Ahh, summertime! The time for flowers, sun, and BARBECUES! Upon the suggestion of one of my adoring fans (ha!), I have painstakingly researched this topic. I have found that it is exceedingly difficult to track calorie consumption during an outdoor schmorgesport. I have tried counting calories in my head - which can be done with some accuracy when one is sober, but increases in difficulty as crown royal flows in the bloodstream. I have tried counting calories using dots with a sharpie on my wrist. While effective, this has obvious downfalls related to the nerdiness and sharpie stains on one's clothing. I have tried making healthy choices, but I am always beaten when confronted with delicious, homemade concoctions. Anyone who can choose a plateful of celery over a chocolate brownie or fresh cut french fries is just not right in the head. Time and time again, my sensible eating throughout a week is sabotaged by a shin dig or soiree.
For my past few battles with banquets, I have grudgingly (double ha!) filled my plate to the brim with various edibles in an attempt to come up with an average number of calories per plate. This is all for science, of course. My theory here is that a paper plate can only hold so much due to its size and durability, so if I can establish an average number of calories per plate, then I can just count plates. I have been using this strategy for years in order to limit my alcohol consumption. (I have had a few mishaps over the years, but it generally works well. I developed this plan in my sophomore year, rationalizing that if I can no longer count the number of beers I have consumed, then I have consumed enough.)
I have been to two parties and a funeral over the past month, and I have diligently piled my (full size 10-in) plates to the brim with ham and baked beans, meatballs, bacon-wrapped scallops, potato salad, and whatever else I could reasonably squeeze into the allotted space. In the name of science, I stuffed all the flavors into my mouth, and savored each one. The results are surprisingly consistent, which validates my theory considerably. Each plate was very close to 1000 calories.
I know!! It is a bit embarrassing to admit that I have eaten so much each time, but now I know. And so do you, constant reader!! Those plates of hot dogs and potato chips add up fast. And this does not include dessert. (By the way, most desserts have around 350 calories on average...)
As the fourth of July rears its grilling head, I offer the following advice: PLAN ahead, put all your food on a PLATE, and indulge in life's PLEASURES.