It Does Add Up
Sitting around, quite full, after Thanksgiving dinner someone in the living room read a headline of a Thanksgiving Day article, “The average American consumes 3,000 calories during the Thanksgiving meal plus another 1,500 on snacks and drinks.”
Whoa! The consensus in the room was that that sounded like A LOT, a definite overestimation. There’s no way!
Some Thanksgivings I’ve stayed very Paleo, eating mostly the exact same foods in type and quantity that I would on any other day. This year, partly because I’ve been doing the PRYL challenge for the past 4 weeks and my compliance has been through the roof, I decided not to worry about it, and eat whatever looked good, whenever it looked good…
I hopped on MyFitnessPal and entered in the quantities of the foods I ate on Thanksgiving Day to investigate the 3,000 calorie claim. My grand total?
2,866 calories (about 1,000 more calories than I consume in a normal day)
(For a full description of everything I ate, see below, and don’t judge me on the cookie consumption, dammit, they’re freakin’ good, and they’re local and shit.)
So after 2,866 calories, the crazy part is that I really wasn’t even stuffed. Sure I was full, but not uncomfortably. I could have, if I had really wanted to, eaten more.
We talk about how processed foods are sugar-ladden, highly addictive, and easy to over consume because of their dense nature. And this was exactly my experience. I spent the next day miserable – craving cookies, wanting to eat throughout the day even though I was not hungry, needing a nap, going through mood swings, and almost throwing a tantrum that I couldn’t have a piece of gluten-free bread.
Now imagine how easy it would be to continue to eat that way? For many Americans this way of eating is not a single day but an ongoing state. The body can handle the occasional (and I mean OCCASIONAL) overeating episode with ease. It’s the accumulation of many of those instances in daily doses or consistent overeating episodes that drives us to gain weight and destroys our health markers.
So yes, it’s actually quite easy to consume 3,000 calories in a day, but the repercussions are atrocious, and that’s just one day. And yes, while we don’t specifically focus on calories in the Paleo diet, the big kicker is that this was 3,000 calories of fully processed, nutrient bland food.
Thoughts? Post to comments.
Epic bar before coaching – 200 calories
2 eggs, 2 pieces sausage – 312 calories
1 Kim and Jake’s Cookie – 190 calories
1 Justin’s Peanutbutter Cup – 80 calories
3 bacon wrapped dates – 175 calories
3 rice crackers w/ cheddar cheese – 150 calories
.5 glasses wine – 75 calories
5oz turkey – 147 calories
3/4 cup mashed potatoes w/ heavy cream and butter whipped inside – 220 calories
gluten-free stuffing – 200 calories
gluten-free gravy –
3 sausage and mushrooms – 172 calories
2 Kim and Jake’s Chocolate Cookies – 380 calories
1 piece chocolate pie – 175 calories
2 small scoops sweet cream icecream – 200 calories
1 Kim and Jake’s Chocolate Chip Cookie – 190