I Ate 100 Calories

Diet coke and a pizza, please


Giant cupcake comes from here


You know those 100-calorie snack packs, right? They come in all kinds of shapes, flavors, and colors: from bright orange Cheetohs to pastel-pink cuppy cakes. It’s a great idea. Because each 100-calorie snack is packaged separately, you’re not tempted to gorge on a whole bag.


Does this approach really work on actual humans? Believe me, if I wanted more than 8 Goldfish crackers or 6 infant-sized Oreos, I would have absolutely no qualms about ripping open a second, third, fourth package. It’s just cellophane, people! Do you really feel that bad about taking another little bag from the ridiculously overpriced box of six and tearing it open?

I decided to give it a try and see if I could stop after only 100 calories.

Typically, I prefer my cupcakes to be the size of dinner platters. If they’re particularly good, I can stop at six. Unless there’s a ton of frosting. Then it’s eight.



Look! Instead of two normal cupcakes, you get three wee ones. And people, they are wee.



Yeah, the cupcake really is that small (It is also that blurry. So is the penny. Shut up.)

Who can eat anything so small? It’s ridiculous. It’s a novelty cupcake. It doesn’t even deserve the name “cupcake.” Maybe “thimblecake” or “atomcake.”

After I get over the shock of the teeny tiny size, I’m assaulted by an overpowering strawberry aroma. Oof, it’s like Mr. Bubble, and yes, I do speak from vast experience. Geez! OK, it’s strawberry. I get it. No need to knock me unconscious. The label says “Cream Cheese Icing,” but this is a lie.


Theoretically, these cakelets can be eaten in two bites. This really only works if you’re imitating a prissy old lady  pretending to be having tea with other old ladies, where everyone is nibbling tea cakes with pursed lips and a delicate mincing of teeth. You know. Like, “Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp. Oh, my dear Harriet. These are really ever so delicious but I cannot possibly eat another morsel! 3 atoms of crumbs is all I’m allowed per day!”

I’m no delicate old lady, but I bit one in two here for the purpose of science:


What a joke. There’s barely enough in my mouth to chew. If you take one bite, be prepared to just swallow it whole, because how do you chew three crumblets? The other two I popped into my mouth as if they were gumballs.

They’re not bad, once you get over the smell. The creamy inside is rather pleasant, and the “frosting” isn’t even as hard and rigid as you find on your typical Hostess Cupcake.

The verdict? I am NOT tempted to rip open another package. Possibly because I paid almost four dollars (Dave! Stop reading!) for a box of these so-called cupcakes, but more likely because I’m saving my appetite for that giant cupcake at the top.

How many bites to finish off that one?

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39 Responses to “I Ate 100 Calories”

  1. 1 Grace

    I’m with you on those 100-calorie packages. Morsel for morsel they are stupid expensive. If you really want/need to cut back then just cut back for pete’s sake. Eat one of the real thing and close the box. I buy individually wrapped biscotti – cheating? No, not really. It keeps them fresher and I can feel self-righteous eating only one…Now doughnuts – you gotta tie my hands down or tape my mouth shut; can never eat just one. (definitely gotta do 3 days a week at the gym).

    Grace’s last blog post..A Sunday Morning song…

  2. 2 Stephanie Barr

    Odd, I eat 100 calories many times a day, but not because of the snack packs. I just like eating.

    I do buy a lot of individual servicing size of things, though, because I have two munchkins here that, if the got hold of a big bag of anything, will run off into my son’s room, eat as much of it as they can, pull out another couple of servings to crumble up into ant bait and strew all over my house and then leave the rest in the bag/box to get stale so they can gross mom out by eating it in front of her.

    I get ‘em at Sams for financial reasons, but it’s still cost effective if you have kids.

    I get ‘em real serving sizes, though, not bite-and-a-half sizes.

    Stephanie Barr’s last blog post..For Shakespeare: How Much Sun?

  3. 3 Daisy the Curly Cat

    Daisy’s mom here:
    I must admit, I am addicted to the 100 calorie packs of chocolate covered pretzels. And I have NEVER eaten just one pack at a time. Sometimes I can stop at two. If I try really hard.

    Daisy the Curly Cat’s last blog post..Sunday Comics with Daisy!

  4. 4 Mom Taxi Julie

    I get the whole idea behind those packages. My problem is that if I’m dieting and I buy those I do just like you said and just keep eating them until they are all gone. I have no self control!

