I've never been much of a calorie counter, mainly because when I do, I get a bit obsessed with it. There's something a little too addictive about logging on to MyFitnessPal (other apps are available!) and calculating EXACTLY how many calories were in the swipe of butter that covered my crumpet in the morning, and offsetting it against the 20-minute brisk walk to the train station.
The day I calculated that a bagel had 260 calories in it was a dark day. 260! That's basically a cheeseburger! (Sort of.)
Seeing that you've managed to keep your daily intake under the elusive 1,000 cals mark is just too tempting. It feels too rewarding. So I don't. I avoid it like the plague.
There's nothing more off-putting than being up at the counter of a fast-food restaurant when you're really hungover, your eyeballs are stinging, you hate yourself and want to die a bit and the only thing that's going to make you feel even SLIGHTLY more human is that delicious burger, and then seeing the calorific details emblazoned next to the photo.
Eugh. If I feel gross enough that I really want a Bargain Bucket, there's no way in hell that I want to be guilted into oblivion by seeing that a portion of the delicious, slutty, greasy chicken has way over my entire daily calorific intake in it.
I know it's bad. I know that. I know that my arteries are screaming at me and that my skin, hair and nails will hate me for it. I know that my thighs and arse are really not going to appreciate me for eating it one tiny bit.
But when I want fried chicken, no fucker's gonna get in between me and that counter, and stop me from loving every last second.
I love sweeties. Love them. I eat way too many of them. I realized a couple of weeks ago, after another trip to the dentist, that I really ought to try and curb my addiction a little -- when you can't get through an afternoon without ploughing through a bag of fizzy strawberry laces and the thought of going home to a Haribo-less home causes a small-scale anxiety attack you know you have issues.
Luckily, I've never been much of a chocolate girl. Thank God. I couldn't deal with that too. SO MANY VICES!
Like the nutritional details on fast food boards, in the UK, supermarkets use recognizable "traffic light" labeling, the "healthy" green meaning "Go ahead, this snack is brilliant for you and will maybe even give you some nutritional benefit!", the orange saying "Don't feel too bad, but maybe go jogging later or something" and the red snarling at you -- "If you eat this you will die alone before you're 50. Enjoy." I hate it.
The thing is I know that the GDA labeling and traffic light system is a good thing. It informs people and helps consumers make healthy choices. But it's bumming me out. I'm getting the guilts.
I do eat healthily a lot of the time. Our dinners at home during the week are always fresh and made from scratch with lots of vegetables. But I do like a weekend blow out. But if I want to treat myself to something REALLY naughty, I don't want to have to think about the long-term consequences. Does that just sum me up really? Sticking my head in the delicious, deep-fried sand?
Tell me I'm being a big baby in the comments! Or tell me your favorite treat foods. That's more fun! Mine is nearly always chicken in some kind of fried form. Is there anything better? I'm yet to find it.
Avoiding nutritional labeling over on Twitter: @Natalie_KateM.