The other day, my husband Jeff and I had the good fortune to attend a Yankees game at the year-old stadium. Among the pleasures of being at a ballgame is a day to suspend my usual nutrition rules and to have some fun for a change.
So there we were, perusing the food choices when I spotted the calorie counts besides the offerings. 297 calories for a Nathan’s hot dog. 485 calories for a steak sandwich on a garlic roll. 1236 calories for a serving of crinkle-cut fries.
Seeing the calories laid out before me definitely took the wind out of my gastronomic sails, but they’re required in the Big Apple. I was not about to order my own fries, knowing that they were more than 1,200 calories. Jeff and I agreed to split them. Still not good, but definitely a little better. And forget the steak sandwich. I was having a hot dog instead. Hardly a healthy choice, but again, health was all relative in the ballpark.
During the game, Jeff was about to order some a bag of peanuts when he spotted the calorie count on the hawker’s button: 1,190 calories. Yikes. The money went back in the wallet. We each got a Turkey Hill ice cream sandwich instead for 320 calories – and were delighted to see that the label said it was only 240 calories, with some calcium for bone health to boot.
Does seeing the calorie count prevent us from eating more? Probably. It’s definitely forced me to reconsider my choices more than once. But for those of us who take in only an occasional game, we still want our greasy offerings.
That’s when the 80-20 rule comes to mind. If I’m virtuous 80 percent of the time, I can have some fun the remaining 20 percent.