Wednesday, 29 May 2013

How you YOU consume your calories?

This may seem like a simple question, but actually it is not quite as simple as it could be.  Now I am not one to weigh her food but I am aware of a number of mistakes people make.  Namely as in the past, I have made them too.

I watched one of Channel 4's numerous weight related programmes last week where a doctor announced that those who consumed their calories in liquid often consumed up to 300 calories a day more than those who drink more water, tea and generally lower calorie drinks.  Well, DUH I thought.   These things do not fill you up yet contribute to your daily intake.  The days when I struggle the most are those I succumb to a luxury coffee.

But this got me thinking about the mistakes many dieters make, and indeed back to those which I had made in the past.  For example, not recording alcohol.  A small glass of wine contains a minimum of 120kCal.  Not recording a few of these a week could easily lead to weight not coming off as you wish.  Even not recording 'diet' soft drinks and juice can make an impact.

Then there are cooking fats.  Personally I despise things like 'Fry light'.  Not because they are low in calories but I count them in the same vein as sweetners, probably worse for you than having the oil (or sugar) in moderation due to how synthetic and manufactured they are.  I digress, many people forget to count their olive oil, or even low fat alternatives in their calorie intake.  The low fat alternative is one thing, but a tbsp of olive oil is over 100kCal! Again, this soon adds up.

The previous paragraph leads into, what for me is one of the worst diet 'faux pas', it is not how you consume calories but how you consume hidden sugars.  Pasta sauces which come in jars are the worst offenders of this.  What I am referring to are the multitude of 'diet' sauces, cakes, ready meals etc which grace the shelves of supermarkets.  Most of these are full of additives, sweetners etc just to reduce the fat content.  I will let you in on a secret; it is better, healthier and lower calorie to make your own pasta sauce or cake.  Certainly in the case of pasta sauce it is very little work (if any more than a jar of sauce) and so much tastier and as they are not full of rubbish, will probably keep you fuller for longer too.

Looking for more of an incentive to think about these things?  Health issues which people commonly associate with alcohol such as a 'beer' or 'wine' belly or cirrhosis of the liver can also be caused by eating foods packed full of refined sugars and fats and often those masquerading as healthy are the worst.

Eating well is not just about eating low in calories and fat, it is about 'eating clean' and simple changes like this are a great way to start - and it will help the old waistline too!

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