If you are one of the many people that count calories, it is time to stop putting yourselves through this grueling process. A calorie is energy. Food calories come from macronutrients comprised of protein, fat and carbohydrates. The quality of the food plays a significant role in how your body will utilize calories.
Protein reduces appetite more per calorie than fat and carbohydrates. By consuming protein calories (fish, eggs, poultry, beef and beans) during each meal, you will increase the feeling of fullness. Satiety reduces hunger causing you to naturally eat fewer calories.
Carbohydrates provide the body with glucose (energy). There are two types of carbs, “complex” (unrefined) and “simple” (refined). Complex carbs, aka, the “good carbs” are high in nutrients and fiber. It takes the body more time to break down due to the fiber, slowing down digestion and glucose absorption, while adding bulk making you feel full. Choose carb calories from whole grain products like brown rice, quinoa, oats, legumes and whole fruits and vegetables.
Simple carbs, aka the “bad carbs”, are highly processed and void of nutrients. Simple carbs raise your blood’s level of insulin as they pass through your digestive system quickly causing you to feel hungry and eat more calories. Avoid simple calorie carbs found in soda, candy, white flours, cookies, crackers, and breakfast cereals.
Not all fat calories are created equal. Healthy fats will keep you satiated while providing you with energy. Fat is needed to absorb fat-soluble micronutrients including Vitamins A, D, E and K. Enjoy fat calories from wild salmon, flax, chia, hemp seeds, avocado, nuts and seeds. Avoid “empty” calories that will have you craving more from processed chips, crackers, cookies, fries and baked foods made with vegetable and hydrogenated oils.
The human body is a highly complex system that regulates and balances energy. The types of calories you eat ultimately affect the number of calories you consume. Simple changes in food selection can lead to better results than calorie restriction.
Enjoy my chia pudding recipe, filled with slow absorbing calories, nutrients, fiber and bursting with flavor. Let me know how you enjoyed it.
Banana Chia Pudding
- 1 ripe banana
- ¼ cup almond milk, unsweetened home-made is optimum
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dash of almond extract (optional)
- Sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
- In a food processor, combine ingredients and pulse until combined.
- Pour in a serving cup, chill for approximately 1-hour.
Susan Chasen is a Nutrition & Health Coach and the founder of The Organic Teaching Kitchen. She offers cooking and nutrition workshops to kids, teens and adults. Susan sees clients privately and in small groups.
The Organic Teaching Kitchen is located at 18 Old Post Rd. South. Croton-on-Hudson, NY. Check out her monthly group workshop schedule at http://www.theorganicteachingkitchen.com or contact her at [email protected]