Dim Sum and Income

by Annie on October 14, 2008 · 4 comments

in Eating Healthy


Photo by Fireflyxvi.

I am dim sum out. I never thought I would ever live to write those words. I do not want to eat another dim sum meal until 2009. Growing up, my family would only have dim sum 3 – 4 times a year and always on a pay week for my dad. The fact that I had it twice this weekend made me feel like I am upgrading my standard of eating. When I feel the alarm bells ringing like this, I know it is time for to do some cooking this week.

I notice that as incomes increase with my friends, the frequency of eating at restaurants also increases. It almost seems to be an inevitable conclusion, along with an expanding waistline. When you are a DINK (dual income no kids), most people assume that you eat out every meal. People are often surprise when I tell them 2 times each week is my maximum for eating at restaurants (and that includes take out).

According to the National Restaurant Association, “household income of $75,000 or more eat an average of 4.9 commercially prepared meals per week, compared with 3.2 meals for those with an income of less than $15,000.”

Assume that the typical restaurant meal is between 1,000 – 1,500 calories (and that is not including the calories in the drinks).

The typical calorie requirement in order to maintain your weight for a female is approximately 10 times your weight.

Photo by:  Jess Lander.

I need approximately 1400 calories a day (I weigh 140 pounds) in order to maintain my weight. That is 450 calories per meal if I have 3 meals a day.

So eating a 1000 calorie restaurant meal would cause me to have a surplus of 550 calories with each meal. If I eat at restaurants 5 times per week following the statistics for our income level, that is a surplus of 2,750 calories each week. This would translate to 3.5 pounds of weight gain each month. I cannot afford that. I am not sure anyone can afford this kind of weight gain on a regular basis.

I am sure my friends know that restaurant meals have more calories than is good for them. But as their incomes increase, we have more discussions about eating at YZ restaurant vs. XY restaurant. I often do not have much to contribute to restaurant discussions or to any TV shows discussions (I refuse to pay for TV!) which sometimes make me feel like such a bore.

Until next time and thanks for stopping by Small Steps to Health.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Parker October 15, 2008 at 2:52 pm

I understand what you mean about eating out. Personally, I don’t eat out that much. I just do it for special occassions.

However, I’m a recent University graduate and in my first job so maybe as my income increase so will the number of trips to restaurants.

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asithi October 16, 2008 at 8:58 am

@Tom – you find that as you get older, it becomes harder to spend time with your friends like the way you used to in school. But the thing that everyone bonds over is always food. And since very few people actually like preparing meals for a group of people, that leaves restaurant food. Thanks for commenting Tom.

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MizFit October 17, 2008 at 3:37 am

amen to your comment above asithi.

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kai November 20, 2009 at 4:14 am

Yikes!10 times your weight in pounds is not very accurate-weight,age,height and activity levels all need to be taken into account.Assuming you do no exercise-at all,have a desk job and drive to work 1400 calories a day would still only be enough for an 80 year old woman of well under 5ft in height! 2000 calories a day for a woman is a good starting point for women between the ages of 20-50 of average height who are relatively active.Obviously a short,slim inactive person will need a lot less than a weighty hockey player!lets imagine a 25-35 yr old woman of average height at 140lbs who does no exercise AT ALL -she should be able to happily eat 1700+ without putting on an ounce! So eat up!

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