Calories. We all know that I don’t talk about calories often, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t matter.
I do not count calories. I used to, but I became so overwhelmed and so distraught when I didn’t reach my calorie goals, that I had to find a better way. Calorie counting knocked me off track more often than any other method of weight-loss I have tried.
Because with calorie counting, I thought I could eat all the food I have always eaten, in smaller portions, and lose weight. The problem with that is the food I have always eaten is highly addictive. Bread, sugar, processed foods…my body wouldn’t take no for an answer. It wanted all of the calories I could take until my brain FINALLY communicated that I was full. By the way, I was usually sick by that point.
I have found a better way.
If you eat good, whole, real foods with plenty of water and slowly with intent, you don’t have to count calories. Calories do play a part in weight-loss, I’m not saying they don’t. My point is, when you eat the food your body needs with the amount of water your body needs, and at a healthy pace, you will most likely end up in your target calorie range. Calorie counting was an important part in my journey, because now I can recognize what the proper amounts of food are. If you are in control of your food, instead of the other way around, you will be successful with this school of thought.
The most important thing you can remember about calories is that a high calorie food does not necessarily mean it is unhealthy, Just as a low calorie food does not mean that something is healthy. Calories are not commentary on the nutrition of the food. They have everything to do with energy.
We all slip up, trust me, even though I eat good food, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Examples: I have a really hard time not eating too much almond butter and chicken. Well…not together, but you get me, right?
How do I control my almond butter obsession? I don’t allow myself to eat it by the spoonful. Oh it is so painful to let that one go, but I have to control my food. Darn deliciosness. I core an apple, slice it in half, put almond butter in the valleys of both halves, and sprinkle the apple flesh with cinnamon. Seriously the best snack ever and I exercise an annoying thing called portion control.
Chicken. I really love chicken and all meat, really. This is something I’m really struggling with. When I started my no grain, no processed food, no legumes, no dairy, no sugar life; it was really important to me that I would replace those things with vegetables and fruits, not more meat.
Meat can be a really scary thing. The way animals are raised and treated makes me very weary of what you can get in a grocery store, regardless of what the packaging says. I try to make the best decisions when it comes to purchasing meat, but really, you don’t actually know what you are getting.
Another reason I don’t want to eat too much meat is because your body has to have balance.
Do you remember Highschool chemistry? Think back…remember acid, alkalines, and homeostasis? Well that might be some biology too…I don’t know, I wasn’t the best student.
This is critical to the way your body works! Certain foods are considered acids and others are considered alkalines. We have to have both and we have to balance them. What happens when we don’t balance our diet? Your body has to do it itself. This isn’t pretty, because your body will deplete nutrients and minerals to keep itself balanced.
Examples of acidic foods: meat, grains, sugar
Examples of alkalizing foods: most fruits and vegetables.
Here is a great list further explaining acidic and alkaline foods.
This makes sense doesn’t it? As you might guess, the SAD (Standard American Diet) is highly acidic. With all the bread, meat, cheese, and potatoes we eat, our bodies don’t stand a chance at being balanced. So when our diet is too high in acid, the body seeks out alkalines and that is often found in the minerals our body needs. No wonder people get sick and fat.
Calorie counting may work for you, but don’t forget about nutrition. Always consider what your body needs to function versus what you want to eat. When you become educated about how food functions in your body, it really is easier to make better decisions.
Knowledge = No Excuses