eat real food

All Calories Are Not Created Equal – Part 1

Let’s see how nutritionally smart you are.  If you follow me, or my blog, you know I’m an advocate of eating 5+ small meals a day.  Depending upon where you are with your target goals – weight loss, muscle weight gain or physique and health maintenance, you may be allowed 1-2 healthy snacks per day. This is where it can get complicated. What’s my idea of a healthy snack versus a client’s idea of a healthy snack?  We both agree, all snacks must meet these criteria:

  • Healthy
  • 100 calories or less
  • Nutritious
  • Filling
  • Tasty
  • Bonus points for being portable

OK, so far we agree.

The Food Challenge

Here’s where we differ.  I say 1 container of yogurt, my client agrees.  My yogurt has 100 calories, 0 grams fat, 18 grams of protein, 7 grams of sugar. His yogurt has 90 calories, 1.5 grams fat, 8 grams protein and 11 grams of sugar.  Does his 90 calorie yogurt beat my 100 calories choice? No way. My yogurt wins.
Let’s play again.  I say 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, my client agrees.  My natural peanut butter has 110 calories, 8 grams of fat, less than 3 grams carbohydrate (.5 from natural sugar in the peanut), 4 grams protein, 45 mg sodium.  His “Reduced Fat” peanut butter has 95 calories, 6 grams of fat, 8 grams carbohydrate, 3.5 grams protein and 95 mg sodium.  How does that even happen?  His “healthy” peanut butter has more fillers and sugars than my natural peanut butter and a lot more chemicals to make it taste great.  Tell you what, I’ll even let you throw in a few celery stalks with your peanut butter. More crunch, more nutrition and negligible calories.

OK, here’s another challenge: I say “Go NUTS!” My client agrees. I choose pistachios, my client chooses almonds. We both win this round. Both of these nuts are nutritionally dense. They both have protein, fiber and mono-unsaturated fats, which everyone really does need in their diet.  They’re both delicious raw or roasted and they’re incredibly portable. Here’s a helpful hint: buy your pistachios with the shells on. They’re less expensive and you’ll eat a lot fewer of them when you have to shell them – true fact! Crunchy snacks, like nuts,  somehow feel more satisfying.  It may just be the act of chewing, but nuts pack a powerful punch of flavor, crunch and protein. Eliminating healthy fats does not increase weight loss.  Just be sparing when snacking on nuts.
Last game.  I say one serving size of apple sauce, my client agrees.  My apple sauce has 50 calories, 0% fat and 11 grams of sugar.  His apple sauce has 100 calories, 0% fat and 22 grams of sugar. AND they’re both from the same brand name.  Why the difference? Mine is just apples and water. His has high fructose corn syrup as well.

Not all “healthy” snacks are created equal and not all calories are created equal. Good calories equal better nutrition.  Moral to the story? Sugar kills people and dreams.  Read your labels and make smart choices. Contact me today to create a weight loss nutrition and workout plan that’s right for you and get into the best shape of your life.

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