Trying to lose weight but sick of feeling deprived? Dietitian Melissa Meier explains an idea you’ll be thrilled to hear about.
You can actually shed kilos while eating more food than you were before. Intrigued?
Here’s what you need to know.
Energy dense vs. nutritious foods
‘Treat’ foods like chocolate, biscuits and cake are energy-dense and nutrient-poor. That means you’ll get a decent whack of calories for a relatively small amount of food, along with added sugar, fat and/or sodium – nothing that’s particularly good for you.
These foods are a quick energy fix, so you might feel full immediately after you’ve eaten them, but your blood sugars will soon come crashing down, and you’ll reach for more. Hello weight gain.
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In comparison, healthy wholefoods like fruit and veggies, legumes and wholegrains are low in kilojoules and high in nutrients, which means you can eat a lot of them without putting a huge dent in your daily calorie consumption.
These core foods also offer a range of valuable nutrients that support good overall health, too – one of them being fibre. With weight loss in mind, fibre is your best friend because it slows down digestion, which helps you to feel full and satisfied long after a meal. Goodbye 3pm munchies.
In case you missed it, here’s what I’m really trying to say: all calories are not created equally. By focusing on the right foods, you can increase the total volume of food you’re eating while keeping your calorie intake in check. This will keep you feeling satisfied (not #hangry) and you’ll eventually lose weight – and the best part is, because you won’t feel deprived, you’ll be more likely to keep it off long term.
Eat more and lose weight, for real
Still not convinced? Here’s a day’s worth of examples.
You could eat a slice of buttered banana bread and a regular cappuccino for 670 calories (2800 kilojoules), or you could eat two slices of wholegrain toast topped with half a cup of reduced fat ricotta cheese and one sliced tomato, along with one banana, for 455 calories (1900 kilojoules).
For morning tea…
You could eat two Tim Tams for 190 calories (800 kilojoules), or you could eat a whole cup or strawberries and one cup of plain air-popped popcorn for 110 calories (470 kilojoules).
You could eat a medium cheeseburger meal with a Coca Cola from McDonalds for 740 calories (3100 kilojoules), or you could have a wholemeal wrap topped with two hard-boiled eggs, mustard and two cups of salad, as well as a small tub of reduced-fat yoghurt for 570 calories (2400 kilojoules).
For afternoon tea…
You could eat two rows of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate for 260 calories (1100 kilojoules), or you could eat four vita-weats with one tablespoon of hummus and one cup of carrot sticks for 170 calories (700 kilojoules).
You could eat a large steak with a baked potato, sour cream and one cup of vegetables for 530 calories (2200 kilojoules), or you could eat a small piece of grilled fish with half a roasted sweet potato and two cups of sautéed vegetables for 360 calories (1500 kilojoules).
In total, these simple swaps would slash your day’s intake from 2400 calories (10000 kilojoules) to 1700 calories (7000 kilojoules).
At the same time, you’ll increase the total volume of food you’re eating – as well as add a tonne of fibre – which will ultimately keep you feeling good and set you on the path for long-term, sustainable weight loss. How good is that?!
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based Accredited Practising Dietitian. You can connect with her at www.honestnutrition.com.au or on Instagram @honest_nutrition.