OK, you're on a diet and you want a serving of chips. Let's say Lay's Light Chips (my personal favorite). Naturally you read the nutrition label and see that the serving size is 21 chips for 75 calories. That's a lot of chips! Excitedly you begin.
You grab both sides of the bag and pull. That fresh chip aroma bursts forth. Mmmmm. Your mouth waters and you eagerly reach in to find your first large, lovely chip. Like "The Count" on Sesame Street you mentally drone, "One. One chip. Ah Ah Ah." Easy, right? You reach in again. You want to make the experience last and you lightly pluck your second large, lovely chip. "Two. Two chips. Ah Ah Ah." (Ok, lets forget the Ah Ah Ahs.)
And so you go. Three, four, five, six, seven, eight .... eight? As you pull out chip number eight you realize to your horror that it's not a whole chip! Not even a small, whole chip. It's a (imagine a scream from an old horror flick here) chip fragment!!!
Now you only have a half a chip. You peer over the edge into the bag and scan the surface for the other half of your chip. No luck. You put it back and select another one. Chip nine is definitely a runt. Disappointing. Surely you could take another small chip to replace the "chip-loss" from the last two. You eat a small chip and don't count it.
The further down the bag you go, the weaker the chip quality. Ten, eleven, eleven-and-a-half. Hmmmmm ... now you need another half. There it is! Twelve! Two more small ones makes thirteen. This is ridiculous! They can put a man on the moon and they can't sell a bag with 21 whole chips in it? You shake the bag and find what appears to be the last large, lovely chip.
It doesn't take long to realize you must have gone over a single serving size by now. Bummer. You didn't want to gyp yourself, but this isn't worth a weight gain either. Then it comes to you - go for a second serving of chips! And so the counting continues...
To be honest, I'm really embarrassed even to be writing this. But I believe that more than one diet has spiraled out of control starting with the frustrations of chip counting.
The only way I've been able to overcome this is to buy a food scale. They keep us honest. No, not one with a spring and a little red needle that measures LESS if you look down on it and MORE if you look up on it. I mean a digital scale where one ounce equals one serving, no matter the size of the chip.
Get one and you'll finally conquer one of the most challenging tasks in diet-dom .... counting potato chips.
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