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The Grinch Who Stole Your Appetite

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

I'm sure many of you can relate. We all know -- and sometimes resent -- at least one ever-lean guy or gal whose waist size hasn't budged since high school. Yes, I was bitter for a long time, but I've come to accept the fact I cannot consistently pig out on fast food, junk food or any other calorie-rich food and expect to look or feel fit.

Don't get me wrong. I still indulge in many of the "bad foods" I've known and loved since childhood. The difference is I now know the enemy and avoid it 90 percent of the time. So when you see Mr. Bad Food flailing away at diet-unfriendly fare in his weekly column, please don't think of me as The Grinch... some heartless creature trying to rob you of something that makes you happy. Instead, treat my rants as warnings... warnings for the vast majority of us who weren't born with a turbocharged fat-burning metabolism!

The main course way back on January 2, 2002 was the Croissant Pockets Philly Steak & Cheese. I wrote... "According to the Chef America web page, a single serving (one croissant... about 4 1/2 ounces... 128 grams) has 350 calories, 16 grams of fat, 8 grams saturated fat, and 790 milligrams sodium. If you're like me and you wolf down the entire 9-ounce package, you're taking in 700 calories, 32 grams of fat, 16 grams of saturated fat and 1,580 milligrams of sodium (about 2/3 your recommended DAILY intake)."

January 9: "According to the Dunkin' Donuts website, a SINGLE biscuit/sausage/egg/cheese sandwich will slam you with 590 calories, 42 grams of fat (15 grams of saturated fat), 1,620 milligrams of sodium and 220 milligrams of cholesterol. Those numbers are horrible. There are many different donuts far less damaging. In fact, you can enjoy TWO of many of your favorite donuts and still walk away with a far better breakfast."

March 13: "Yes a McDonald's quarter-pounder has 430 calories and 21 grams of fat. By skipping the cheese I had saved myself 100 calories and 9 grams of fat. So instead of dwelling negatively on the burger I ate, I chose to feel proud for having skipped the many, many extra calories and fat I would have gobbled had I opted for my old favorite, the double quarter-pounder with cheese."

April 3 (Wendy's Garden Sensations): "The Spring Mix salad comes with iceberg and Romaine lettuce, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, red onions, carrots and cheddar cheese. (Does Wendy's have stock in cheddar cheese?) The nice-looking salad packs a mere 180 calories and 11 grams of fat. Sprinkle on the accompanying packet of honey-roasted pecans and you add another 130 calories and 13 grams of fat (your total rises to 310 cals and 24g fat). The packet of house vinaigrette dressing then clobbers you with a whopping 220 calories and 20 grams of fat. Eat it all and you walk away with less spring in your step because you've gulped down 530 calories and 44 grams of fat!

"The Mandarin Chicken salad includes iceberg and Romaine lettuce, spring salad mix, mandarin oranges and diced chicken. This basic model tallies a wispy 160 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. You want extras? Roasted almonds will shell you with an additional 130 calories and 12 grams of fat (total now 290 cals and 13.5g fat). The crispy rice noodles are a welcome treat at 60 calories and 2 grams of fat, but the Oriental sesame dressing will open you up to another 280 calories and 21 grams of fat! For the entire package, you'll pay with 630 calories and 36.5 grams of fat!

"On to the Taco Supremo salad and its iceberg and Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, cheddar cheese and Wendy's chili. For starters you get 360 calories and 17 grams of fat. Dig in with the taco chips and you'll add another 220 calories and 11 grams of fat. The sour cream will cost you 60 calories and 6 grams of fat, while the salsa is a steal at 30 calories and 0 fat. The filled out salad features a total of 670 calories and 34 grams of fat.

"Head back north of the border and opt for the Chicken BLT salad and you'll dig into iceberg and Romaine lettuce, spring salad mix, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, cheddar cheese, bacon pieces and diced chicken. The nutritional cost: 310 calories and 16 grams of fat. But weight... there's more! While the homestyle garlic croutons will set you back just 70 calories and 2.5 grams of fat, the honey mustard dressing will drown you with another 310 calories and 29 grams of fat. Ugh... the grand total now stands at 690 calories and 47.5 grams of fat."

