You’ve heard it before, haven’t you? “Just eat less and exercise more.” But how many of you have tried that and found that it doesn’t really work? And it feels like you’re pushing a boulder up the hill the whole time too.
Whilst I’ve been on the webinar and health summit rounds this Summer, I’ve been struck by this paradigm that many of us still subscribe to: Isn’t losing weight all about calories in vs calories out? That simple!
Well it’s not. Nearly everyone I’ve talked to has tried that at one point or another in their lives. Interestingly it might work for a time (and sometimes better for men than women) but it doesn’t really work long term or make us feel full of life and energy, which is how we want feel most of the time, right? If counting calories really worked, we wouldn’t be in a situation where 25% of the UK population is obese. That’s around 17 million people.
So what is it about calories? Maybe we need to really get our heads around the fact that all calories are NOT created equal. A calorie of sugar is not the same as a calorie of beef, is not the same as a calorie of kale.
If you ate 50 calories worth of beef, you’re going to get vitamins B12, B3, B5, B6, antioxidants like selenium and zinc, omega 3 fats (if the beef is grass fed) and good quality protein that your body will use for growth and repair – of muscle, tissue, bones.
If you ate 50 calories worth of kale, you’re going to get vitamins K, A, C and 16 other important vitamins and minerals plus fibre and carbohydrates.
If you ate 50 calories worth of sugar you’re going to get no nutrients. Absolutely nothing. All you get is a burst of glucose that gets burnt up as quick as lighting a paper, and sets you off on a blood sugar rollercoaster that leaves you starving, cranky, hunting out more sugary junk and putting on weight.
So what do I do if I’m not counting calories?
I think counting chemicals trumps counting calories. I mentioned in an earlier post that most of our digestive systems, including our liver, are overburdened by the amount of chemicals and toxins we ingest everyday, mostly through the food choices we make, but also the air we breathe, the water we drink, the lotions and potions we use on our body and hair, what we use to clean our house.
Where do I start?
If you increase food quality, that’s the surest way to improve your health and allow your body to start releasing weight too! So forget about tracking calories but instead focus on reducing the chemical count in the food you eat – the artificial additives, preservatives, sweeteners and general junk that is added to our food chain.
The easiest way to do this is to look for the labels with the fewest ingredients and buy organic to reduce the herbicides and pesticides load.
The Environmental Workers Group have created the Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen list which is handy when you’re out shopping. The Dirty Dozen is a list of the most sprayed fruits and veg out there, so if you’re on a budget these are the ones to focus on buying organic. The Clean Fifteen are the fruits and veg sprayed the least.
But most importantly, just eat real food. The more high quality food you eat, the less processed, low quality food you can and want to eat.
If you want to explore this further and start working on creating healthy habits that last, book a free discovery session with me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peace and love,
Tuning into your cycles
March 2, 2016
How do you want to feel in 2016?
January 2, 2016
Did you know you could be eating the healthiest food in the world and still be starving?