BLOG NUTRITION, FOOD
May 14, 2014
Eat More to Lose More
Might as well be a 4-letter word in the nutrition world. Being too hungry can make even the most positive, intentional and balanced individuals & plans fall through. Many variables are at play when it comes to hunger. However, there's one thing that you can do to eat more- yes more!- and likely feel much less hungry, meaning you have an easier time eating the calories you need to meet your weight and health goals.
What is this trick, you ask?
Filling up on water-dense, fiber-dense and low-cal foods.
Where do such foods exist?
The produce section!
Vegetables and fruits contain some of the lowest calories by weight or volume of any food. They're filled with fiber and water. This means you can eat larger portions of foods you love for less calories if you are able to sneak more of these into your diet. Here are some examples:
- Lettuce wrap (1 entire head 5" of Boston lettuce has ~20 calories and 4g carb) vs. tortilla (1 Mission Sundried Tomato Basil Wrap has 210 cals and 36g carb)
- Tomato, eggplant (1/2 an entire eggplant has 70 cals and 16g carb) or mushroom (1 whole cup portabella mushrooms has 35 cals and 5g carb) vs. burger bun (1 100% Whole Wheat Oroweat Bun has 170 cals and 32g carb)
- Cauliflower (1 entire medium head of cauliflower has ~45 cals and 9g carb) vs rice (1 c cooked has approx. 200 cals and 40g carb)
- Zucchini (1 cup sliced, cooked zucchini has ~30 cals and 5g carb) or spaghetti squash vs pasta (1 c cooked whole grain angel hair pasta has approx. 200 cals and 41g carb)
Some of the foods listed above have ~ one tenth of the calories that their counterparts do! Imagine how much those calories can add up during a week! And added bonuses: you aren't depriving yourself of your favorite foods (you can still have a lean burger with a veggie bun or spaghetti with spaghetti squash) and you get to eat much larger portions. If you struggle with a 'clean your plate' habit, what a win that can be!
One last note: there are a handful of foods that have a very small portion for a lot of calories. Something we want to limit! Be mindful of portion sizes with cheese and snack 'bars'. Examples: 1 cubic inch cheddar cheese has 70 cals (only 1 inch!!), and Clif bars have ~230 cals and 45g carb each.) These aren't never foods, just a lot of calories for small servings. So you can decide the healthiest way to use them when you do!
Now that you know what you can swap out in your routine to eat more food, more bulk and more filling fiber & water for less calories, are you open to trying them? If so, share your favorite!