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Posted on 10-04-2011

Counting Calories: Most people assume that all calories are equal. This is the first myth.

 

 To start out on a calorie counting program is very easy. By searching the internet, you can find many calorie counting programs. But here is the hard part. YOU NEED TO EAT HEALTHY. Let's say you are allowed to eat 1200 calories. This should be broken up in 5 small meals a day. Most people will eat only 2-3 times per day and get all the calories that way. So you will probably be more hungry and need to consume a large amount of food. Spagetti and meatballs will fill you up and go towards your calories. However, these are not nutritious foods. You need to learn how to eat the proper nutritious foods. By eating more nutritious foods, you get hungry less often.  Fruits and vegetables are very low in calories. Plan on eating fruits for your snacks. Have a large salad everyday for dinner. Add turkey, chicken, or fish to get your protein in.  Make your salads interesting. Use a lot of quality vegetables and strive for color. The more color there is in your salad, the more nutritious it will be. However, watch your salad dressing. That is where you will consume the most of your calories. Try making your own dressing.

Salad dressing #1

Mix equal parts flax seed oil, olive oil, apple cidar vinegar, and basalmic vinegar. Add spices and enjoy.

Salad dressing #2

            Lime juice, olive oil, garlic, and fresh dill

Salad dressing #3

            Lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and fresh parsley

There are many combinations that you can try.

 

If you are on an exercise program, you will need to eat more calories to feed your muscles. This should consist of high protein foods. If you do not add the extra calories, you body could go into starvation mode. This will cause your body to respond and take that hard earned muscle and start breaking it down for fuel. You need to eat to lose weight and grow.

 

Limit the amount of empty calories that you consume. Soda's, diet or regular, fruit juices, and lemonade, are all examples of drinking empty calories. Also, coffee and alcohol can be high in calories. These drinks will take away the nutritious food that you could be eating. Watch out for snacks. There are many 100 calorie snack packs on the market today. They do not have much nutritional value. They will waste away your needed calories. This is one of the reasons why calorie counting gets a bad review.

 

Calorie counting is great when you go out for dinner. Most restaurants list the calories, carbohydrates, and proteins either on the menu or on a separate card. You can also find this information on different websites. It is amazing how many calories are in a Caesar salad or chicken fajita salad. There can be over 1200 calories in that one salad. That is a whole days worth of calories in one meal. No wonder why America is overweight. It takes 3600 calories to gain a pound. Eat 3 of these "salads" a day and gain a pound. We are thinking that we are eating healthy and we are far from it.

 

Counting calories should not be an excuse to eat what you want as long as you stay in the range. You will lose weight initially, but eventually it will catch up to you. Remember watch your calories but really learn how to eat healthy and get rid of those empty calories.

 

Here are several great ways to swap out the unhealthy high calorie food for lower calorie healthy food.

·         Fresh Steamed Spinach Leaves, Zucchini or Spaghetti Squash instead of Pasta

·         Canned Crushed Tomatoes with Basil instead of the sugar-loaded Marinara Sauce found in a jar

·         Flavored Vinegars mixed with Dijon Mustard and Lemon instead of High-Fat Salad Dressings

·         Rice Cakes instead of Bread

·         Baked Tilapia instead of Salmon

·         Stevia, Cinnamon and Vanilla extract instead of Sugar

·         No sugar added Almond Milk instead of Soy or Rice Milk

·         Olive Oil spray in place of heaping tablespoons of Olive Oil dumped in pans

·         Baked Butternut Squash instead of Potatoes

·         Zero Fat, No-Sugar added Greek Yogurt in place of Sour Cream, Cheese, Heavy Cream or Buttermilk

·         All Natural Salsa instead of Guacamole

·         Gluten Free Soy Sauce or Chicken Broth instead of Olive Oil

·         Low Carb, sugar-free Protein Powder Recipes instead of High Calorie Desserts

                                                                                              (food list bulleted is from Muscles and Fitness Hers)

When choosing foods in order to successfully lower your overall caloric intake, always remember these simple stats:

  • 1 gram of protein= 4 calories
  • 1 gram of carbohydrates= 4 calories
  • 1 gram of fat=9 calories

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