For the past few months, I’ve been on a 1200 calorie baseline diet, which means I try to keep my daily calorie net intake at 1200, just enough to keep myself alive while maintaining a 500 calorie deficit. On days I don’t work out, I don’t eat more than 1200, but on days I do work out, I can eat more. So I’ve been calorie counting with My Fitness Pal, and what’s cool about the ap is that it has a lot of Asian foods on the menu, a staple in my diet.
At an LA Chinatown celebration, a friend of mine bought me a ham sui gok, a dim sum dish that is basically a fried starchy dumpling with meat inside. It’s one of my favorite dim sum dishes because it’s sweet, savory, and chewy. I popped it in my mouth, then pulled out my phone to log in the calories on My Fitness Pal, and it came up as 330 calories. I gawked at the count. It shouldn’t have surprised me so much how many calories it is because it’s fried and starchy and oily. Of course it’s going to be dense in calories, but mentally, I think of dim sum as a snack because, well, that’s what dim sum translates into in English. So a snack that’s 330 calories each? That’s worse than soda or a Snicker’s bar.
On a 1200 calorie diet, that means I get roughly four meals of only 300 calories each meal per day if I don’t work out, so eating just four of those ham sui gok dumplings would put me in the red, even if I only drink water.
I looked into the calorie counts of some other dim sum dishes on My Fitness Pal, and here’s what I got:
Sesame Seed Balls – 89 calories each
Chee Cheong Fun Shrimp Noodles – 160 calories each roll
Gai Bao Steamed Sweet Bun – 90 calories each
Ha Gao Shrimp Dumpling – 44 calories each
Dan Tat Egg Tart – 120 calories each
Lo Mai Gai Sticky Rice – 210 calories each
Sui Mai Pork Dumpling – 58 calories each
Looks like the trick is to stick with the steamed stuff and away from the fried stuff. I really love having a plate of Chee Cheong Fun Shrimp Noodles, but that’s three rolls which is 160 x 3 = 480 calories. It sure adds up.