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Our Facebook BariatricEating Support Group registered its 16,000th member this week. With this many people, patterns pop in a very short time and its clear to me and our ten group admins that many of you need help with grasping the calorie counts of the foods you consume. You are eating wayyyyyy too much cheese! This is not a blame game, but a testament to the fact we didn’t know how to eat right and simply having surgery didn’t magically infuse that knowledge.
200 Calories… BOOM!
IMPORTANT: Cheese is not a calorie free food. It’s actually quite high in calories. One slice of deli cheese is 100 calories. Four cheese cubes, two pair of cheese dice are 200 calories. When I went sideways a few years ago, one of the ‘healthy’ foods I used to sabotage my weight loss was Swiss cheese. I would buy an entire pound of Boars Head Swiss each week. What could be wrong with Swiss Cheese when there wasn’t any bread or crackers involved? Lots.
A little Late Night Snack
I was not sleeping very well and while watching The Real Housewives or late night drama I’d head to the fridge and eat a couple of slices of cheese. Rinse and repeat. It is easy for a bariatric post op to eat 500 calories in cheese. It chews up really smooth and is easy to eat. Oooops!
Put the cheese on the table & step back!
Some of you are drowning in Cheese. Our recipe for Chicken Crust Pizza is healthy if you use 1 cup, which is 4 ounces of shredded part skim mozzarella, on an entire Pizza. Some of your pies appear to have double or triple that. Our recipe for Cheesy Meatball Skillet calls for 1 cup total, which is just 4 ounces of shredded part skim mozzarella, but in some of your photos you can’t tell there are meatballs under all that melted cheese. Even the ‘cheese crackers’ you are baking – if you make two slices into 8 ‘crackers’ that is 200 calories just like that. Poof. None of these foods are bad, but they can be high calorie in small amounts!
a2 + b2 = c2
Maybe the math is part of the problem. There is a difference between 1 cup of milk which is 8 fluid ounces and 1 cup of cheese which is 4 ounces shredded measured by weight. There are different measuring cups! That glass one with the red markings is for liquids and the metal one is for solids. Cheese is measured in ounces of weight. One ounce of cheese by weight is about 100 calories.
Let’s talk about cream cheese: It is super high in fat! No eating of cream cheese, rolling it up with ham or blending it into ‘Zoodles’ Alfredo, or tuna salad, or melting it into anything ‘for extra creaminess’. No no no adding four ounces of cream cheese to a main dish supper – that’s 1/4 pound of cream cheese! I used to love cream cheese and would put an obscene amount on an English muffin or bagel. I have not done this in fifteen years. EXCEPTION: If you are making a sugar free cheesecake for a party or special occasion, its a dessert, you know it’s a dessert and you may have a small portion after a protein meal. No adding cream cheese to main dishes though. Big difference.
What is a pound?
It takes 3500 calories to either Gain or Lose ONE Pound. If you eat 3500 extra calories you’ll GAIN one pound. If you save 3500 calories, you’ll LOSE one. Doesn’t it already seem harder to lose weight than to gain it? I was eating 16 ounces of cheese a week… which is 1600 calories… which means ‘in theory’ every two weeks I was gaining one pound from my late night mindless cheese raid alone. Food for thought. You can gain weight eating too much ‘heathy’ food.
It’s time to cut the cheese! Or at least know what you are eating.