I generally can tell if I am gaining or losing weight by how my clothes fit. If things start to get snug I cut back on after dinner dessert or snacks before bed and that usually correct things. But, there was a time when I needed to lose some serious weight. And that led to dieting and watching every calorie and upping my activity level. It took many months and I was successful. So now I don’t watch things too closely, I just make sure I wear my more fitted jeans weekly which alerts me to weight changes pretty quickly.
Because I am aware of how hard it is to lose weight, restaurant menus that post the calories in their dishes has taken some of my joy away when eating out. I don’t eat out often and when I do it is usually with friends, so more of a celebratory atmosphere. Being reminded of the calories I am consuming is a total bummer. But IT DOES affect what I choose to order.
Have the calories posted at fast food restaurants affected what people order?
It seems in a small way the answer is yes. A recent study investigated the numbers and found: Fast food chain orders in 3 states dropped by 60 calories per order for a while after posting the calories associated with each item.
Past research showed no change or a very modest change in how a person ordered.
The problem may be that many people don’t know how many calories is the right amount for them. You can go to these useful calculators to determine:
- Calories needed to lose weight.
- Calories needed to gain weight.
- Calories needed to maintain your weight.
Calorie needs vary based on many criteria: your age, your gender, your activity level and your height and weight. Even people of the same size and gender do not necessarily have the same calorie requirements.
Once you have determined the calories you should consume in a day the calories presented on menus will not be confusing, it will be helpful. And it will allow you to eat out and still maintain your weight goals. No more fear in ordering you are in control. You may realize you don’t need to give up the burger just the cheese.
Calories consumed does impact your weight along with your metabolism and your activity level.
I have always felt that the more you know the better choices you can make in determining your own destiny. Hopefully, calorie information will spread and we will be wiser because of it.