Home » All posts » Calories: The 11 kinds you don’t need to count


There are, of course, two kinds of calories. The ones that count… And the ones that don’t. Like these:

1. Research & development calories: those that don’t qualify as proper food, because you can’t yet serve them as such. I’m talking cake-mix-bowl scrapings, gravy-tastings, cheese-sauce checkings. Don’t count.

2. In transit calories: these occur while you’re en route to somewhere else. The banana peeled as you walk to the kitchen, the nuts swiped from the larder which is on the way to the front door. Don’t count.

3. Duplicate account calories: The ones that have already been counted on someone else’s spreadsheet, which you cannot therefore re-tally. The left-over half fishfinger that belonged to a child. A crust of cold buttered toast abandoned because we’re going to be late, again. Don’t count.

4. Marketing, sales and promotions calories. Think cubes of cheese on the deli counter, freebies handed out in the shopping centre, complimentary nibbles at the cinema screening. Don’t count.

5. Cleaning service calories. The house-keeping calories: wiping the dribble of cream off the tub. A last, sorry biscuit, all ragged-edged and cracked, that’s stopping you from rinsing out the biscuit jar. That lonely jelly baby, in a packet that’s just taking up space. Don’t count.

6. Team-building calories. It’s your birthday? You’ve passed the exam? Got the promotion? You’ve brought cake? Well. It would be rude not to! Don’t count.

7. Customer service calories. These are not for you, they’re for the greater good. You’ve sit down to an important meeting with a potential client, and they go and break out the bourbons. Want the contract? You are duty-bound to accept. Don’t count.

8. Project-completion calories. These are productivity aids: good for concentration, focus and motivation. Like the salted cashews sitting here, on my desk. Right now, as I aim to polish this off before I polish them off. Whoops, all gone! And I’m only on number 8. Don’t count.

9. Waiting for feedback calories. Ignore these, because they happen while you’re not actually eating, but waiting for some other event to take place. Handful of raisins while the kettle’s boiling? A cheese straw before the guests arrive? Don’t count.

10. Good practice calories. You’ve got to model good behaviour. Those around you need to understand how to act politely and considerately. They need to know, for example, that it’s important that they share their Quavers. Don’t count.

Thanks for reading this. Go on, have a biscuit. You deserve it! I know I do. (AKA 11: Reward calories.

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