If you are like many people, you are very confused about what to eat. There are as many opinions out there as moments in the day! One of those opinions is that there are no good foods, no bad foods and we should listen to our body and eat intuitively.
This NY Times article was shared with me by an expert whose approach has been to never restrict any food or food group at all. But this article seems to have opened his mind and hopefully it will shed some light for you as well.
The article reinforces what I teach daily, that calories do matter. The individuals in the study who consumed more calories gained weight. They gained weight in a mathematically predictable way: approximately 1 pound per week per 500 extra daily calories. People ate more calories because they ate less natural/whole foods and more unnatural/processed foods.
Nearly every rule has its exceptions, so I invite you to take away the following generalizations: First, calories matter. I, personally, have tracked calories with myfitnesspal for the past 8+ years to maintain my weight. Second, choosing more of those calories from whole/natural foods and less from processed/unnatural foods will make you less hungry. Third, there are exceptions. Honestly, I eat those baked Lays chips and also drink some Crystal Light. But, I think I notice an uptick in “cravings” from the Crystal Light, so then I back off of it. Perhaps the best part of this article is all of the photos showing whole vs processed meals and snacks. I invite you to check it out, take away the general information, but most importantly apply to your unique truth. Please don’t not eat something just because it’s processed, try to learn if it actually makes you hungrier. Don’t eat something because it’s supposed to be healthy, surely if we spend calories on food we don’t like we are likely to be left unsatisfied and consume even more! Lastly, in the words of Calorie King: fat matters, carbs count, but calories are king!