Confused About Calories

ID-10068764I’ve had a number of questions from “Prescription for Life” plan followers who are fine-tuning their diet. These have ranged from questions about daily calories, fat-free products, grass-fed meats, gluten, and various food-fads and trends. Please visit my blog to read my perspective on these specific ingredients.

I have to admit that once my wife and I decided to change our diet, I primarily focused on the 6 foods to avoid. My wife is the one who took the initiative to make the foods that remained delicious and varied. The food focus that we live by is based on three facts:

  • A calorie is a measurement of energy. Your body burns calories even when resting, but especially when exercising. Foods contain the calories our bodies need to keep moving through life. To lose unhealthy weight your body has to burn more calories than you take in. Exercise boosts the burning of calories, and watching what you eat decreases the unnecessary calories.
  • A gram of fat contains 9 calories while a gram of sugar or protein contains only 4 calories. So, if you are eating fatty foods you are adding numerous calories to your diet.
  • Fruits and vegetables offer the best “fill-factor” by offering the fewest calories per portion. So, use plant food sources as the basis of all your meals.

It can feel confusing and constraining to go to the trouble of counting calories for everything. So, I generally recommend Weight Watchers’ resources, since their point system offers a great guide to choosing what to eat whether you are dining out or preparing meals at home. There are several Weight Watchers approved cookbooks. Cookbooks featuring healthy salads and soups can provide creative ways to mix up the plethora of low-fat and plant food sources that we can enjoy.

There are also an abundance of recipes available online showing nutrition facts for each recipe. Once you know the basics of eating according to the “Prescription for Life” plan, a quick perusal of any recipe’s ingredients should tell you how close you can come to 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, and 0mg cholesterol.




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