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Obsessing Over Calories

fresh fruits and vegetables during work - food and drink

 “I can eat more tonight, because I burned 500 calories during my workout today.”

 In our society, the word “calorie” has a somewhat negative sound. We are constantly looking for ways to reduce our calorie intake and to burn more calories through physical activity. In the United Kingdom, it was even proposed that labels indicate how much physical activity is necessary to burn the calories contained in a product.

The grocery store trap

The food marketing industry takes advantage of our obsession by offering a host of “low-calorie” products. The objective is to give us the impression that the food we choose is healthy so we can eat more without feeling guilty about eating too many calories.

The truth

These “low-calorie” products contain little energy, complex carbohydrates, fibre, fat, and protein. In addition, they are not filling, which inevitably causes us to eat more. Obviously, this doesn’t help us fight overconsumption.

What if we stopped obsessing over the quantity of calories we eat and burn, and instead focused on the QUALITY of the food we buy?

By providing our body with nutrients, satiety will set in faster and last longer. Therefore, exerting control over our appetite has many benefits. By becoming more in tune with our body’s signals, we can reduce our calorie intake. Eating one high-quality granola bar is more beneficial than eating two bars with empty calories that will leave you hungry.

Choosing healthy processed food is not as easy. Don’t judge food based on the quantity of calories, but rather on ingredients you should eat and those you should avoid. To help you choose quality products, follow these five steps:

  • Read the list of ingredients

Put the product back on the shelf if you wouldn’t allow your children to eat the first ingredient, if you don’t know what most of the ingredients are, or if the list reads like a novella.

  • Compare servings

It is important that you use grams to compare similar servings of different products.

  • Analyze carbohydrates

You need to look further than the quantity of carbohydrates: fibre is also important, and the higher the content, the faster satiety will set in.

  • Check protein content

Protein will make you feel full faster, and longer.

  • Check fat content

Analyze the type of fat contained in the product, and favour monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as much as possible. To calculate the quantity of healthy fats, subtract the quantity of trans and saturated fats from the total quantity of lipids.

 

And most importantly, take the time to enjoy quality food, guilt-free!

 

By Alyssa Fontaine, P.Dt., Nutritionist for Zero Diet

The Zero Diet brand is first and foremost the conviction that healthy eating is a primary factor to attaining a healthy weight and a balanced lifestyle. Thus, we offer nutrition counselling with nutritionists who are members of the OPDQ with our Zero Diet nutrition program in our centers and in companies. We have also developed a healthy frozen food product line that fulfills rigorous nutritional criteria as well as two healthy Zero Diet cookbooks.

 

Author
Alyssa Fontaine, Dt.P.

Nutrition supervisor at Nautilus Plus, member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec and holder of a bachelor’s degree from McGill University, Alyssa joined the Nautilus Plus team in January 2014. She developed an interest in healthy nutrition at a very young age, inspired by her grandmother’s large vegetable garden and her iron health still going strong at over 90 years of age. Proper nutrition and an active lifestyle are the secrets to a long life. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Alyssa exercises regularly and shares her tips to living a balanced lifestyle acknowledging that she does have a sweet tooth. She is the proud spokesperson for the «Zero Diet» brand and she is being followed more and more on social networks.


Obsessing Over Caloriesis a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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