CALORIES ARE IMPORTANT
Okay, so let me be very real. Calories truly matter. There is not an all protein diet, nor is there a high carbohydrate diet or a fat bomb diet. Our bodies were designed with perfection. There is no tricking a body of its needs or requirements. Calories are units of energy. If you take in more calories than you use for energy you will gain weight in the form of fat.
At my age my body expends less energy than ever before. Because I’m 57 years old my daily caloric intake should be about 1200 calories per day. I’m 5′ 7″ and weigh 130 pounds. I am active at work all day and work out at least 3 hours per week. My body fat is somewhat low (20%) because I’ve lifted weights and eaten healthy for decades. AND STILL…..MY DAILY CALORIC REQUIREMENT IS 1200!!!
As we age, our daily caloric requirements lower. Say that out loud. “Our daily caloric requirements lower.” We are created to consume vitamins from animals and plants. Our excellent bodies need certain nutrients. As we age this becomes even more important. Going on any extreme diet that doesn’t include all of our daily requirements is detrimental at our age. That’s why calories matter!
You can eat all of your daily requirements by counting calories and balancing your meals. I eat a balanced diet of 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 20% fats. Fats are more than double in calories as protein or carbohydrates!! (SO DON’T EAT BACON! For more tips on eating the right way check out this: http://126.96.36.199/~ichellk9/eating-healthy/
KNOW YOUR ONE HUNDREDS!
The most simple way to begin counting your calories is to KNOW YOUR ONE HUNDREDS. I generally know what healthy foods are by 100 calorie measures. I used to average measures of food to one hundred calories, in my head I would add up how much I had eaten that day as I drove home from work. Breakfast was 300 hundred, my morning snack was 200, lunch was 300. So when I arrived home I knew I’d had 800 calories, 400 to go, and would eat diner accordingly. Well really, I’d have a bag of 100 calorie popcorn, then fish and veggies for dinner. Boom, 1200 calories, and I had eaten three meals and two snacks.
READ LABELS, LEARN FOOD STATS
I’ve been reading labels and looking up food statistics for way too long. I generally just know off the top of my head what’s too high in calorie. Nuts, avocado, cheese, butter, ice cream. These foods fit into the “good for you” category yet are high in calories. Fourteen almonds are about 100 calories, 1/2 of an avocado is a little more than 100 calories, sixteen Baked Tostitos = 120 calories. Ice cream, sugar-free that is, is 100 calories for a 1/2 cup. Not worth the time!! Depending on the brand, a tablespoon of butter is 70-100 calories. Just skip it. You can eat so much more in good quality foods with much more nutrition. Cheese? NO! It’s not worth the fat and calories. Cheese is a special food for special occasions only.
You can eat all day, count your calories and save 100 calories for a bedtime snack. It’s so gratifying to still get to have a little something special! I love to keep a dark chocolate bar in my bedside table. Guess what? One square = 100 calories. I bought a healthy, dark chocolate bar that I could measure just 100 calories off at night just for that reason.
So what food is sneaking high calories into your diet? Creamer in your morning coffee? Soda? Nuts? Cookies? Find out what it is. If you’ve got to have it, make room for it by making adjustments. I LOVE sugar-free coffee creamer, so I have two tablespoons in my coffee. I quit soda, which was diet soda, but it was bad for me. Now I have green tea, brewed with filtered water, and add stevia. Much healthier. Look at what you’re eating and make adjustments. Learn your one hundreds.