Breaking up with 100 calorie packs

100 calorie pack

By Sarah Merion

Some genius marketer got a bonus a few years ago. They were sitting in their office, racking their brain because they had to be in a product development meeting in 10 minutes, and still had no clue as to how to market food to women (which is like trying to market ground turkey to a vegan).

But as this genius marketer was nervously shoving Doritos down their throat, something hit: OH GOD. They’re gone. No, not the marketer’s ideas.  (Those were gone long ago). The Dorito’s. They’re gone. Caught red (or yellowy orange) handed. There goes that diet of yours.

Walking tall into the product development meeting, Genius Marketer had it: Make bags of junk food that are portioned off into 100 calorie bags.  Women will go NUTS.

And so the story begins: 100 calorie packs were born.

The story continues. Now, we sit in my apartment. In my kitchen, specifically. I have all the varieties – Oreo, Graham Cracker, Cracker, Chex Mix.  Even those knock-off versions with the chocolate. Yum. My apartment had turned into a vending machine, and my life into a nightmare.

Initially, I bought these 100 cal packs because I was “on a diet” and “watching what I ate”. I used to have a food diary where I wrote down every single calorie I consumed. These 100 cal packs made my life so much easier and made me feel less guilty about eating, what I would normally deem as, “junk”.

The marketer got to me. They know my weak spot: justifying my food choices by restricting my ability to do math (despite knowing that 3×100 is still 300).

However, as my “diet” wore off and the pounds stopped shedding, I had an epiphany: I could not control myself with these 100 cal packs. What started as a way to ration my food intake quickly turned into reverse-psychological abuse and an INCREASE in calorie intake. It was time to let go.

What did I take away from breaking up with 100 cal packs?  I don’t need anyone else to ration my calorie intake but me. While they’re a great marketing phenomenon and great for the occasional snack, it’s much better (mentally and nutritionally better) to portion off myself a 100 cal snack that I make myself.

It’s easy to fall into marketing food traps, but it’s important to remember what is most effective: thinking for yourself and feeding yourself. No genius marketer can do that for you.

Photo Credit: ashtr

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