The sad story of Cheezels

I found this surprising …

Cheezels were my thing. I loved Cheezels. Our relationship dated back to my highschool days and went for many, many years.

“Cheezels are Cheesier. Parties are pleasier” something something something “with Cheezels” went the original ad.

The very brief Wikipedia article says they were introduced in Australia in 1971. I had been eating them ever since.

The manufacturer’s page is Cheezels and, according to that, they’re available from Coles, Woolworths and other stores. Those are Australian supermarkets. If you’re overseas and have never tasted Cheezels you’ll probably need to go via someone like the Aussie Food Shop. Though you can apparently even get cheezels from Amazon.

When cutting my weight back the Cheezels got deferred to later, along with a lot of things I used to just eat. Cheezels are a snack food. There are a lot of foods marketed as solutions for snacking. They are all easy to buy, easy to eat, last well in the pantry and are just really convenient. You can snack whilst reading a newspaper, doing something on the computer, driving, socialising – there’s lots and lots of times, situations and places. You can eat them without thinking, without noticing and without even feeling full. Many times you can then go on to eat a full dinner despite having snacked beforehand.

I cut out Cheezels because, like most snack food, they added about 2000 KJ per 100g to my calorie intake. (That’s 500 calories per 3.5 oz in American). It surprised me that, no matter which snack food I chose, they all came to pretty much the same figure. You could eat a block of chocolate (all that sugar) or be better and eat something savory like biscuits, chips or Cheezels and, regardless, they all added about 2000 KJ per 100g. Given that most came in 200g packs, that’s 4000KJ every time you snack. 4000KJ is about half a day’s entire “normal” food allowance. For just one pack.

Anyway, the point to this story is, I reintroduced Cheezels into my allowed foods. As you probably know, I am now trying to maintain my weight instead of losing it. If my weight goes up, I do more of what I did to lose in the first place and if it goes down, I do what I didn’t. That second case allows eating Cheezels.

My expectation was, after so long without them, they would taste so much better than I remembered. The flavours would be stronger and more pronounced. Richier. Yumier. Nicer. A real treat indeed.

The surprise was, they didn’t. They didn’t even taste as good as I remembered. What’s also surprising is one packet filled me up. I felt bloated and uncomfortable after eating them. Now I’m not trying to incur the wrath of the manufacturer. I am a former fan not a reformed one bent on destroying anything. If you like them and your weight is where you want it to be, then by all means buy them. I’ll always have fond memories of them. And I’ll eat some at parties from time to time as part of the socializing. However, be prepared to find your favorite foods may change with dieting and your appetite mechanism may start to function correctly again (hungry / not).

Picture: lozikiki / CC BY-ND

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