So with all that as the background context, I have to say it was pretty interesting to count calories and consider carbs for a month. It was essentially new to me. And I generally enjoy keeping personal statistics.
I snack without thinking about it, especially when the snacks are free.
Example: there are lollipops on the counter at the bank. Every time I go there I get two. Its not like I am hungry, but they are free and tasty and there. So, I eat two. Being mostly vegan is a help here though. If its free, but loaded with dairy or eggs I can resist. Free vegan food though I will always take. Always. I will eat free junk food I would never pay my own money for, too. Its an interesting double standard.
I have a hard time stopping once I start snacking, especially with hyper-processed foods I don't usually eat.
Example: I visited some friends and ate an entire days worth of calories in just Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos and Golden Oreos. (This is where I must mention that just because its vegan does not mean its good for you.) This was of course in addition to my meals. It was madness, but I just couldn't stop. Doritos get me every time. I cannot seem to help myself. The whole bag must be consumed in one setting. Its sort of absurd, really, but knowing that doesn't stop me. That is why I don't buy them myself.
Parties get the best of me, snack-wise.
Example: I ate 1800 calories at our August Bunco party--800 of which came just from Swedish Fish! I was shocked at myself when I calculated that out. This lesson is related to the previous one. Once I start I have a hard time stopping. Since my party snacking is not an every day occurrence I don't mind such an indulgence, but it made me do some serious thinking about how quickly I could lose my health and pile on the pounds if I snacked like that more regularly.
Alcohol is my biggest source of liquid calories--and one that is easy to forget about.
Example: I like these fruity drinks called Raz-ber-itas. Since they are certainly not part of a meal I must consider them a snack. They come in little bitty 8 oz cans. Yet each packs more than 200 calories and heaven knows how many grams of sugar. That is why they are so delicious! Beer is not much better, though it does contain less added sugar. I don't regularly drink juice or soda anymore (though I once considered myself a soda junkie), but I do enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two every couple days, especially on the weekends. And they add up more than I would have thought. My friend Hannah quit drinking alcohol a while back now and has since lost 20 pounds. They don't call it beer belly for nothing.
When I am feeling snacky I don't go for fruits and vegetables. I go for grains.
Example: I was staring into the fridge loaded with garden fresh cucumbers and peppers, homemade applesauce, grapes, and other fruits and veg and all I could think about was how I wanted tortilla chips or a big slice of bread. I don't think snacking on fruits and veg would be a bad thing. In fact, it would probably be a good thing. But all those grains are probably unnecessary. It makes me think of something I've said to children in my life, "If you're not hungry enough for an apple you cannot really be that hungry." I should tell that to myself more often, too, I guess!
I am doing another challenge in September, but its more personal, so I don't think I'll be blogging about it.