Are you looking to improve your nutrition and health? Think Counting calories is the way to go?  There’s all kinds of apps and tools to help keep us on the right path to our weight and health goals via counting.  Calorie counting is not the answer!  Why?  First of all, who is determining your calorie budget?   Most often, your calorie ‘budget’ is most likely not representitive of your true calorie needs.  Chronic underfueling leads to longterm struggles of maintaining a healthy weight.  And second, not all calories are created equal.  Have you heard the saying “a calorie is a calorie”…, well, it’s WRONG!  Yes, that’s right – calorie counting is a waste of time and can lead to a lifetime of struggles with weigt! 

You need to consider how food and meals will effect your blood sugar.  If you eat foods that cause a quick rise in blood sugar,  that will result in a spike of insulin.  Insulin is a storage hormone, telling our bodies to store fat!  A quick rise and drop in blood sugar also increase cravings.  So the goal to eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight is not about counting calories!  Here are the 4 most helpful steps to take and achieve good energy, lessen cravings, and maintain a healthy weight and forego the constant struggle of dieting forever!

1.  Design your plate!  Ensure your plate has protein, fats, and fiber!  Adding nuts, seeds, oils, or avocados for  fat and including fruits and vegetables at meals and snacks with protein will decrease those blood sugar spikes and keep you energized while lessening the food cravings!  Win-Win!

2. Eat Mindfully!  Use all your senses and turn off the distractions!  Always sit when eating and put away the cell phones, computers, books, and tv.  Be fully present in the moment.  Eating mindlessly always result in eating beyond our needs.  

3.  Eat for pleasure!  That’s right…, you should enjoy your food and feel completely satisfied!  Eat whole foods that are minimally processed with a variety of tastes, textures, and nutrients.  Food should be enjoyable and eating is a time to fuel your body and not a time numb negative emotions or to fill a void in your belly.  

4.  Listen to you body!  Our bodies are very smart and when not subjected to restriction, calorie counting, and cleanses, it can tell you alot of things!  When it is consuming nutrient dense, REAL wholesome foods, balanced in carbs, protein, and fat, it will tell you when it’s hungry and when you’ve had enough!  Getting our bodies back to INTUITIVE EATING…., that’s our SWEET SPOT!

For more information or an individualized plan, contact a Registered Dietitian.

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