Eating Sensibly

What you need to understand about food labels.

If you’re like most people who ride dirt bikes, you ride, do some sort of excersize in-between riding, and you try to eat sensibly. Yet you still can’t shake those last few pounds, the ones that hang over your kidney belt giving you “Dunlaps” Disease (when your belly dun-lap over your belt).

If you want o stay lean and mean or want to shed excess pounds you will need to be able to understand what the “nutrition facts” label on food packaging means. These labels are printed on virtually every package of food sold in the US. The Food and Drug Administration has mandated that all packages of consumable goods have certain identifying information based on the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) that will aid the public in understanding how it can maintain healthy eating habits.

So let”s take a closer look… go grab a box of your favorite goodies as we go through some of the more important details. First find the rectangular box that identifies “Nutrition Facts”

Probably the most important piece of information is the serving or portion size. Just because a can of soup says 180 calories per serving does not mean that you can wolf down the entire can after a tough ride or workout. The catch here is there are two servings per can making the total calories per can 360 and double the information on the Nutrition Facts box. If you add a couple slices of bread (250 calories each) to the experience it makes for an 860 calorie meal. In addition, the whole can will give you nearly 2 milligrams of salt- bad for high blood pressure and the maximum RDA.

Let’s take a look at peanut butter – everyone’s favorite. The serving size is two table spoons at about 200 calories each. This would give you about 400 calories. Unless you want to spoon it out of the jar, you will likely spread it on a slice of bread, or two to make a sandwich, another 500 calories for a total of 900. This is before you wash it down with an 8oz.  glass of whole milk at 150 calories per cup. I usually have two glasses, there goes another 300 calories. And we haven’t even gotten into talking about the fat content in food. But that is for another time. The point of all this is that we understand the importance and impact of the amount and types of foods we are consuming.

Following are some general guidelines for a 180 lb to 220 lb male should be consuming each day. Assuming that he eats 2,200 calories a day to stay fit.

2,200 calories per day

  • not more than 30% of calories from fat
  • not more than 30 grams of fat
  • Less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol
  • Protein,  about 1 to 1 1/2 grams for each 2 lbs of body weight
  • Not more than 2 grams of salt
  • Carbohydrates, about 300 grams

Here’s an exercise just for fun, make a list of everything you eat for three successive days. be sure to write down how many calories are in each serving and how many servings you had for each item. At the end of three days add up for each day only the calories you consume. If you are a 2,200 calorie per day person and you eat 3,000 calories per day, don’t be surprised by the belly you have. in less than a week you will add a pound of fat to your body. In general 3,500 extra calories is all it takes to add one pound of fat. And vice-versa, to lose a pound of fat you must burn 3,500 calories.

Here is a link to help you determine how many calories are in the food you eat www.caloriesperhour.com

Until next time!