    Mom Taxi Julie’s last blog post..Saturday Scraping

  5. 5 flit

    I’m doing the diet thing still ….and have no use for most of the 100 calorie packs I see… they have ice cream that has only 80 calories per serving… if I’m going to cheat, I’m having ice cream … or a peice of my favourite fudge that only has 75 calories per peice LOL

  6. 6 Regan

    Also, on the oreo 100 calorie packs, they aren’t even real oreas. They’re pentagon shaped chocolate crackers with little ‘dashes’ of white that apparently is supposed to be the cream or something. But everyone knows the cream is the best part, right?

    Also, what is up with all these 100 calorie oreos, cheese its, etc. being pentagon shaped? We can’t have them in their original shape?

    I think 100 calorie packs are more like a dare. Just taunting you like ‘I bet you can’t just have one! You need to eat all of them!!!’

    Regan’s last blog post..Girl Scout Cookies

  7. 7 Kathy

    What I still can’t get past is that Hostess even makes 100 calorie packs. Isn’t that an oxymoron or something?

    I do not do 100 cal packs. I buy giant bags of chips or whatever. I know I want it. It knows I want it. Everybody knows I want it. Then I gorge for a half hour, get disgusted and throw the rest out. I have a system. I didn’t say it was a system that worked, just a system.

    If we’re having a Name That Tune: Bakery Edition, I can eat that giant cupcake in 21 bites. Can anyone top that?

    Kathy’s last blog post..And It’s Not Even My Birthday

  8. 8 Puglette

    i don’t buy the 100 calorie packs, although i have tried them. my objection is that it is a totally different product. if i want an oreo, i want a real one!

    i haven’t seen the mini cupcakes yet. i would only purchase them if they were chocolate, and lots bigger with much thicker frosting…i guess they would not be 100 calories at that point.

    ok, now i want chocolate cupcakes.

    Puglette’s last blog post..Pug Meet Up

  9. 9 absepa

    I was completely addicted to those 100-calorie packs…until gas prices went through the roof last year, we had to cut back on our grocery budget, and I couldn’t afford them anymore. Once I stopped buying them, I found that I didn’t really miss them all that much. Now, if I want a high-calorie snack, I just buy it in its regular-size package, and divide it into a couple of servings.

    absepa’s last blog post..A Slap Chop to the Funny Bone

  10. 10 Stephanie Barr

    If I’m going to eat oreos, I want the mint ones. With lots and lots of milk. You can’t get those in a 100 calorie pack.

    Stephanie Barr’s last blog post..For Shakespeare: How Much Sun?

  11. 11 Tracy

    100 Calorie packs make our Mother Earth cry. That’s not being a good world citizen, I tell you what!

    All the same, I found some Mexican Sponch 100 calorie packs that I was going to taste and photo for my own blog but now I don’t know if I will or not because you stole my 100 calorie thunder. OTOH, can I NOT write about something called Sponch?

    They must have invented 100 Calorie packs in a frenzied meeting when they realized the public was on to Snackwell being low in fat, high in sugar, calories and everything else.

    Tracy’s last blog post..The Museum Of Snack Foods

  12. 12 babs - beetle

    (It is also that blurry. So is the penny. Shut up.)

    JD this made me really giggle! It’s 2am, I am alone (aside from the cats) and I’m giggling out loud as I read this!

    100 calorie packs? Never heard of them, never want to! I don’t eat cakes often, but if I want a cake I buy a cake. A nice, big, fresh cake and I eat it! I can’t be doing with ‘pretend’ food, or silly little bite size cakes. I’d rather go without than my taste buds be tantalized with a tiny morsel.

    babs – beetle’s last blog post..A thank you, and a rant!

  13. 13 Margaret (Nanny Goats)

    This post was awesome. No, wait-! It was more than awesome.

    And I LOL-ed at the same thing Babs did (and more). You are too funny, and I’ve GOT to move you up in my Google Reader because I seriously need to read more of you.

    And that’s not all, I will be tracking you down at BlogHer because I must (MUST!) meet you in person.

    This was my favorite post in a while and I need to go off and stumble it and stuff….

    - Margaret

    Margaret (Nanny Goats)’s last blog post..Well, I Never!

  14. 14 JD

    Grace: Doughnuts were designed to be eaten by the dozen. That’s just nature’s way. The thing with me is, if I want a treat, I want a large quantity of it. Those teeny cupcakes are just a tease. I’d rather just go without than have a few mouthfuls.

    Stephanie Barr: Well, buying those packs for kids at least makes sense. I don’t have kids, but even I can see the insanity of handing a small child a bag of potato chips and saying, “Just take a few.” (Maybe I should’ve changed the post title to “I Eat 100 Calories in One Sitting.” ‘Cuz THAT would be newsworthy.)

    Daisy the Curly Cat: Oh, those are good. I never used to like chocolate-covered pretzels or nuts, but once I finally tried one . . . the end. Yeah, three packs of those sounds about right to me.

