By Fitmo Coach, Carol Keller

When you read a food label, is the first thing you look at the calorie count? Did you know not all calories are created the same? Do you realize you could be eating 3000 calories a day and still be starving yourself?  When your daily food intake is void of nutrients you are literally starving your body. It is called nutritional bankruptcy! It is HOW the body uses calories from different sources that makes calories different. If you’re starving your body of essential nutrients, not only will you sabotage your weight loss efforts, but you will feel deprived, miserable, and increase your risk of gaining the weight back or worse yet- falling prey to illness and/or disease. Focusing on a diet that is high in good quality “macronutrients” coming from protein, carbohydrates, and fat is far more productive not only for your diet but your long-term health. Here are the foods you need to eat if you want to treat your body right to get the results you want.

The Perfect Protein

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein for the average healthy adult is .8 grams per kilogram of body weight. To calculate your RDA of protein, multiply your weight in pounds by .36. This is the minimum recommendation for your body to meet its basic needs. Many people do not get enough protein in their daily diet, and it is essential to maintaining lean muscle,  improving bone health,  boosting metabolism, and helping your body repair itself after an injury.

Here is a list of both animal and plant based protein sources:

– 3 oz of tuna …………………………….21 grams

– 3 oz cooked turkey or chicken……19 grams

– 6 oz plain Greek yogurt…………….17 grams

– 1 egg………………………………………..6 grams

– 1 cup cooked lentils………………….18 grams

– 3T hemp seeds…………………………10 grams

– 1 cup cooked beans…………………..15 grams (approx.)

stop counting calories

The Not So Scary Carbohydrates

Another essential macronutrient we need to maintain a healthy body are carbohydrates. Carbs are the preferred source for energy and for maintaining a healthy body weight. Consuming too many carbs, or processed carbs can lead to weight gain, but consuming too few carbs can lead to headaches, nausea, and fatigue.  The RDA of carbohydrates for someone who engages in light to moderate exercise daily (30 min brisk walk, 30 min bike ride, 30 min yoga session) is 2.3-3.2 grams per pound of body weight.  However, how your body converts those carbs and uses them for energy is a formula that is best discovered by each individual.  While we need the minimum to maintain optimal energy and health, we want to be sure to choose those carbs wisely. Avoid sugary beverages, processed foods, and refined grains such as white bread and white rice. Choose carbs that are nutrient rich such as:

– sweet potatoes

– winter squashes

– zucchini

– red, yellow, green peppers

– broccoli

– leafy greens

– blueberries

– whole grains (in moderation)

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Healthy Fats

One more macronutrient that is very important to our health is a good dose of healthy fats.  We have come a long way since the “fat-free” craze! It is one topic that has created a lot of nutritional confusion over the years. There are many benefits of making healthy fats part of our daily diet and these include:

– helping us to feel satiated longer

– helping reduce inflammation

– helping reduce belly fat

– decreasing  your risk of heart disease

– helping to burn fat

The RDA of healthy fats is about 20%-35% of your daily calories. Consider adding some of the following to your daily diet in moderation:

-avocado

-walnuts

-salmon

-peanut butter (made only with peanuts)

-olive oil

-flaxseed

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The Bottom Line: Stop Counting Calories

The bottom line is that not all calories are created equally. Too often people are focused on just cutting calories when they want to lose weight/fat.  There is a big nutritional difference between a prepackaged, highly-processed, 100 calorie bag of cookies vs 100 calories from 22 pistachios. We will have a much better chance of achieving optimal health if we focus more on the nutrients we get from our food rather than the number of calories it contains. This will encourage better choices overall which will help us to look and feel fabulous!

Start Working With Carol Today

Carol Profile 2
Do you look in the mirror and say “Who Am I?” Do you want to feel younger, confident, & have more energy? As a woman over 40, I understand the struggles that woman our age go through. I’ve been a diet and exercise coach for over 10 years and I want to help you get YOUR sexy back & put that confidence back in your strut!

Learn more about Carol, and working with her via the Fitmo app here.