Last updated on April 12th, 2017
In dieting, as in most areas of life, averages can be deceptive. Take my daily averages of calories and net carbs consumed for last week — 1, 831 and 39 grams respectively. And 72% of calories from fat. Not bad, not bad at all. Those averages imply a low-cal, low-carb consistency over the seven days, a steely resolve to eat the right way every day.
Like I said, averages can be deceptive. On Thursday, I ate a single meal at Applebee’s that ballooned my day’s calories to almost 2, 600. My net carbs soared to 96 grams.
I’m calling it Black Thursday. I ate more than 100 actual grams of carbohydrates in day for the first time in months, maybe even years.
How did this happen? How could this happen?
It all started with Anita leaving me for three days to attend a professional conference. Freed from her stabilizing influence, I made a couple of dubious choices when I took my mother (nearly 90 and going strong) and younger daughter to dinner.
First, I chose to share an appetizer of boneless, skinless, Buffalo chicken wings with ranch dressing. The sharing went something like this: Mom (20%). Daughter (40%), Jim (40%).
Suspecting that the wings had been a border-line terrible choice, I tried to compensate with my choice of entree: a nice shrimp and spinach salad with slivered almonds.
Oh, and dressing. A kind of sweet dressing, but tasty.
Admittedly, the sweetness worried me a little. But grilled shrimp, fresh spinach, and slivered almonds — how bad could that be?
According to the nutritional information tables provided online by Applebee’s, it could be pretty bad. The full salad contains 1,000 calories, 66g fat, 67g carbs, 12g fiber, and 44g protein. A lot of the carbs come from sugar — 51g worth.
Yes, the dressing was kind of sweet, all right. I knew it. You can’t fool ol’ Jim!
Not much you can’t.
Looking back, I should’ve order a rib-eye and broccoli. And skipped the Buffalo wings. Assuming I accurately estimated my share of the wings, they contributed another 490 calories and 24g of net carbs to my meal.
Some appetizer. You should have no appetite left after that.
Do I blame Applebee’s for this Black Thursday debacle? No, the chain provides detailed nutrition tables online, and identifies a few lower-calorie (though not necessarily lower-carb) items on its menu. With a little preparation, a person could eat a decent lower carb meal there.
A person has to step up and take responsibility for his or her own choices.
Her choices, in this case. That’s right, I blame Anita.
Who left me, after all? And for the flimsiest reason! I mean, what’s more important — my waist-line or her professional accreditation?
I’m tempted to give out her personal email address so that all of you can express your outrage to her on my behalf.
But since Anita usually has about 10, 000 messages in her inbox, that would be pointless and could lead to retaliation. Have I mentioned that she’s half Sicilian?
Well, my darling lucked out. I somehow lost weight anyway, slightly over two pounds for the week. I’m down to 222.4 pounds.
I guess that shows you the power of averages.