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A little exercise in the importance of numbers

April 22, 2009

Subway touts their 6g of fat sandwiches. And all this is true. But read the fine print:

Subs with 6 grams of fat or less include wheat bread, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, green peppers and olives. All other sandwich values include cheese unless otherwise noted.
Salads contain meat/poultry, standard vegetables and do not include salad-dressing or croutons.
Addition of other condiments and fixings will alter nutrition values.

I didn’t really read this until today when I asked how many calories their yummy Southwest Chipotle dressing was. I had been eliminating the cheese, which was easy because it’s so flavorless there wasn’t any point. However, until the last few times I had a Subway (my favorite choice being the Oven Roasted Chicken Breast), I’d been adding Fat Free Honey Mustard. That got boring. So I thought I’d switch it up and changed to the Chipotle Southwest and Light Mayonnaise.

Okay, so this may be obvious to many that the dressing would increase the calorie count, and it was to me, for the most part, which is probably why I was choosing the Fat Free Honey Mustard in the first place. I have a super low cal (5 calories per tbsp) Chipotle mustard at home, so I guess I incorrectly assumed this must be similar. Oh man, was I wrong. 

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Of course, I would pick the sauce that’s the highest in fat on their menu. It’s like when I go window shopping, I gravitate to the most expensive item in the store. It’s only natural.

Anyway, I digress.

Note that these calorie amounts are for 1.5 tablespoons. Anyone whose ever been to a Subway knows they don’t just put on 1.5 tablespoons of dressing. They slather and squirt the insides with the condiments. The more, the better, right?

Let’s play with a few numbers, shall we? (It’s enlightening to me, and entertaining, even if no one else is interested. So, hopefully, some of you will play along.)

The Oven Roasted Chicken Breast sandwich as defined (remember the fine print above) is:

  • 320 cals / 5 g fat / 5 g fiber – which equals 6 points

Now, imagine that they put only one serving of the Chipotle Southwest sauce on the sandwich.

  • 100 cals / 10 g fat / 0 g fiber – which equals 3 points

That’s 9 points total for the sandwich – IF you have it precisely as defined above – and 9 points, or under 500 calories, isn’t too bad for a six inch sandwich.

However, let’s be a bit more realistic, shall we?

Sometimes I’m just ravenously hungry and want the whole foot-long sandwich. That means I need to double the data.

That makes the sandwich alone 13 points.

With approximately three tablespoons of sauce (which is a close guesstimate), add another 6 points.

That makes the whole foot-long a whopping 19 points, or 840 calories, with about 30 g of fat.

Yup, indeedy. This is what I ate last Saturday after my supah dupah long walk with my girlfriends.

And this brings me back to yesterday’s post about why I need to be so diligent – and precise – about tracking and counting my points. I sort of guessed that day – calculated a double, UN-condimented serving of the sandwich as 12.5 points when I really should have logged in 19 points. That’s another whole meal’s worth of points. I only get 22 points per day.

Do that a few times in a week here and there, just kinda guessing, and it can add up to kinda gaining at the scale.

The choice to eat the whole foot long just isn’t worth it to me any more, now that I know this.

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3 Comments
  1. run4change permalink
    April 22, 2009 5:43 pm

    you hit the nail on the head on this one lil’ miss. It is essential to count the points properly. As I have done with my coffee creamer counting it as 2 when really it was like 8-10. I just lied to myself. I stopped that and lost 3 lbs over the next two weeks. HAHA You are awesome

  2. April 22, 2009 5:45 pm

    Thanks, Jason – I think you are awesome too! It’s a learning process all the way, isn’t it? I love being enlightened this way – one reason I don’t get depressed when the scale shows a gain. It means I need to figure it out, and it *always* means I counted wrong and ate wrong. Every. single. time.

  3. April 22, 2009 6:24 pm

    I always thought I was eating so healthy because I LOVE salads. It was a real eye opener (though it shouldn’t have been) when I looked at how BAD my favorite dressings and toppings were for me.

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