    Mom Taxi Julie: Right! Then what’s the point? You really are better off just buying the regular package of two. You end up eating fewer calories that way.

    flit: I wish I liked fudge. That sounds like a pretty good deal! I agree. There are a few low-fat things that are fairly decent (Slim-a-Bears, the baked Cheetohs aren’t bad) but when it comes to ice cream, gimme Haagen Dazs and gimme it now.

    Regan: Maybe diet-food makers think pentagons seem more filling? I’ve seen those Oreos and wondered . . . how can they call them Oreos? And you’re right: It IS a dare. And I lose. Every time.

    Kathy: I think I got you beat: 15 bites. And I’m even missing a tooth. At least you have the willpower to throw away the bag. That system works better than mine, which is to say, “Well, I’ve already blown it. May as well eat the whole thing and get it out of the house so I don’t have any more tomorrow.”

    Puglette: HA! You and me both, sister. Yeah, those tiny cuplet cakelets don’t taste anything like the real thing. Why don’t they just admit it: They canNOT make a low-calorie version of delicious junk food? We all know it.

    absepa: There you go. And that’s probably much more satisfying, too. Plus, as bad as junk food is for you, I have a sneaking suspicion those 100-calorie packs are even worse. What do they cram in there to make it only 100 calories???

    Stephanie Barr: I don’t like the mint ones, but I DO like the Double-Stuff ones. With milk. Yeah. Try duplicating THAT in a 100-calorie pack.

    Tracy: Oh, man. Now I feel terrible. I made Mother Earth cry AND deprived you of a blog idea. But there’s no copyright on the 100 calorie pack idea, so please: have at it. Especially since you’re talking about Mexican Sponch, which I had to Google and now I am DESPERATE to read a post about it because having seen a picture of it, I realize, I HAVE EATEN SPONCH! Plus, I’m sure your photos will be way better than mine.

    babs – beetle: “I can’t be doing with ‘pretend’ food.” That is my new motto. And I totally agree, as I said above. I’d rather go without than have just a nibble and then feel deprived. I’m so happy I made you giggle. (Did the cats giggle too?)

    Margaret (Nanny Goats): YAY! You’re going to BlogHer? Oh, we’re definitely meeting. Wheee! I’m so glad you liked my humble cupcake post. Coming from you, that is high praise.

  15. 15 dcr

    Don’t be fooled. They’re small but deadly. Rumor is that the season premiere of LOST reveals that Charlie didn’t drown after all. No, he found a mini-cupcake on the boat and choked to death on it. He only went into the water to try to moisten the thing so it would go down. But it was too late.

    Charlie should have chewed instead of trying to swallow it whole.

    dcr’s last blog post..Holy Cr*p! They’re Barcoding Toilet Paper!

  16. 16 shakespeare

    You should try the Chocodiles… chocolate-covered twinkies. You can get them by the caseload in a few select locations. Each one is 230 calories and 12 grams of fat! Yum!

    shakespeare’s last blog post..Let’s Get Poetic!

  17. 17 Pricilla

    The male person around here grumbles all the time about the foolishness of packaging. The publicist stopped buying these things when she went all farmer on life and now bakes all her own stuff. She does not admit to the time she consume an entire tray of cinnamon buns in one day. They were waaaaaaaay more than 100 calories.

    She is glad she is on medication that keeps her from gaining weight. I guess her cursed chronic headache is good for something.

    You can have a cupcake for her at the BlogHer thing as it occurs over her birthday.

    Pricilla’s last blog post..GOATUCATION – How Long Will it be Until Kevin is Full Grown?

  18. 18 Trade Show Guru

    hey JD,
    I guess I have to stop drinking so many of those 100-calorie Red Stripes during the day (who can really stop with just one?)…
    No matter how hard I try to focus on your penny pictures I just can’t. They seem a wee bit blurry…
    ~ Steve, the blurry Red-Stripe drinking trade show guru

    Trade Show Guru’s last blog post..Are You a Trade Show Kinsella

  19. 19 Midwest Mommy

    OMG that first cupcake is to die for! Oh and those 100 calorie packs…such a JOKE!

    Midwest Mommy’s last blog post..Pool

  20. 20 MomZombie

    What? We don’t burn any calories tearing and ripping and pulling at all that excessive, multi-layered packaging? Darn.

    MomZombie’s last blog post..Revisiting the past

  21. 21 Jay

    “Yeah, the cupcake really is that small (It is also that blurry. So is the penny. Shut up.)”

    ROFL!! Yeah, these calorie counted packs never stop the real foodies among us, do they? Or the reckless ‘I’ve broken my diet already so what the heck’ contingent.

