Stack of chocolate covered caramels dusted with flecks of sea sat. Top caramel broken open with golden caramel oozing out and dripping onto the caramel below. Sitting on a blue Venetian glass dish.
Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels. Absolutely delicious – the flavour, the mouth feel, the spike of sea salt crunch. –half a dessert unit each

Wow. Treats and indulgences add up fast. I’m not a calorie counter. I’m kind of an anti-calorie counter. Like does it matter at all in any way how many calories are in a boiled egg or a scoop of veggies? If I counted every calorie that found its way into my mouth, the math would last till about noon. Besides, 100 calories of milk chocolate (yum) go thwack! straight to the ol’ muffin top, whereas only 70 out of 100 protein calories may be absorbed.

On the other hand, drinks and treats sure add up fast. Ah right I already said that. But holy cow. Gord and I started writing down units of drinks and desserts, aiming for 10 units total per week. After we (okay he) took down the Christmas tree there was this little row of Christmas chocolates including a milk chocolate orange. So I ate one piece, then a quarter, and before I knew it, like seconds later only a quarter was left and my jeans felt awful. Three units, bam! just like that. Add a glass of wine and four units were gone in less than an hour on day 1, with six days left to go.

Gord and I cook nutritious meals and we’re moderately active. So where are those extra inches coming from? Well I do know where my Christmas belly which actually started in November ahem came from – see chocolate orange story above and maybe my no-fitness holiday had something to do with it. But Gord is a mystery. He eats nutritious meals and he gets at least thirty minutes of activity per day, including hill climbing and a ten-minute high intensity calisthenics start. It’s got to be unconscious, invisible extras.

So how to get lean and healthy? This is how we’re managing our calories in. One – We are meal planning. (Same dinners as before, only organized. Having wholesome food within reach is HUGE for staying away from instant calorie snacks. More in future posts.) Two – We are tracking desserts/processed foods and calorie drinks only. A maximum of 10 units per week is our commitment. (One unit is 200 calories max. We chose a 10 unit cap because 10 treats are the maximum for the athletic body we are willing to work for.) We made it through week one Yay! Which brings us back to the start of this diary entry – indulgences sure add up fast – and when you see them written down in front of you, suddenly they’re not invisible any more oh what do you know.

I’ve always believed eating should be intuitive for long-term sustainability, and calorie counting is unnecessary – that if meals are wholesome the weight takes care of itself – and if weight management gets too complicated it gets dumped after a few weeks. But invisible calories happen. They just happen. They sneak in unseen, unheard, unremembered. So jotting down drinks and desserts every day is our new habit. Just as extra weight appears out of nowhere (I swear), it should disappear when we force invisibles out of their dark lair.

Here’s what my first week on paper looked like.

Chart. Drinks & snack treats recorded each day for 1 week. Columns: Day, Calorie Drinks, Desserts Processed Foods, Running Total
Tracking drinks & snack treats in week 1. Goal 10 units. Done.

Wish us luck. See you next post. <3


If it’s in your home, you or someone you love will eventually eat it.