Counting calories is synonymous with the dreaded ‘D’ word… dieting.
Just the word ‘calorie’ can send a shiver up the spine.
It triggers memories of deprivation and misery… and ultimately failure.
But we need some kind of weight loss strategy because the stats are not good.
Some studies suggest that up to 80% of women gain weight in menopause.
But even before we hit this season of life – over 70% of women are overweight or obese.
So what we’re doing isn’t working.
In recent years there has been this concept that when we eat a high-fat diet we don’t need to count calories.
This is a total myth – sure you can lose weight on a diet like Keto, but NOT if you’re consuming more calories than you need.
I’m suggesting that we approach middle ground and not count calories but know where they’re coming from.
This way we can tweak recipes and meals, without sacrificing flavour OR volume of food, AND shift weight if that is your gaol.
In fact, when you ‘know’ where calories are coming from, you can eat a greater volume of food and still release weight – winning!
So what does this look like in practice?
Some foods we know we need to avoid like calorie-rich cakes and biscuits…
but it’s often the healthy foods that trip us up.
Take for example olive oil – sure it’s a healthy oil but…
Liquid oils are the most calorie-dense food on the planet, ALL of them, even olive oil.
It’s easy to think because it’s healthy we can eat as much as we want – but that simply isn’t the case.
1 tablespoon of oil is 120 calories, that’s equivalent to 20-40 olives depending on the size of the olives.
OR a large apple
OR small banana
OR 2 1/2 oranges
OR an overflowing cup of blueberries.
You get my point AND all the above examples are foods that still have the fiber intact – the all-important key to our health.
This is why I would much rather you toss a few olives on your salad rather than drizzle it with olive oil!
So what if you simply used less liquid oil?
Rather than splooshing oil over your salad, you squeezed lemon juice & garlic, and sprinkled it with fresh herbs and Herbamare (healthy salt).
Or cook your onions with just a teaspoon of oil (or just a hot pan and a sprinkle of water if needed) rather than the couple of glugs that we usually pour in.
And on the other end of the spectrum, there’s a reason why many vegetables are ‘free’ foods on diets… they are the least calorie-dense (but they are also the healthiest foods on the planet that we need to be eating more of!).
In fact, the majority of plant foods are the lowest calorie dense of ALL foods.
Vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans & lentils, have less calories per pound than lean meat, eggs, dairy, cheese, bread, and pasta.
So what if you started to make some simple swaps?
Substituting half the amount of meat you usually use with beans or lentils would immediately reduce the number of calories that you’re eating – without you even knowing.
Not only that – you’ve now increased your fiber intake which will improve your health AND support your menopause journey.
So by knowing where your calories are coming from you don’t need to count them, instead make simple swaps, that not only improve your health, and increase your nutrition, BUT help you release weight in the process.
If you’d like to find out how you can tweak your current recipes and meal and release weight in the process then let’s chat.
Book a complimentary Mini Menopause assessment here.
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