Monday, November 1, 2010

WARNING: Eating Candy Results in A LOT of Math for Me

This is an old picture of me eating popcorn that Binderclips made on the campfire. We were camping at Holland State Park in Holland, MI.

I hope everyone had a great Halloween and didn't eat too much candy! Last night Binderclips and I were hanging out and I told him I just wanted one bite size MilkyWay candy bar (again, just 1). It's at that point that he decided that he needed to go to the store, then proceeded to come home with an entire bag of MilkyWay fun size candy bars AND an entire bag of 3 Musketeers also. The serving sizes/calories for the fun size snack bars equates to the following:

MilkyWay (Serving Size 2 bars)

Calories: 160

Fat Calories: 50 (or 6g)

Carbohydrates: 24g

Protein: 1g

3 Musketeers (Serving Size 3 bars)

Calories: 190

Fat Calories: 50 (or 6g)

Carbohydrates: 34g

Protein: 1g

Why does this matter? Well, any time I consider eating any kind of sweets I review this information as well as the ingredients. For the purpose of this post I'm going to not focus on the ingredients because, let's face it folks, the ingredients are not good (both include hydrogenated oils and corn syrup as well as other not-so-favorable stuff).

Any who, do you ever read the calorie information and wonder what on earth it all means? Well, I'm going to break it down for you. Basically, the grams listed on the packaging are converted to calories by multiplying the grams of protein, fat, and carbs by the number of calories yielded per gram of each nutrient.

So, for fats - each gram is multiplied by 9 to give you the number of calories. For carbs and proteins - each gram is multiplied by 4 to give you the number of calories per serving. Therefore, for the MilkyWay:

Fat calories = 6 grams X 9 calories per gram = 54 calories from fat

Carbohydrate calories = 24 grams X 4 calories per gram = 96 calories from carbs

Protein calories = 1 gram X 4 calories per gram = 4 calories from protein

Total calories = 54 + 96 + 4 = 154 calories*

If you're still thinking 'So what?' - think about this: To lose one pound you have to burn 3500 calories in one week, or in other words, burn 500 calories per day for each day of the week (500 X 7 = 3500). Consider that running or walking a mile roughly results in 100 calories being burned. So, if you were going to create a deficit of 500 calories per day by exercise alone - you would need to run or walk 5 miles A DAY. The better approach is to create this deficit by eating 250 less calories per day and to burn 250 calories by also doing some type of physical activity.

Anyways, do you see what happens to me?! I become a calorie calculating weirdo. Sigh. My best bet is to stay away from the candy and sweets, otherwise I am constantly doing math. While I do think that focusing on calorie counting isn't the best way to go, it's just what happens when I eat crappy food. In addition, when I'm on the treadmill I am constantly calculating's apparently just a problem I have. Oh well! I hope your Monday is treating you well. I'll post the Hoover Dam pictures next time.

*Total calories listed on the package also take into consideration fiber and therefore, may result in your calculations not necessarily being what is posted on the packaging. Also, the FDA allows some wiggle room on what is posted for calories on packaging - this results in some discrepancies in regards to what is posted verses what you calculate as well.


  1. I was eating peanut M&Ms while reading this. Now I feel bad. :(

    Oh well--Halloween comes but once a year!

  2. SPOILSPORT; why not leave this sermon 'til mid-week.

  3. Sorry :( Clearly, there is something wrong with me!

    TB: You're right Halloween only comes once a year. Enjoy yourself! Plus, not having a gall bladder helps, right? :)

    Vince: You're right, I should've waited...I just am sitting at home with 2 bags of candy and needed some way to detour me from eating them! :)

  4. Sorry I had intended to put a :¬).

  5. HB: I am an historic calorie counter. Your plan is great. I gave up sweets years ago, and I no longer do math. Great advice.

  6. I always knew math was bad. Don't do the math, Hulabuns.

  7. HulaBuns

    UGH! I am glad I read this post after Halloween. And thanks for doing the math, we eat chocolate pie, for dessert yesterday, and we had mixed nuts snacks for the adults,,, but all had a good time,,,, Now to do the tread mill for 6000 hours to lose the extra poundage,,,, OMG! I think it is better to which what you put in your mouth in the first place...

    Have a nice week.....

  8. *fingers in ears*


    Aloha from Honolulu

    Comfort Spiral


  9. JJ: Thanks! It helps when Binderclips doesn't bring the stuff home. Grrrr ;)

    Roxy: Great advice! I will be sure to try to follow it! :D

    Joanny: At least you had some mixed nuts for some extra protein - that's good! This is exactly why I try to stay away from sweets - they're dangerous. :)

    Cloudia: LOL!! I deserved that. :)

  10. Well, according to "Diet and Fitness Today", I burn 45 calories just by sleeping for 1 hour.

    So I believe the best solution would be for me to eat as much candy as I want (let's say 2 servings of MilkyWay = 320 calories), and then nap it off (for 7 hours).

    It's a WIN-WIN!!!

    Here's their calculator:

  11. Okay. I did not need to know this. What if I do a little jig, eat the Baby Ruth (yes, I know I changed it) and then spend the next hour on the phone and pacing nervously, whilst yelling at Taylor for spending too much green on take-out?

    Yeah, I thought so.

    I'm screwed.

  12. I REALLY needed to read that part about it taking 3500 calories burned a week to lose one STANKIN' pound! Ahhh!!! I try to go to the gym 3 days a week, but average maybe once. That's not doing any good! I need to start counting calories... You have inspired me!

  13. Sweet-britches: Yeppers! So glad you posted this. The great news is that we burn the most fat calories when we are doing the lowest intensity stuff (i.e. sleeping, reading a book, etc.). The even better news is that if you work out at all doing weight training as well as cardio - the muscle you are carrying around helps burn even more at rest! So, it is a WIN-WIN! Now if you'll excuse me - I think I might go eat 4 fun size MilkyWays then go take a long nap. Thanks Sweet Britches! ;)

    Kathryn: Don't feel too discouraged (see my response to Sweet Britches above). I do like the idea of doing a little jig, pacing nervously, while yelling at Taylor. It might help more than you think actually. ;)

    Kelley: There is good news (see my response to Sweet Britches above). A good site is this one if you want to start to monitor calories is:

    It also helps you track exercise and calories burned too. :)

  14. Ok, I really used to love reading your blog, but you have now destroyed any chance I have of rationalizing eating this damn Hershey bar. (Ok, so I still totally love reading your blog, but right now I'm so not happy that you have guilted me out of eating chocolate!)

  15. You are lucky. Eating candy causes me to conjugate Latin verbs.

  16. Catching up on the Hulabun-Binderclips adventures...

    I feel guilty about candy just reading this post. Thanks goodness I just got back from the gym...