I'm sure everyone understands what calories are and most have certainly counted their calorie intake at some point.
What if I told you that there's a better way?!
I’ve learned what really counts when it comes to health, fitness and even weight loss, is macronutrients, or macros.
In simple terms, this means paying closer attention to the nutrients in our food and how healthy they are for us, rather than the number of calories they contain.
One of the problems with traditional calorie counting is that it doesn’t take into account what you’re eating, only how many calories.
Many experts believe that in order to truly battle the global obesity problem, we need to stop calorie counting and instead focus on good nutrition and dietary changes in order to enjoy longer, happier, healthier lives.
In fact, the strongest evidence through recent research shows that while calories matter, focusing on food quality is just as important for preventing weight gain and promoting weight loss.
Not overeating is important, of course, but rather than choose what you eat based only on how many calories a food contains, think about choosing high quality, nutritious foods, while minimizing lower quality, unhealthier foods.
If you’ve been following me for any period of time, you probably know what that means, but as a refresher:
High-quality foods are those that are minimally processed. That means whole foods that come from the earth, like fruits and vegetables, healthy fats from sources like nuts, seeds and coconut oil, as well as healthy sources of protein, including things like wild-caught salmon and lean, free- range meats.
Lower-quality foods refer to items like sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened beverages, highly processed snack foods, processed “meats” like bologna and hot dogs, refined grains, refined sugar, fried foods and any food with trans fat such as most margarines and many packaged baked goods such as pastries and Twinkies.
If you just count calories, it doesn’t take into account the quality of food, and it may encourage the avoidance of foods that are good for us but naturally high in calories, like avocados, nuts and seeds.
Not only can that harm your health over the long term, it can damage your weight loss efforts. That’s because those foods contain essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins that support a healthy metabolism and a healthy weight.
Food triggers hormonal changes in the body — some signal the body to store fat, some signal it to release sugar and others to build muscle.
Research has found that diets based on the same amount of calories, but different proportions of fat, protein and carbohydrates, result in varying amounts of weight loss.
If you feel like you’re constantly hungry, it may be a clue that you’re consuming the wrong types of foods, rather than the amount of calories you take in each day.
When you change your diet, and begin focusing on the right types of foods, including unprocessed, nutritious, whole foods, you’ll have more energy, better concentration, fewer food cravings, and you’ll feel satisfied after your meal for several hours.
Similar calorie processed foods, on the other hand, will contribute to fat storage, sub-optimal hormonal balance and liver function.
In turn, that negatively impacts your metabolic function and how well you store and burn energy.
Those foods digest and deliver energy too quickly, which won’t give you the sustained energy you need, and contribute to fatigue, also increasing the desire to eat and drink more unhealthy foods and beverages.
Now, do you see why I don’t count calories?
Focus on nutrition in healthy, moderate portions instead!
Yours in Health,
P.S. Please share this info. with your friends and I always love to read your comments below.