't buy it, you can't it," but it's not simple when other family members are involved. Good luck to your hubby with the gastric bypass. It's helped a lot of people but it's not always easy. Hang in there, thanks for stopping by!

Michelle F. said...

I've learned these things from health magazines that I subscribe to. We had DiGiorno pizza last night and one slice was about 330 or 360 calories. It said that was one serving, but we each had two. I don't diet. I love dessert and chocolate.