Calorie Counting: Not All Calories Are Equal

If you’ve struggled with your weight over the years then you’ve likely tried the many diets that have come along with being overweight – the counting calories, the exercise, and the countless fad diets that hit the market year after year. If you’ve made the choice to have weight loss surgery and you’re just now getting back to a semi-normal style of eating, then you’ve surely come to find out that there are still many choices for you to make. Yes, the surgery has diminished the amount of food that you are able to eat and still remain comfortable. But it’s up to you to listen to your body in terms of how much you can eat at one time and to make the decisions regarding what you put in your body. It’s still essential to stick to the calorie plan assigned to you by your doctor or nutritionist but it’s also important to realize that not every calorie is created equal.

What does this mean? Simply that each and every food – while assigned a calorie count – also comes with its own nutritional qualities. So eating 100 calories of potato chips, for example, is quite different than eating 100 calories of vegetables. While you may be eating within your range of calories you may not ultimately be doing your body – or your weight loss goals – any good by choosing one calorie count food over another. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when planning your calorie intake:

Limit sugar. Those high sugar foods may taste good and many of them are even relatively low in calories, but they pack a negative punch. High sugar foods increase cravings, destabilize blood sugar, cause a spike and subsequent crash in energy, and put you at risk for weight gain and even the development of diabetes.

Read labels with vigor. It’s best to eat as many whole foods as possible and that means choosing foods with as few ingredients as possible. Reading labels is crucial to staying in control. Sugar comes in the form of ingredients such as sucrose, molasses, corn syrup, corn sugar, maltodextrin, dextrose, and more.

Eat foods of many colors. Filling your plate with a variety of fruits and vegetables of many different colors means that you are providing your body with a variety of nutrients that are both filling and adept at providing your body with all the energy it needs.

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