Calories Versus Nutrition
In my previous post, I mentioned that successful weight loss isn’t facilitated by supplementation alone. Diet, exercise and stress can also impact any weight loss plan. Today I’m going to explore diet, specifically calories, in more detail. Do you read foods labels? Many of us make a habit of vetting new food products before we purchase, especially when we’re concerned about our weight. We check out the nutritional information on packaged goods and scan labels for things like calories, fats and sodium levels. If you’re someone who tries to avoid processed foods, you probably opt for whole foods that are low on the caloric scale. However, if you’re on a low calorie or a restrictive caloric diet, you may be surprised to hear that counting calories isn’t always an effective weight loss strategy.
Sometimes foods that are high in calories can actually be better for you than foods that are low in calories. Nutritionally speaking, an ounce of raw almonds is far more beneficial for your body than two slices of white bread. While the white bread has fewer calories than the almonds, the almonds contain omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin E and dietary fiber. Almonds also boost satiety (that full feeling) and will keep you from snacking as often throughout the day. White bread won’t curb your hunger and due to its significant sugar content, you’ll probably experience an energy crash. Also, high gluten breads can also decrease your metabolism, which can impact your ability to reach your weight loss goals.
Instead of dodging calories, incorporate more nutrient dense foods into your diet. Nutrient dense foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, etc.) are high in fiber and boost energy levels naturally. If you feel like snacking, some healthy options include almonds, apples, bananas, carrots, cashews, celery, grapefruit, rye or spelt toast, spinach salads, sunflower seeds, etc.... If you like tea, opt for natural or organic green tea. It’s also nutrient dense and can help suppress your appetite.
When it comes to healthy, successful dieting, don’t sacrifice good nutrition in favour of low calories. Feed your body with nutrient dense foods that will speed up your metabolism and give you the energy to burn fat through physically activity.
And, always speak to your natural healthcare practitioner or physician before starting a weight loss program or altering your diet.