Focus on Foods, not Calories

I don’t count calories. Sometimes, I will look at a label because I’m curious, but I don’t look at calories in food anymore. I look for sugar and I read ingredients to make sure there aren’t any that are bad for me.

When I hear people say that counting calories and moderation are the keys to weight loss, I feel that they miss the mark. Even at its most basic level, calories in < calories expended misses the mark. The quality of those calories is every bit as important because of the way the body handles and processes those calories.

I eat foods that are heavy on protein and nutrients. I avoid foods high in sugar, contain artificial trans fat, contain additives, have grain, soy, or beans, and that contain dairy (for the most part). Fats are not the enemy as long as they are saturated contain omega-3’s. Eggs are GREAT for you!

Here’s something novel: I eat meals that would fit into both my hands if I cup them. It doesn’t seem like a lot, and compared to how much I used to eat, it’s not, but it’s enough to fuel my body from meal time to meal time. I eat three times a day, not all through the day. I don’t snack or eat between meals unless I am going to have to delay a meal by a few hours. Then, I’ll eat a snack and eat that much less at the following meal.

I focus on eating food that fills me up, not on meeting some calorie number. Calories are typically underestimated for foods anyway, so it’s not even a good starting point when trying to determine how many calories you’re eating. Then there is the fact that different foods have different satiety regardless of caloric content. That means there are high calorie foods that don’t fill you up versus foods with a reasonable amount of calories that will. Natural foods (meats and vegetables) are typically higher in satiety, and (who’d a thunk it!) are better for you overall.

Skip the calorie counting and concentrate on eating quality foods. You will be surprised at how much better it is for you, how much better you will feel, and how much more filling it is.

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