April 10: "Just how bad is a Blazin' Twister? I'll provide you with the nutrition numbers from the official KFC website. An 8.7-ounce Blazin' Twister has 719 calories, 43 grams of fat (which is 66% of your suggested daily intake -- if you have the luxury of being on a 2,000-calorie diet), 12 grams saturated fat (61% RDA), 70mg cholesterol, 1,986mg sodium (a stunning 83% of your RDA), 57 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and 30 grams of protein."

June 26: "As my family gathered round the kitchen table to eat, I did some quick nutritional math. My McDonald's breakfast burritos alone had cost me much more than the buck each asking price: 580 calories, 32 grams of fat, 12 grams saturated fat, 340mg cholesterol (112% of my recommended daily allowance!), and 1,360mg sodium. And since the $1 menu had offered a double hash brown 'bargain,' I was now swallowing an additional 260 calories, 16 grams fat (3 saturated), 0 cholesterol, and 660mg sodium. The medium Coke Classic gulped an extra 210 calories. My gone-in-a-minute meal stuffed me with 1,050 calories, 48 grams of fat and a supersized side of guilt."

July 17: "For you novices, a Dairy Queen Blizzard is basically a cup of ice cream containing goodies like M&Ms and other candy bits of your choice. The All-American comes complete with red, white and blue M&Ms and a liberal dose of chocolate. A small (12oz.) packs 620 calories and 22 grams of fat; a medium (16oz.), 820 cals and 29g of fat; a large (21oz.) 1,130 cals and 39 grams of fat. Yes, we said 1,130 calories and 39 grams of fat."

August 28: "While strolling through the local Sam's Club last week I grabbed a bag of Tyson chicken wings and checked the label. At first glance, the news isn't all that terrible: a serving of Buffalo Hot Wings has 140 calories and 9 grams of fat (2.5 grams are the stick to your blood vessels saturated variety). The Honey BBQ version was slightly worse at 160 calories and 10 grams of fat (2.5 saturated). However... we are talking TWO WINGS per serving. When was the last time you attended a party and had just two wings? Never? Me too...

"One regular beer ranges between 150 to 200 calories, while a light beer has only about 100 calories. A 5-ounce glass of wine has about 100 calories, as does 1-ounce of alcoholic spirits such as vodka, gin or scotch."

October 23: "These XXL versions of that classic Swanson TV dinner are belly busters that'll sock you with nearly a full day's worth of fat and calories AND more than one day's worth of salt! The Southern Fried Boneless Chicken offering (a heavy disappointment if you ask me due to its lack of corn or a dessert) has 1,010 calories, 41 grams of fat (8 saturated), 155mg cholesterol, a stunning 3,180mg sodium, and 85 grams carbohydrates.

"The XXL Roasted Carved Turkey sports 970 calories, 40 grams of fat (12 saturated), 105mg cholesterol, 3,600mg sodium and 106 grams of carbs. The XXL Angus Beef Meatloaf has 860 calories, 48 grams of fat (20 saturated), 140mg cholesterol, 3,480mg sodium and 70grams of carbs."

November 13: "One Whopper with Cheese sandwich packs 795 calories, 53 grams of fat (19 saturated), 115mg cholesterol, 1,390mg sodium, 51 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and 39 grams of protein.

"According to the KFC website, 3 Crispy Strips have 340 calories, 16 grams of fat (4.5 saturated), 70mg cholesterol, 1,140mg sodium, 20 grams of carbs, 0 fiber and 28 grams of protein. The platter deal shown in the commercial features the standard sides of mashed with gravy (120 cals and 6g fat), cole slaw (232 cals and 13.5g fat) and biscuit (180 cals and 10g fat) for an additional 532 calories and 29.5 grams of fat. Ouch!"

December 4: "The experts will tell you that drinking alcohol is not associated with weight gain. However, when consumed in excess it can increase your weight. Any form of alcohol is a 'calorie-dense' food. At seven calories per gram, it packs almost twice as many calories as either carbohydrate or protein. This means a 12-ounce beer will provide 132 to 168 calories, a 5-ounce glass of wine has 85 to 145 calories and 1.5 ounces of liquor has 124 calories. Mix a 6-ounce non-diet carbonated drink to your whiskey and you add another 75 calories. This alone is a serious obstacle when youre trying to lose weight but those bowls of chips and nuts can also be made more tempting when your inhibitions are down."

Keep in mind that the above snippets are just a sampling of what Mr. Bad Food discusses week in and week out here in the Worst of the Worst Foods newsletter. Have a merry Christmas and a happier, healthier New Year!

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