Alternatives to calorie tracking
The theory behind calorie counting is one that certainly makes sense. Record the energy content of a food, and aim for a certain number each day. Simple? Yes. Effective? No. Aside from the fact that you’re more likely to have a mental breakdown from all the numbers before you start to see results…where have you pulled the number you are aiming for from? An online calculator that certainly won’t be taking into account your individual needs? Or a friend mentioned something about a ‘1200 calorie’ weight loss rule? Both are not only ridiculous but could place your health in serious harm if your body isn’t receiving sufficient nutrition. If you find that following guidelines is the best way for you to keep your health in check, try following one of these more sensible approaches instead.
Include Two Serves of Veg in Each Meal
Incorporating some spinach and mushrooms in your morning eggs, an extra helping of salad at lunch and some zucchini and pumpkin in your mid-week pasta meal, you’ll not only find that there’s less room for everything else but you can be assured that your body is receiving a healthy intake of essential vitamins and minerals.
Think About Your Macronutrients
Macronutrients are the essential nutrients that our body synthesises for energy. They include protein, fats and carbohydrates. For our bodies to function appropriately, a mix of these nutrients are needed every day, so take it back to basics. An average meal should include a serve of protein, such as chicken breast/couple of eggs/serve of lentils, a good fat source, such as some avocado or a handful of nuts and a wholegrain carb like a whole-wheat wrap, quinoa or brown rice.
Give your Kitchen an Opening and Closing Time
If you couldn’t access your kitchen after dinner, imagine how many unnecessary pre-bedtime fridge raids could be avoided. Make a note on the fridge of when the kitchen is to be used for cooking and eating and encourage all family members to stick to it. You may just find that a meal-time routine is enough to satisfy any hunger cravings!
Give Yourself a Break
Whether it’s that mid-week birthday cake in the office or those social beverages on a Saturday night, it is perfectly fine to indulge from time to time. Allow yourself two days a week where you are not to feel the ‘treat guilt’. As for the other five days, keep it as nutritious as possible to stay on track with your body’s nutritional needs.