Have you ever tried counting your calories or weighing your food to hit specific macros?
It’s basically my definition of hell!
It takes up time (which we all need more of right?), you spend most of your lunch break scrolling through the app to find the ingredients in your meal (boring..) and it takes the enjoyment out of eating delicious and nutritious food!
Don’t get me wrong, it is important to know how much you are eating vs how much you should be (roughly), but once you have the understanding of that, you can delete that app and move on to the important stuff! Like eating food based on quality, flavor and nutrients, not the magic number that’s applied to it.
ALL CALORIES ARE NOT EQUAL
The magic number (calories) can be the same for different foods – that does NOT mean they are equal. Metabolically, foods are digested, broken down and used for energy completely differently. Some foods can’t be digested and broken down properly by our bodies, meaning they are stored as fat regardless. An example of this is fructose, which forms part of sugar. Think about what you put in your body, where it came from and how it actually makes you feel physically, mentally and emotionally. Keep it simple, eat whole foods and listen to your body!
Moral of the story – a diet which is nutrient dense and macro balanced, kicks calorie counting’s ass every time!
Here’s the low down on macros and how they influence your body and weight.
- Carbohydrates Simple carbs result in blood sugar fluctuations, meaning energy levels rise and fall more regularly with the help of insulin. When it falls, as opposed to reaching into fat stores, our body generally triggers those hunger signals... which means we are reaching for more food! Don’t get me wrong, not all carbs are bad, but be mindful of where you source them from – less from processed foods, more from fruit and vegetables!
- Protein Really helps with satiety (feeling fuller for longer). It has the same number of calories as your carbs, but you’re not reaching for something else so soon. It also promotes the development of lean muscle mass and muscle recovery.
- Healthy Fats Yes, fats do contain more calories per gram, but again, they assist with satiety. Reducing your processed carbohydrates and increasing fats can also help with switching our energy burning to ketosis (burn more fat as opposed to sugar stores).
TAKE HOME MESSAGES
Opt for foods which are low calorie but are also nutrient rich – leafy greens / non-starchy vegetables and make those the base for your meals.
Lean protein like fish, tuna, chicken, turkey and red meat are protein rich and should be included in each meal to support physical health and satiety.
Healthy fats are unsaturated fats eg. extra virgin olive oil, avocado, chia, oily fish, flax seed oil, nuts and hemp seed oil. These are the foods that keep you feeling fuller for longer, which can indirectly lead to a reduction in calorie intake!
The last thing I want is for ladies to obsess over food, counting calories day in day out, or jump on another yo-yo diet. For most of us, simply eating REAL food, when we are hungry and responding to our bodies queues will give us results! Knowing your limits and how to balance your plate really is transformational!
Lastly, but definitely not least, we are all biochemically and genetically different! What works for one person, does not necessarily work for another – please do not get roped into fad diets. If you have a specific goal, whether it be physically, mentally or aesthetically, personalised nutrition is what you need, not another generic diet plan!
If you have any questions about this post, I’d love to hear from you! Please don’t be afraid to reach out, MY GOAL IS TO HELP OTHERS REACH THEIR GOAL.