When you think about calories, I am betting that you are under the impression that they all count. Well, they do and they don’t. A great way to gauge if a calorie counts or not is by tracking how many you consume. If you are able to consume more than 2000 calories a day, your calories are most likely those that don’t count, don’t count towards your wellness that is. It is easy to eat high calories if you are eating nutritionally deficient foods, it is difficult to eat an abundance of calories if the foods you eat are nutritionally ripe. Calories that count are those that are nutritionally ripe and full of the macro, micro and phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and fats that our bodies need. They fill us up, give us sustained energy, and revitalize our hormones, our brain functioning, and our overall metabolism. These foods include organic produce, vegetables, fruits, lean meats, fish, seafood, grass fed dairy products, free range eggs and natural organic grains. These foods are naturally nourishing and produce a low glycemic response within the body that maximizes healthy blood sugar and decreases overall adiposity. It is not about counting calories or restricting calories, it is about eating calories that count. Look at 300 calories of soda. All sugar, which raises our blood sugar causing our body to dump insulin which results in a “crash” (and makes us feel terrible!) 300 calories of vegetables will normalize blood sugar, increase satiety, reduce inflammation and give sustained energy. Think about eating a bag of chips, you ingest processed potato, salt and trans fats, an easy 1000 calories that do nothing for your body. Now consider eating a salad, full of greens, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, kale, onion, garlic, olives, avocado, salmon, and egg, you receive a cornucopia of nutrients and a dose of heart-healthy fats that our bodies need for all bodily functioning including cardiac regulation and hormonal stability. These foods also lend to healthy skin, nourished hair and nails, strong bones and happiness. Your mood is directed by your food. That is why processed foods are termed “Junk” foods and they leave you feeling bad. They are useless, commercially driven and marketed food “stuffs” that increase adiposity, inflammation, depression, and disease. The calories in such products do not count towards anything but disease, obesity, and overall poor health.
Here is the key to calories: Eat all you want of the best most nutrient dense foods. This is intuitive, the best sources of nutrients are vegetables and fruit. Do not eat processed foods, packages foods, refined sugars or drink any type of sweetened beverage (such as soda and fruit juices). Find great food and think your drink! Do not cut calories, but only eat those that count!