    “Cellophane … you can look right through me, walk right by me, and never know I’m there!” ;)

  22. 22 Natural

    since they are so small and i can, and do, eat them all in one sitting, i’ve renamed the box – with my own sharpie – to read 600 calorie snacks, with intermission. that’s more of the truth. i never eat just one. puh-leeze.

    Natural’s last blog post..Why Wait, Buy Now!

  23. 23 JD

    dcr: OK, but that is only a rumor, right? If it’s true, maybe we can speculate that Desmond managed to give Charlie the Heimlich maneuver and resuscitate him. Instead of writing “Not Penny’s Boat,” Charlie obviously should’ve written “Not Real Cream Cheese Icing.”

    shakespeare: OH! I think I’ve seen those. Damn, they sound good. What better way to improve a Twinkie than encase it in chocolate? And by the caseload, you say? I’m in.

    Pricilla: OK, just WHAT is this magical medication that keeps people from gaining weight??? I get terrible headaches too (er, sometimes), so can I get me some? Seriously, I am sorry the publicist has to suffer, but if she can eat a tray of cinnamon rolls in one sitting, then she’s not THAT bad off.

    Trade Show Guru: Very funny. You’re lucky I like you. Now I’m imagining a three-pack of teeny novelty-size Red Stripe cans. How cute!

    Midwest Mommy: Aren’t they just? And wouldn’t you love to sit down to one of those giant cupcakes. Just you, a knife and fork . . . oh, who am I kidding. No utensils needed.

    MomZombie: Hey, if telling yourself that makes that 3d package go down easier, be my guest. This is a guilt-free zone.

    Jay: Hey! Good “Mr. Cellophane” quote! No, if a real foodie wants cupcakes, she will find a way. No amount of cellophane will prevent cupcake nomming.

    Natural: HAHAHA! Oh, man. Yeah, truth in packaging labels: 600 Calories, with Intermission. I love it. Let’s be real. And with your own Sharpie. You are dedicated.

  24. 24 cardiogirl

    This is a tough one. I definitely enjoy the fact that I am ingesting just 100 calories. But as you pointed out, it’s a jumping off point. It was just enough to really get a hankering for it.

    And I know exactly what you mean about the firm icing on a regular Hostess cup cake versus these 100-calorie version. I wonder if putting them in the fridge would give the same consistency.

    Regardless, unless I have one after I have gorged myself on dinner and just want a taste, I’m eating half the box — at least — to enjoy the experience.

    I like Natural’s idea best, though. Hand over the Sharpie.

    I’ll bet, between the two of us, we could down that original cupcake in 20 bites — 10 for you, 10 for me.

    cardiogirl’s last blog post..Introducing Stinky Sweaty Man; hopefully you’ll never make his acquaintance

  25. 25 Barb - WillThink4Wine

    I bake my own stuff and none of my recipes are 100 calorie. And I like it that way. :-)

    Barb – WillThink4Wine’s last blog post..rare corncob tree

  26. 26 Tiggy

    How did they manage to fit 100 calories into something so tiny?

    Tiggy’s last blog post..Tiggy’s Hit Parade: Fingerfuch am Disco Party!

  27. 27 kathcom

    I get suckered by the Chex Mix 100 calorie packs every once in a while. Although they don’t taste very good to begin with, the Lilliputian size of the portion drives me to rip open and devour the rest of the packs. Then I’m left thirsty and unsatisfied after 600 calories.
    For 130 calories more, I could have a DQ Peanut Buster Parfait and then take a nice nap. It’s a good thing there are no DQs in NYC. I’d be a dirigible.

    kathcom’s last blog post..Flat-D: Product of the Week

  28. 28 Preston

    I almost fell off my chair laughing at this post. I have tons of those little 100 calorie packs all over my house. Do I stop at 1? Never. But a least I can estimate how many calories I’ve eaten so I can continually torture myself. I mean, if I ate one huge cupcake, I could convince myself that it was a measly 250 calories, but if I consume 6 bags a night, I know I’ve eaten 600 calories.

    Preston’s last blog post..Philly Gay Pride Parade and Festival Went on Without Me

  29. 29 Shieldmaiden96

    I was excited when I first looked at the picture because I thought they were tiny Sno-Balls. Which would have been about 60% more awesome than the tiny fake strawberry dessert equivalent of a dick tease.

    I do like those fancy two-bite brownies we always used to get when clients came into the office though, because you could palm a handful of them walking by the snack table and conceal said handful behind an important-looking sheaf of files with ease.

