Calories are a Currency
I’ve never really thought of calories in this way… a few people have or may have, but to me food contained calories and you ate them (where ever they came from). But what if calories were your daily currency, your balance was renewed every morning: you could use them, lose them, buy more of them or save them but you only had 24 hours in which to do this.
How would you spend yours?
Lets start with a story: my sister and I were on a road trip up to Birmingham this weekend, after a heavy training session in the morning and neither of us had chance to eat much except for a shake after the session, so we decide to stop at the service station and grab something as healthy as we could find. We walked past a number of fast food joints and I couldn’t resist but check out the calorie content on a BK Tender Crisp Chicken Burger (I mean it’s protein/carbs and fats isn’t’ it!?) it was 910 calories. 910 in a sandwich…yup!
In the past I may not have even considered this as an issue, but it got me to thinking about how many calories I would be spending if I bought and ate that! It would in fact be over half my daily allowance for one sandwich, no fries, no drink! Which means I wouldn’t have much more “currency” for the rest of my day!
Imagine every day you get between 1,800-1,900 calories to spend, do you want to get the most value out of it or do you want the high priced designer product which gives you instant gratification, but means you’d get less product overall and less long lasting satisfaction from your daily calorie allowance? Think about it.
But what if you went over your daily allowance?
Well that’s like borrowing from a bank (a loan), it has to be paid back eventually or you’ll end up in debt and putting on a lot of weight, you may even pile on the interest and end up on a hospital bed because you didn’t look after your allowance.
How would you pay back a calorie bank loan? You’d work it off of course (a HiiT session, a weight lifting session, a run or whatever) or maybe, you’d be given a smaller allowance for the day (or 2) after.
Can you earn calorie credit?
If you worked out you’d earn credit, and if you ate your exact calorie allowance that day, you’d be in a calorie deficit, being in credit (a calorie deficit) should lead to substantial weight loss. However, if you burnt off 300 calories and then ate 2,100 you’d be balanced and remain the same weight… But hey you got a few extra to spend on some high priced items that day (once in a while this is fine!)
So where do you stand?
Personally I love to eat, I love to eat delicious foods, which keep me satisfied for longer but I also have a love for eating out, sweet stuff and Sainsbury’s Cheese Twists (don’t ask!).
But on a daily basis I’d like to get more value out of my allowance, more volume of food (as I said I like to eat) and more nutrient dense food. So, on most days I would aim to allow the high priced designer stuff like chocolate, coffee’s, pastries, sandwiches, fries etc… and stick to the chicken, fish, rice, lentils, avocado, nuts, seeds and maybe a little square of chocolate or an M&S Dark chocolate round with a cuppa tea to satisfy a craving.
Going forward calories will the most important currency in my purse, and I will be spending them wisely, with a few treats along the way. But remember there is no such thing as a good or bad calorie, a calorie of energy is just that, a calorie… it’s like celsius on a thermometer, or a gram on the scales… Foods with higher calorie content should be more energy dense, but it’s not just about the energy, it’s about the nutrients in that food… Does chocolate have the same nutrients as chickpeas or carrots? Urm nope! So it’s the source of that calorie which would make it good, bad or ugly.
I think I may have just rambled, but…have a think about it and let me know where you stand!
Stay happy and healthy