Calories are probably the most counted and feared of anything in the world because many people don’t have a good understanding of what a calorie really is.
A calorie is a unit of heat and simply measures the amount of energy available in food.
WHERE you get your calories from is more important than the AMOUNT of the calories.
If you are trying to lose weight or want to improve your health, what you eat is very important.
While it is a good thing to be conscious of the amount of calories that you consume, simply focusing on quantity and not quality can lead to poor eating habits that will be counter-effective to your goals such as;
- Skipping meals because you have over indulged at a previous meal or plan to over indulge at a later meal. This habit teaches your body to hoard calories and also slows down your metabolism.
- Under eating because you are trying to stick to a certain daily calorie intake. This habit may result in you feeling hungry and lethargic all the time and can lead to unhealthy binge eating.
- Stress when you are unable to figure out or calculate the number of calories in a given meal or when you are not able to prepare your own meals. This could affect your enjoyment at social situations and gatherings.
If you would like to cultivate and maintain healthy eating habits that will be sustainable in the long run, here are some helpful tips;
- Go for nutrient dense foods rather than just low calorie foods.
White rice contains LESS calories than brown rice. However, brown rice is more nutrient dense as it contains more fiber which improves satiety and helps keeps you fuller for longer. It also contains more of the naturally occurring vitamins/minerals which are stripped out of the white rice during processing.
- Eat more vegetables
Most vegetables are low in calories and packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients . Including a variety of different colored vegetable in your diet is beneficial to health and weight loss.
- Eat your calories, don’t drink them.
Most drinks contain large amounts of empty calories. A liquid drink may contain 400 calories made up mostly of sugar and fat and will not fill you up/satisfy you like a 400 calories plate of food. You are better off eating a meal and drinking water.