The other day I was walking around my neighborhood with my boyfriend when we got into a terrible fight – about munchkins. He was trying to tell me that there are seven munchkins in one Dunkin’ donut (his explanation included volume calculations and names of shapes that only a math major would know) and I was all like, “NO WAY JOSE, there are definitely like 4.” (Spoiler alert: I was closer).
disagreement conversation got me thinking: How many people are putting away like 10 Dunkin’ munchkins thinking it’s the equivalent of just one donut? And even though in this scenario I was right(ish), how many times do I choose something I think’s better for me better for me (or at least less of a calorie bomb) when I’m actually guessing wrong?
So I did some investigating. Match ups include: salad vs pizza, Oreos vs m&m’s, tortillas vs a surprise, Magnolias vs Baked By Melissa and of course: how many munchkins equal 1 Dunkin’ donut.
While I was doing the research for this post, I found a couple of things that surprised me. First off, I was pretty shocked that the Baked By Melissa’s were so low cal – no more than 50 calories a piece for all of their original flavors, according to their website. (Full disclosure: I’m not the hugest cupcake fan – unless they’re vegan and gluten-free, in which case, give me all the cupcakes – but I was still curious, these things are everywhere.) I was similarly surprised that Oreos give you so much bang for your buck. I should note that just because these things are lower in calorie than I had thought doesn’t mean I’d recommend making them an everyday staple. But, if you’re going to indulge every now and then, it is kind of nice to know what you’re getting yourself into.
I was also really pleased and horrified by the salad comparison. I know that salads with the works can be really filling, but it’s pretty hard to believe that lettuce and a few toppings can get you to the same number of cals as nearly one and a half pizzas. Speaking of which, definitely having an Amy’s pizza for dinner tonight.
I wasn’t that shocked by the Chipotle tortilla – those things are wicked good but enormous, plus I’ve always been sensitive to the fact that wraps are often higher cal than normal bread. But as bad as a bagel? Jeez louise, burrito bowl me please.
In the end, having a general understanding of calories is a super great skill to have, especially if you are looking to tone up or lose weight since the general formula for weight loss is calories in<calories burned. When I’m looking to tone up, I love the app MyFitnessPal, which has the nutrition information and calorie count for thousands of foods.
With that said, there are a couple of other things to consider. First of all, not all calories are equal. For example, calories from protein take more energy to burn so a diet high in protein can help you reach your fitness goals even faster. You also want to make sure your diet is varied and balanced enough so that you are getting all the nutrients you need. But calories are undeniably a big part of the equation – so keep that in mind next time you’re choosing between a couple munchkins and a donut ;)
Are you surprised by any of the results?
What are your favorite low calorie swaps?
Until next time!