I’m in Texas, y’all, and I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I am a long way from giving up meat. At least once a week, both before this new way of eating and after, I hit a bbq joint.
I used to eat a stuffed bbq baked potato. No butter or sour cream, but cheese, chives, and brisket on a giant potato. Healthy, right?
That potato was the secret killer in that meal. This being Texas (as I’ve said), the bbq joints go for BIG potatoes. Lose It tells me that a 3″ to 4 & 1/4″ baked potato, with skin, has 281 calories and 63 grams of carbohydrates.
Now, a dollar bill is 6″ long, which comes in handy for measuring all kinds of things, including baked potatoes. I’m not kidding you when I say that most potatoes at the various places I’d go were in the 6″ range.
So, at a minimum, I was looking at ~300 calories just from the potato alone, plus the equivalent of at least 4 servings of carbohydrates. Add in the bbq sauce (which undoubtedly had a bit of sugar), the calories from the meat and cheese (all protein, but still, beef brisket isn’t low-cal) – hard to have that as part of a reasonable day’s eating.
These days, I aim for 4 servings of carbs over the course of the whole day, max. When I go for bbq, I get 2-meat plate, sauce on the side or no sauce at all, and cole slaw. True, the cole slaw often has a higher fat content than I would get from home-made, but we try to hit a couple of joints that make their own and keep it light-ish. And, if I get beef brisket, I try to pair it with a leaner option, like chicken or turkey. It all tastes just as good, as long as you know who has the best pits, and the carb bomb has been successfully diffused.
And, I’ll point out that I have been eating like that fairly regularly and have continued losing weight while feeling full.
Not everyone wants bbq all the time. I used to swing through Smoothie King, especially in hot weather, to grab a Light & Fluffy. Again, to be mindful of “health,” I’d get it without the added honey and turbinado sugar. That meant I was getting bananas, strawberries, and orange juice.
Fruit – health, right?
Rarely did I order the small size. More often, I’d go medium, rationalizing that I was using this for my meal. How does a 32 oz. no sugar, no honey Light & Fluffy rank nutritionally?
- 442.5 calories
- 114 grams of carbohydrates
- 0 grams of fat
- 1.5 grams of protein
That’s worse than the potato. A 12 oz. regular, full-test Coke has only 39 grams of carbs. A serving of carbs = 15 grams, so that smoothie was over 7.5 servings in one cup.
I also now aim for ~20-28 grams of protein at each meal, so clearly, I wasn’t getting that at all. True, no fat, but at what price?!
Now, I eat fruit in very limited quantities, mostly just one serving a day, sometimes, two. I always pair it with protein. Pairing carbs and protein protects you from carb/blood sugar spikes.
Some people may be able to eat more fruit than that each day, but not me. If I do have a smoothie, I bulk it up with greens of some sort for lower-carb fiber, and Greek yogurt for protein.
Mostly, though, I just avoid smoothies. If I had to order one now, I’d get yogurt added, although I’d want to know if the yogurt had added sugar.
I see that Smoothie King has some low-carb options that use protein mix, but notice that the strawberry flavored one, for example, lists only two ingredients, neither of which are actual strawberries. Now, I kicked off my weight loss by using a medical food/protein product, so I am not saying I’d never pick that willingly, because obviously, I did. Still, now, I’m trying to make sure to eat real, whole, unprocessed foods. I might rather splurge on actual fruit, or supplement it with protein powder, than go back to protein powder and nothing else as a regular part of my diet any time soon.
What did you used to eat that seemed healthy but was actually sabotaging you?