Counting calories has been a popular weight-loss strategy for decades. The idea is simple: track the number of calories you consume each day and make sure you’re burning more than you’re taking in. While this approach can be effective in helping people lose weight, it often overlooks the nutritional value of the foods being consumed. Instead of solely counting calories, why not start counting nutritional value?
When it comes to weight loss, it’s important to create a calorie deficit by burning more calories than you consume. However, not all calories are created equal. 100 calories of candy and 100 calories of vegetables have vastly different nutritional values. Candy is typically high in sugar and low in nutrients, while vegetables are low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
By focusing on the nutritional value of the foods you’re eating, you can ensure that you’re fueling your body with the nutrients it needs to function optimally. This means eating a diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.
So how do you start counting nutritional value?
First, familiarise yourself with the nutritional content of the foods you’re eating. Pay attention to the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) as well as the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). You can easily find this information on food labels or through a quick internet search.
Next, aim to eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods each day. For example, instead of a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast, try a spinach and mushroom omelette with whole-grain toast. For lunch, opt for a salad with lots of colourful veggies and grilled chicken, rather than a sandwich with processed meats and white bread. And for dinner, choose a lean protein like fish or chicken, paired with a generous serving of roasted vegetables.
Finally, listen to your body.
When you eat nutrient-dense foods, you’re more likely to feel satisfied and energised, rather than sluggish and bloated. Pay attention to how your body responds to different foods and adjust your diet accordingly.
In conclusion, counting calories can be an effective weight loss strategy, but it often overlooks the importance of nutritional value. By focusing on the nutrients in the foods you’re eating, you can fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to function optimally, and ultimately achieve your health and weight loss goals.