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Counting Game

The BBC screened an interesting episode of Horizon earlier this week called Eat, Fast and Live Longer (no Oxford Comma for the Beeb, I see). It explored various approaches to calorie restriction and concluded that, within limits, these can be very beneficial. Particularly advocated was the idea of a partial fast for two days a week (500 calories per day) and then regular eating for the rest of the week. I could do with shedding a few pounds to get away from the border territory between a healthy BMI and being mildly overweight and am quite interested to try this.

Initially though, I’m having a phase of the calorie-counting game. I’m not sure I’ve ever played this one before and it does seem to be fraught with conflicting information. I am using information from food packaging labels where available and supplementing that with data from the USDA database (via the Fitwatch website) to provide some consistency to my estimates. Of course, that necessitates weighing everything before eating it, which makes you much more conscious of what you are taking in and I only ended up having 1771 calories yesterday; that left me slightly hungry but not unpleasantly so.

UK guidelines suggest that an average male intake should be about 2550 calories per day and the site where I gleaned that suggested that each 500 calories you knock off your average intake should result in losing about 1lb per week. My plan is to try and keep the intake on the low side for a while but, more importantly, to develop a better feel for portion size and the types of food that push up the figures. For example, I could have almost halved the calories in the stir fry I had for dinner last night by reducing the amount oil and only using one rather than two lumps of stem ginger in the flavouring sauce.

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