Why There's More to Weight Loss Than Counting Calories

Tucson Nutrition Coach

Today’s Food for Thought Friday is a friendly reminder that nutrition and overall health is SO much more than just counting calories.

Energy In vs. Energy Out. Technically yes, but successfully losing weight is much more complex than that. Many people focus solely on looking at calorie counts rather than overall ingredients. Sure that low cal chocolate Fiber One chewy bar has only 90 calories and a whopping 5 grams of fiber, but it also has over 10 ingredients… with sugar listed as the fourth one. 

Fun fact: Ingredient lists are listed in order of predominance, the ingredients listed first are used in the greatest amount followed in descending order to those used in smaller amounts. Red flag if sugar is the second or third ingredient. But it’s full of fiber, right!? Want to know what else is full of fiber that won’t spike and crash your blood glucose…vegetables! A cup of brussel sprouts has almost the same amount of fiber as that bar. Not to mention one ingredient and tons of vitamins and minerals that help your body function properly.

Tucson Nutrition Coach

“Diet” foods often lack the nutrients your body needs and are chalk full of manufactured unnatural ingredients leaving us continually hungry for more “diet” foods. Which is very clever of the food industry, but not so great for our health.

Hunger is naturally regulated by your brain, based on your nutrient intake. When we feed our brains non-nutritious foods we will continually be hungry- that’s your body telling you that it needs those nourishing foods to actually be satisfied. Your body is pretty clever too!

When we give our bodies the nutrients and nourishment it needs from whole food sources, we stop craving those “diet” foods and actually start to wanting whole foods. Plus eating quality foods gives us a longer sustaining fuel source resulting in better energy. Another bonus when we eat nutrient dense foods is our level of hunger will start to naturally regulate and our body will send signals when it’s actually hungry, when it’s had enough, and whether certain cravings are real. 

Fun fact: cravings are often a signal that we are lacking a certain nutrient. Craving chocolate? Your body might just be asking for more magnesium which you can find in dark leafy greens, almonds, and pumpkin seeds.

Switch the focus from calories to nutrients

Some things to keep in mind:

-Eat real, whole, nutrient-dense foods. 

-Read your labels and look for real food ingredients. Better yet, buy foods that don’t have a label. 

-Be aware of foods that have to convince you that they’re healthy with labels like “low-cal” or “rich in fiber”.

Next time you see food boasting that it’s only 90 calories, check the ingredient list, you might be surprised to see that those 90 calories aren’t actually nourishing at all.

Do you want to take control of your nutrition and learn how to eat in order to lose weight, increase energy, and improve performance? Click below to contact Kelly and get started.