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Why Counting Calories Doesn't Work

Category: Food/Healthy Cooking
Created on Friday, 11 October 2013 23:54
In 2010, Weight Watchers, one of the most commercially successful diet programs, dropped a bomb on the weight-loss world by altering its points system. It was the first time in 13 years that Weight Watchers modified its mega-popular points system. 
 
The point system change acknowledged that while calories in versus calories out is still important, it’s more important what you eat. 
 
The old paradigm point system was flawed. Weight Watchers’ president came to the conclusion--which no doubt many natural health experts have known for decades--“Calorie counting has become unhelpful.”
 
Kudos to Weight Watchers for finally admitting that a calorie isn’t just a calorie. 
 
The easiest way to exemplify this is taking two different people’s calorie intake on a given day. 
 
Healthy person A consumes 2,000 calories, eating 3 meals plus a snack. All the food consumed by person A was all-natural and minimally-processed at most. Lunch and dinner were loaded with fresh vegetables. 
 
Not-so-healthy person B only consumed 1,500 calories but lunch and dinner consisted of fast-food burgers and fries. 
 
You can see how easily flawed counting calories is. Diet programs like Weight Watchers fails to compare an apples to an orange (Julius). 
 
Why did Weight Watchers take so long in changing their points system? The company was far too profitable--almost $3 billion per year--to make any changes, until the recession starting biting into their margins. 
 
Don’t count calories, just eat nutrient-dense foods
 
Instead of counting calories--or points--your main concern should be eating three nutritiously-dense meals a day.
 
"What," you may ask, "is nutrient density?" Let’s take an orange versus orange juice. An orange is far more nutrient dense. It contains antioxidants and other micronutrients as well as fiber, which helps keep you full. 
 
Orange juice, by comparison, might contain a lot of Vitamin C, but it also contains over 20 grams of sugar per cup compared to just a handful of grams of fructose in an orange. Orange juice also contains no fiber, thereby raising blood sugars very quickly, ultimately leading one to feel hungry shortly after consuming the juice. 
 
It’s only nutrient dense if it’s been around for a very long time
 
The best way to eat three nutrient dense meals per day is to eat real food as often as you can. Remember these two rules: if it did not come from a plant or the ground, or if it did not run, swim or fly, it’s not a natural food. Also, if a particular food did not exist 200 years ago, say, for example, an energy bar or drink, then avoid it. 
 
Include fresh vegetables for lunch and dinner. It’s easy to include them with breakfast as well by making a spinach-tomato omelet. Enjoy natural fats at every meal. With your omelet, include a quarter of an avocado. For your lunch, have a spinach salad with wild salmon. For dinner, have a Miracle Noodle veggie stir fry with coconut oil. It’s always good to include natural fats at every meal, not only to keep you feeling full longer, but also because natural fat aids in the absorption of phytonutrients in the veggies. 
 
Just make sure you are consuming natural fats that have existed for thousands of years; nachos covered with bacon weren’t exactly around during the Roman Empire. 
 
Have high blood sugar and want to lose weight? Don’t eat non-food foods
 
To reiterate, counting calories is unnecessary and will ultimately set you up for failure. Points systems don’t work for long-term weight loss because it allows for non-nutrient dense foods in the diet, albeit at less amounts. Still, eating three small chocolate chip cookies and feeling good about it because it fits within a points system will not help you if you have diabetes or other metabolic disorders. 
 
Hopefully the dietary bargain of not having to count calories and being able to enjoy some of your favorite foods that have fat and protein, albeit healthy ones like grass-fed beef, makes it worth eliminating from your diet as much as possible, non-nutrient dense foods like baked goods. 
 
Recommended Products:
Miracle Noodle: Zero-Calorie, High-Fiber Pasta Substitute
 
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