Check out this great video of what 200 calories looks like. It does a nice job at explaining that a calorie is not always just a calorie and reinforces how confusing this all is!
On the one hand do not eat too many calories…but if you are eating foods that are high in fiber (vegetables, fruit and whole grains) you do not need to worry about the calories as much…and you also need to know what macronutrients those calories provide (protein, carbs or fat)….they did not even discuss where the food comes from (locally sourced, seasonal, pesticides and GMOS present?) – I mean it is a lot to deal with! Jeez.
How do you know if you are making the right decisions when it comes to calories? What is an easy way to know you are eating well?
I do not know really know the answer…reassuring isn’t it? Again – jeez!
That being said, here is what I do know.
- Eat vegetables – lots of them. Non starchy vegetables are all vegetables except for peas, corn, potatoes and winter squash. They are full of fiber, very few calories, packed with micronutrients and an essential part of a healthy diet and a diet that will promote weight loss.
- Stop eating sooner than you think. Consider portioning out your food into smaller portions than you usually eat, eat off a smaller plate or just stop eating before you get too full. We all eat more than we need so stop when you are ahead of the game.
- Eat protein, carbohydrate and fat – If your diet is too restrictive, your body will start to yell at you. Some of you may need more carbs while others may need more protein or fat – that is specific to each individual – but I am certain we need all three.
- Drink water – lots and lots of water. We are all a bit dehydrated and the body does not want to run dry – have that water bottle near by and fill regularly. I know it is annoying and doesnt taste sweet, but do it anyways!
- Eat every 4 hours. We all have different systems, routines, digestions and bodies, but rarely are folks on a successful plan when they go more than 4 hours without food. It usually backfires and the next meal is huge and we tend to overeat on foods that are not necessarily part of the weight loss plan.
So, how many calories do you need? Maybe that is the wrong question to ask… I do know that if you take some time to be truly aware of the foods you eat and the patterns around your eating, you will figure out what is the best way to eat – for you. Take some time to notice how it all works for you.