    Shieldmaiden96’s last blog post..Finish this Sentence

  30. 30 Jeff

    I hate fake strawberry-flavored food… it always seems to taste like strawberry perfume to me. The only other thing I hate worse is banana-flavored food. That should be against the law… like banana Popsicles for instance… especially after they’ve melted a little bit and have left a yellowy syrupy goo inside the package. Bleh. BLEH. BLEH!!!

    Jeff’s last blog post..Band on the run

  31. 31 Corrina

    Uh, yeah… I tried my hand at those 100 calorie Doritos bags. I ate about 5 of them. At once. Those packs are only good for children.

    Corrina’s last blog post..Hell To The Yes

  32. 32 JD

    cardiogirl: Oh, how I’d love to hold a cupcake-eating contest. Maybe someday . . . In the meantime, I may have to try to harden the icing in the fridge. That is, if I ever buy any more. Which I probably will.

    Barb – WillThink4Wine: I like the way you think. It would be a shame to spend all that time baking and have only 100 calories to show for it.

    Tiggy: When you put it that way, YEAH! How DO they? 100 calories, as all dieters know, is a lot. And this wee cupcake looks like it can only hold about 40. Maybe you’re supposed to lick the cardboard?

    kathcom: HA! I love how you would be able to take a nice nap after a satisfying snack, whereas the 600 calories of Chex Mix leaves you thirsty and unsatisfied. It’s true, tho. A REAL snack, be it giant cupcake or Peanut Buster Parfait, is the only way to satisfy a snack tooth.

    Preston: I’m picturing your house absolutely STREWN with teeny packages of snacklets. You’re right about at least being able to count your calories. But then again . . . I kind of like the idea of estimating that giant cupcake is 250 calories. That sounds about right.

    Shieldmaiden96: HAR! Why oh why didn’t I think to put “dick tease” in this post?! And your stealth mini brownie method is positively brilliant. I wish I had a regular-sized pack of Sno-Balls right now. That’s about the only coconut I ever eat.

    Jeff: OH GOD now I want a banana popsicle! I totally agree about the strawberry perfume and MOST banana products, but I do love those popsicles. I guess you just have to get them before the goo sets in.

    Corrina: You’re so right. The next time I’m tempted, I’ll just say to myself, Those are for CHILDREN, JD! You are an adult. Buy yourself an adult-sized cupcake, for crying out loud.

  33. 33 Jenny @ Bingo

    I prefer eating a real cake and then doing some exercise, because I love eating and I hate being hungry!!

    Jenny @ Bingo’s last blog post..Extreme Bingo, Parachute-style!

  34. 34 Baron von Rochester

    I particularly loved the photo-proven size comparison.

    Hostess products are just narsty.

    Give me a pleasant set of love handles and a real cupcake any day of the week. You only live once, that’s what I say.

    Baron von Rochester’s last blog post..They Don’t Pay Me Enough

  35. 35 Ilana

    Ha, I (hate to) love that MIKA song. Every time it comes on my iPod, I look around to make sure no one I know can see me. Then I turn up the volume, sing along, and do exciting dance moves to a song extolling the sexiness of plus-size women. Yeah. I know.

    Ilana’s last blog post..Going Up?

  36. 36 Ted

    Did someone mention cupcakes? What about a hearty sprinkles cupcake with a whopping 459 calories… mmmm… sprinkles…

  37. 37 Jen S.

    i agree with you, if i’m not satisfied with one package of one 100 calorie pack i am more than willing to open a second pack. but we need to realize that desserts/sweets/cupcakes are supposed to be guilty pleasures not a meal or part of our balanced meals. that’s why so many americans are facing obesity, they’ve incorporated desserts and sweets into their daily lives and in large quantities.

  38. 38 JD

    Jenny @ Bingo: I love eating too. And I don’t mind exercising, but my problem is that exercise only helps me break even. Being hungry? The worst.

    Baron von Rochester: You have an extremely healthy attitude. Now pass me a cupcake, and make it a giant one.

    Ilana: I (love to) love that whole CD. I am secretly hoping my Zumba instructor will make up a routine to this song for our class. She’s already done one for “Lollipop.”

    Ted: Oh, yes, don’t forget the sprinkles. Tiny sprinkles have 0 calories, I’m told.

    Jen S. You’re right, but . . . surely this line of reasoning doesn’t include cupcakes? They are as important to my daily intake as Vitamin C or Vicodin!

  39. 39 Laser Guy

    I totally agree with you on these 100 calorie packs. The only reason that I do still spend the four dollars a pack, is my two year old son loves them and all of their strawberry flavor, and I don’t feel guilty giving him more than one pack. I however will settle for a large cupcake with all of the calories:)


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