Food for Thought: Junk Food


“Stressed spelled backward is desserts. Coincidence? I think not!”

~Author Unknown
Chips, nachos and curls
Chips, nachos and curls

This a small food for thought on the simple things you can remove from your diet and how much weight you could lose in a year if you avoid them.  We are going to focus on sugar and junk food today.  They are what I would refer to as empty calories.  If you crave them, I am not telling you to any eat them.  You just need to reduce your consumption.  

Junk Food: 

  1. Sugar: 1 tsp of sugar has 16 calories.  You may think this is not a lot but if you have a cup of coffee every day and always have sugar, that 5800 calories a year.  That simple reduction in calories is 1.6 pounds lost in a year.
  2. Candy Bowl:  One of America’s favorite candies is the Reese cup.  One miniature Reese cup has 44 calories.  If you have one every day for a year that is over 16,000 calories a year.  This reduction could account for 4.5 pounds lost in a year.  
  3. Potato Chips:  The average consumption per sitting is two.  That is 300 calories a day.  If you 2 savings a day for a year you would consume over 109,000 calories in just chips.  If you cut this out of your diet, you would lose 31 pounds in a year
  4. Microwave popcorn: The average consumer eats a whole bag by themselves.   That is 413 Calories in a 2.5 ounce bag.  If you eat one every night at a snack for a year, you would consume 150,745 calories. Remove this from you diet would lead to 42 pounds of weight loss.  

I acknowledge this is unrealistic because not everyone has these items every day and they often vary their consumptions.  I also acknowledge that it assumes that they would not add something back in their place.   All that being said, it does illustrate the point of the impact that these little thing we ear every day can add up major weight gain or loss if you avoid them.

Consider this, next time you think about reaching in the potato chip bag or candy bowl, have an apple instead.  At 70 calories per medium apple, you will feel fuller longer and it is a healthier choice.  

The bottom line: Good choices are the key to weight loss. Junk food is often full of empty calories. Make better choices and help yourself lose weight.

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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