I am NOT a believer in the diet theory of calories in vs. calories out. The big problem with this is the under estimating of how many calories are actually in food and the over estimating of how many calories are burned during exercise. Even with small amounts of exercise people tend to feel free to eat whatever they want as if the exercise has created a “clean slate” for calorie consumption.
Here’s an info. graphic that shows some typical standard American food choices and then exercise minutes:
Maybe you look at the chart and think great, I can drink Coke because I walk everyday. Well, that’s 1 can of coke, what about all the other stuff you ate that day?? If you don’t drink the coke then you have 140 calories from something else you ate that will burn as energy when you walk. Maybe in place of the coke you can eat some cheese, or strawberries or I don’t know, a real, delicious, whole food perhaps.
I just saw an article entitled, Food labels should include exercise needed to burn off calories, U.K. researchers suggest. You can find that article here. I like the graphic they use, pretty cool.
A quote from that article sums up this whole idea:
“Calories consumed outweigh the calories exercised. For the most part, you cannot outrun your fork.”
– Yoni Freedhoff, Bariatric Medical Institute
Food matters. A calorie is NOT just a calorie. Food is a chemical messenger to your body. What you choose to eat sends important messages that have an effect on how your body functions. Below you can see what 200 calories look like. You’ll notice that you get a much larger serving when you eat real food. The real food will fill send messages that your body understands, this will keep hormone function optimal. The real food will also fill you up therefore keeping your overall daily calories in a healthy range. Just think about how many gummy bears you can eat in a day, yikes!
One more, 200 calories in the form of junk or convenience foods. Does anyone actually eat a serving size or just 200 calories???
Just a little food for thought as we head into the fourth of July weekend. Take a little time to think about what you’re eating and how it will make you feel. Nothing beats feeling great!
Eat well, feel good, have fun.
Amy White MS HNC
I am a holistic nutrition counselor and believe real food is the true path to wellness. If you are interested in learning more about me and how I can help you, please see my story.
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