1 Huge Problem with Calorie-Counting
Don’t get me wrong — calorie counting is useful.
But it’s because it builds awareness of what you’re eating. It’s a good tool for checking-in and seeing what you’re doing. It erases mindless eating because you have to log everything, but:
Calorie counting has nothing to do with satiety / how full you feel.
100 calories of soda will not provide any ‘fullness’ vs 100 calories of carrots, which will feel substantial. Calorie Density is the better metric, measured in calories per pound.
Lower calorie density will fill you up faster and not allow you to overeat.
Focusing on lower calorie density is also called ‘Volume Eating’.
Here’s how to incorporate calorie density for weight loss into your diet, step by step:
Step 1: Understand the calorie density scale.
Lower calorie density foods are whole, unprocessed foods.
They will also be full of fiber and water, things your body needs to maintain proper “throughput”, as well as tons of micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, etc). As you process foods more, you strip away water and fiber which act to ‘dilute’ the calories.
Nuts, chips, pretzels, doughnuts are in the 2,500–3,000 cal/lb. Butter & oil are 3,200–4,000.
Step 2: Choose 90% of foods in 750 cal/lb or lower range.
Vegetables are 65–195 cal/lb, fruit is 135–420, potatoes up to 650 and legumes up to 750 cal/lb.
Eating a big salad is great especially at 150–400 calories but add 2 tablespoons of oil and you’ve just skewed the entire meal to be much more calorie dense, adding 240 calories.
Step 3: 10% of your food should be 400–1000+ cal/lb.
This range contains lean proteins and nonfat dairy products.
Anything above this range is not a great option for weight loss and should be used sparingly.
Enjoy feeling fuller and watch the pounds fall off.
For additional understanding of what foods calorie density is and how to eat high volume, low calorie foods, check out:
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