Obsessing about calories and trading foods for calorie equivalents may not be the best strategy for weight control.
A common mistake of calorie comparison is to ignore the nutritional value of foods. By choosing a can of soda for energy, instead of a handful of nuts, when the first has no nutritional value and the second provides fiber, vitamins, minerals and powerful phytochemicals (chemicals found naturally in plants), may result in accumulation of toxins (as well as fat tissue) and will not provide nutritional elements for cell function; thus, accumulating calories as well. By choosing nuts, you will provide nutrients for cell and body functions…facilitating calorie burning and even fighting tough diseases such as cancer.
What to do?
Although the total calorie intake is important, a better strategy for weight control is to raise awareness on food quality, satiety, hunger and eating speed.
Follow these tips:
- Eat naturally occurring foods.
- Cook simple meals. Sauces (i.e “Alfredo´s”) and gravies are thickened with white flour and/or fats and juices, these are perfect examples of calories with little nutritional value.
- Take at least 20 minutes to eat.
- Chew thoroughly before swallowing.
- Eat 80% of your typical serving. Use smaller plates and stop eating when satisfied, but not completely full.
- Eat while sitting down and avoid distractions.
- Set a mealtime schedule; you should eat to avoid
- Eat at least 3 times a day.
- Differentiate between hunger and thirst or plain boredom.
- Avoid shopping for groceries when you are hungry and only purchase what is in your shopping list.
The food we eat have specific functions within our bodies. To optimize our health, it is desirable to choose nutrient dense foods rather than selecting foods that impair normal cell and organ function, regardless of calories — even at “zero” calories.
Food is powerful, choose wisely.