Are you having trouble losing weight despite eating less?
Healthy weight loss is not about depriving yourself of food. It is not about crash dieting. It is not about eating the least amount of food that you can. Healthy weight loss is about eating adequate amounts of the right food. If you are struggling to lose weight, this implies you should eat more food that has low energy density.
What Is Energy Density?
Energy density is the amount of energy or calories contained in a certain serving of food. Thus, food can be classified into low energy density and high energy density foods.
Low energy density foods contain fewer calories compared to high energy density ones. For example, one serving of a butter cookie contains 102 calories, while whole-wheat oatmeal cookies only have 39 calories per serving. The latter is classified as low energy density food because even in the same amount (1 serving), it has a lower caloric content compared to the butter cookies. This means you will still consume fewer calories, even if you take 2 servings of the whole-wheat oatmeal cookies. You can eat more servings, yet you will not compromise your caloric intake. For individuals who are trying to lose weight, eating low calorie-content food is ideal, as you don’t need to starve yourself.
Why Is Low Calorie Intake Important In Healthy Weight Loss?
Obese or overweight people have more fat deposits in their body. In order to trim down this weight, there are two possible solutions. They could either increase their physical activity or decrease their caloric intake.
Increasing physical activity helps you burn fat by using fat as a source of energy when you exercise. On the other hand, decreasing your caloric intake works in two ways. First, it avoids further accumulation of fat deposits in your body’s tissues. Remember, excess calories from whatever food source (e.g. fat, protein, carbohydrates or sugar) are converted by the body into triglycerides and stored as fat. Therefore, eating low calorie foods reduces your chances of having excess calories circulating in your system. Secondly, when there are fewer supplies of energy or calories, your body will be compelled to break down your fat deposits and use them as an alternative source of energy. This is how low-calorie foods help the fat-burning mechanism and eventually the weight loss process in your body.
Moreover, eating low-calorie food doesn’t necessarily mean you are reducing the amount of food that you eat. The amount of calories is not directly proportional to the amount of food. As mentioned earlier, foods can be classified into low energy density and high energy density depending on their caloric content. So, eliminate your misconception about eating less to consume fewer calories because this can result in bouts of hunger. The best thing to do is be mindful of what you eat. There are several foods that are high in calorie content despite their small sizes. For instance, a small French fries contain 230 calories, 1 glazed doughnut has 315 calories and a small chocolate bar can contain 280 calories. On the other hand, there are foods that appear bulky yet contain fewer calories: for example, 3 ½ cups of popcorn only contain 100 calories.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s online publication, it is the amount of food we eat that makes us feel full, not the number of calories we take in. Just like in our example earlier about the butter cookies and whole-wheat oatmeal cookies, you can eat more servings of the latter with fewer calories. You will feel fuller eating 3 servings of whole-wheat oatmeal cookies with a total of 117 calories than when you eat 2 servings of butter cookies that contain 204 calories.
Furthermore, you still have to be careful of the amount of food that you take in, which means do not overeat. However, healthy weight loss is not equivalent to food deprivation. This is why we are introducing you to low energy density foods. Be reminded too that the combination of regular exercise, right food and healthy lifestyle is still the best weight loss program you can have.
To help you choose the right foods that will help you towards healthy weight loss, check out the 3 recommended foods below.
3 Recommended Foods for Healthy Weight Loss
Energy density depends on the amount of water, fibre and fat that a food contains. These primary factors are significant in every weight loss process. In general, foods that are high in water and fibre but are low in fat content are considered ideal for people who are aiming for healthy weight loss.
1. Choose a food with more water content but fewer calories. Foods high in water content, such as fruits and vegetables, are generally low in energy density. Water covers more of the weight and volume of these foods and contains fewer calories. Asparagus, carrots, broccoli, green beans, salad greens and zucchini are vegetables that contain lots of water but are low in calorie content. If you enjoy soup, always remember that a broth-based soup is healthier than cream-based soup.
When it comes to fruits, eat whole fresh, canned (without syrup) or frozen fruits without syrup. On the other hand, avoid dried fruits and fruit juices because these have a high concentration of natural sugars, which makes them high energy dense.
2. Eat foods rich in fibre. Foods abundant in fibre are bulky. This can make your stomach feel full more easily. Likewise, it takes a longer time to digest high-fibre foods, which prolongs your satiety period. Whole grains (e.g. whole wheat, whole grain cereal), fruits and vegetables are low in calories but rich in fibre.
3. Consume more protein sources with low-fat foods. There are several plant and animal sources that are rich in protein, but low in calorie and fat content. These foods are considered the healthiest choices among low energy dense foods. White-meat poultry (skinless), legumes (e.g. beans, lentils, peas) and fish are the best examples of these foods. Always remember that foods such as meat and dairy are high in fat content and have high energy density. So, choose the lean parts of the meat and as much as possible consume fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Likewise, it is better to grill meat and add some low-fat dressing than fry-cook it with some mayonnaise.
Beyond Good Health Holistic Medical Clinics in Brisbane and Gold Coast offer Beyond Slim Weight Loss Program, a healthy weight loss program that gets to the absolute root of weight gain and obesity. It is designed to deal with no less than 10 weight loss roadblocks and is combined with a low-calorie diet.
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