Over the years I have found it fascinating to hear what people believe about the food they are eating. I ask my clients to complete a lengthy questionnaire on general health and eating habits from childhood and also a two week food diary. Many times I will see quite healthy food diaries but the interesting thing is that rarely do I see One piece of toast, One biscuit or cookie, One roast potato etc. Most of these items seem to come in pairs…..or multiples thereof….
The other interesting topic of conversation with some clients was that they did not eat fruit such as bananas because they were fattening! However, they would think nothing of eating a 100gm bar of chocolate per day as their one treat! An average banana has about 100 to 150 calories depending on size and a huge number of health benefits.. 100gm of chocolate does have anti-oxidants in the darker variety but comes in at 500 calories and rather a lot of fat!
I first began to think of the accumulation factor when I was working and looking at ways to improve the company image and productivity. I began project 101 – everyone in the company, around 150 people, were involved from our Italian handyman to all the senior executives. Instead of making one or two major sweeping changes, everyone was invited to submit any change that they felt improved the product, company image, customer service etc. At the end of three months we had a fantastic list of small changes that we implemented and which made a real difference to not only the bottom line and customer satisfaction but also to team dynamics and work environment.
When I retrained in my mid 40’s as a nutritional therapist I began to apply the same principal to my work with clients both in weight loss and also in their general health. For example, for someone with rheumatism to begin walking for five minutes gently per day, adding a minute each week until they were walking comfortably for 20 minutes per day.
For weight loss clients it was quite an eye opener when they discovered how much weight in pounds of fat they were carrying due to their habit of just eating two cookies or biscuits a day with their afternoon tea. In the table below I have used some averages for the calorie equivalents but roughly 80-120 per biscuit.
I am not a kill joy and love a good biscuit or cookie occasionally but if you need to lose 10lbs to 14lbs you could do so by just having one biscuit with your tea instead of two!.
The Fat Accumulation Table compares the most common foods in our diet. Many are very healthy foods and should be included regularly but they do give you a comparison to some of those that are best eaten from time to time. Just check to see if something you are eating on a daily or very regular basis may be the reason that you cannot shift that last 10lbs, even though you are eating healthily the rest of the time.
Having said that I also believe in eating the real food.. I use full fat milk and butter along with olive oil. Although still processed they have not been industrialised, which is the term that I use for food that has been through a number of chemical changes and been added to with artificial elements to enhance taste and texture!
Because the foods are generic the calories are average estimates too but serve to give you a rough idea. Biscuits average calories refers to choc chip and other filled biscuits which is why they are slightly higher in calories.
As always I do recommend that you Cook from Scratch. And that you limit your industrialised foods to no more than 10 to 20% of your diet with the remainder being fresh, unenhanced vegetables, fruits, lean protein and carbohydrates. It is the hidden extras in processed foods that very often do the damage and certainly even eating healthy fats and carbohydrates can accumulate if you do not exercise enough to use up before they are deposited in the fat cells. I literally had to put on not just my reading glasses but my normal pair as well the other day to read the labelling on a jar.. but it was worth the effort when I saw how much sugar was in that particular brand of pasta sauce.
The old fashioned calories in and calories out equation still works and if you have a look at what you are eating on a daily basis you may spot one or two items that would be better to the power of one... However, I don’t believe in counting every calorie for the food you are taking in… if you are eating natural and unprocessed foods from the shopping list that I posted the other day you are doing well.
Next time..Food is often used for comfort or to reward us for daily events and the manufacturers are pretty slick when it comes to appealing to our basic instincts! If you are going to become healthy and reach a healthier weight you need to create a new reward system.
You can find all the other posts in the series on Weight Reduction in this directory.
Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section and if you would like a private word then please email me firstname.lastname@example.org.