I’m not going to lie, I’m super happy about this…
Beginning May 5th, vending machines that are not currently posting calorie counts are going to have to display those numbers. I’m not sure if the average person cares enough about the statistics, but perhaps it will encourage folks to be more mindful about their choices – for themselves, and their families. A bag of M&Ms once in a blue moon won’t really hurt anyone. But give that to your child any time you see a vending machine, and it’s going to be a serious problem.
According to Fda.gov, there are a few changes in play – for example, chain restaurants (20 or more locations nationwide) will also have to comply with posting caloric stats on their menus and menu boards.
Do I count calories? Absolutely NOT. Having been through two very severe eating disorders (anorexia and exercise bulimia), its dangerous territory for me to monitor myself on that micro level. That said, I take note just enough to make healthy choices.
After having scrutinized labels and stats to the hilt, I know probably more than I should! The benefit, though, is that I have a good sense of what an appropriate “bang for the buck” is, calorically speaking, with respect to my dietary needs. I don’t base my needs on a number, but rather I feel out how I’m doing weight wise based on what I DO eat. If I feel I’m seeing a little bit of weight stick to me, or my usual clothing isn’t fitting properly, I make sure I address it. If I get too lean (that’s not really a problem), or I work out extra hard (that DOES happen!) I make sure to have more. Typically I don’t fluctuate too much, but I also know that SOME fluctuation is totally normal – it may, in fact, just be water weight or water retention. I’ve learned to go easy in that department and expect the tiny ups and downs, as we all should.
My personal nutritional choices are designed to maintain what I have – to fuel and support my muscle, to keep me healthy, and at a healthy – and MANAGEABLE – weight for myself. The second we get unrealistic, that’s the second we lose the battle.
So having these statistics more available – and visible – when we need a snack in a pinch, is a wonderful thing. I wouldn’t want to tally ad infinitum (personal choice, again based on my background) but I DO like to have a sense of the nutritional profiles of the vending machine selections – in this way I can make the best choices possible based on my goals. Hopefully this will encourage others to choose cleaner options as well – the fuel we take it does make a difference, especially the kind we choose consistently.