If You Want To Be Awesome, You Have To Look Past Calories
I’ve found some really delicious foods in my time as a nutritionist. Foods that satisfy me so that I don’t overeat. Foods that prevent food cravings so I don’t yearn for junk food that contains MSG, causes weight gain, and gives cravings for more junk food. Foods that burn fat!
But all anybody ever wants to know is how many calories they have. Typical exchange:
“This pure raw chocolate I’ve made will boost your metabolism, help soothe a cough or sore throat while fighting infection, reduce blood pressure and TASTE AMAZING.”
“Yeah, but how many calories does it have?”
“I don’t know.”
“You’re a nutritionist and you don’t know how many calories are in your own recipe?”
“That’s right. Now please just enjoy that chocolate and the fact that it’s going to make you healthier than you were before you ate it.”
We’ve been trained for two or three decades now, by companies that sell low calorie foods, that we must always count calories. But what is a calorie?
A calorie is a unit of measure that describes how much energy a food contains. Energy is important – very important. But one cannot live on energy alone. Our bodies are made up of nutrients, not energy. And we’re certainly not made up of a unit of measure of energy.
I will acknowledge that there is a role for looking at calories when examining one’s diet. Calories in lower than calories out does result in weight loss. But that’s only one dimension of the whole picture. Just like a car runs on gasoline but you cannot build a car out of gasoline, our bodies do require energy from our food in order to convert the nutrients the food contains into our tissues – but we cannot sustain ourselves merely on sources of energy or sources of ‘food’ that are low in energy.
When your diet is absent of the nutrients the body needs for survival, the body sends cravings. Uncontrollable cravings. These are the cravings that cause dieters who have lost weight to balloon up to higher numbers of pounds on the scale than before they were dieting.
The key to sustainable health and weight is to eat a diet comprised of as many nutrient-dense foods as possible. This may include high-calorie foods like avocado or coconut oil. Remember, we do need energy. When the energy comes from nutrient-dense sources there cannot be weight-gain.
This is why my Balanced Meal Model for meal planning works. It covers all the bases so that food cravings are eliminated before they need to be send in the first place. It also balances blood sugar, another source of cravings.
The essentials of my Balanced Meal Model are:
- 70% Green Carbs
- 25% Protein
- 4% Starch
- 1% Healthy Fat
Build your meals according to this framework and you’ll look, feel and be healthier with each meal, WITHOUT DIETING! And the change will last because there will be no cravings.