Everything Counts in Large Amounts
Everything Counts in Large AmountsWell small amounts count too, but I was having an 80’s moment and really liked that title. Most people underestimate the amount of calories they consume and overestimate the number of calories they burn. I decided to write this piece after a trip to Costco this morning. The cart traffic jams caused by people lining up for their little paper cup of food they usually have no intention of buying (although they act like the product is the most interesting thing they have ever laid eyes on) is frustrating for many. Those indulging probably assume the little portion only has 20 calories and move on to the next stop in the free sample buffet. Now those same people probably go home and eat lunch because they’ve only had "a few nibbles". The truth is, the total amount of calories consumed before they’ve even had their lunch is probably the equivalent to 2 meals. We have to consider our macronutrient intake in a day. Anything excess leads to weight gain. Everything we put into our bodies counts in any amount. Your grande soy pumpkin latte in the afternoon? It counts. The half chicken nugget you ate from your child’s plate? It counts. I know that it was only 14 tic-tacs, but they count too. If you think that you are following a plan and you do not see any results; you are underestimating your intake. Here are some methods I use: - Start a food journal. This is an old trick but it works! By tracking every item you are consuming, you can easily see how extras add up. - Ensure your day has macro-nutrient balance. Keep the balance & see results. Each meal should consist of lean proteins, good carbs (starch resistant) and a small amount of good fats (mono- and polyunsaturated). This will keep you satiated longer. - Stay hydrated. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. Keep a glass of water around and take a sip before grabbing for that bite of your son's grilled cheese with the crusts cut off! - Invest in a food scale and cup measure. Yes seriously. Again most people over- estimate the appropriate portion size. You should be aiming for 3-4 oz (85-133g) of lean protein per meal. Your carbohydrate intake will vary depending on your goals and amount of activity. - Restaurants often sell portions that are too large. Eat half and put the rest to one side or take it home. I know some people feel silly taking home a doggy bag, if that’s the case, just leave it. Don't let your pride ruin your waistline. - Get a nutrition app. If you are stuck and really don’t know the nutritional content of an item, look it up! There are several great apps available for this.
Once I started following a macro-nutrient balanced plan and stuck to it; I saw results. I wasn’t hungry and didn’t really have a desire to reach for extras. No one is perfect all the time but following this will help you in the long run. You’ll be able to breeze past those sample tables without a second glance.
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