While Calories should be on the mind of every weight-conscious consumer, choosing the lowest calorie choice isn’t always the best choice.

 

For the unacquainted, energy balance (the number of Calories you consume through food and beverage, relative to the number of Calories you expend through exercise and activities and daily living) serves as the primary determinant of weight outcome. Even if you eat a healthy, balanced diet, filled with whole foods and lean proteins, you’ll still gain weight if you consume too many Calories.

 

Weight loss and weight maintenance, is a game of numbers. Limiting Caloric intake becomes the utmost goal of any weight-maintainer. Today’s epidemic of obesity has arisen largely due to overinflated restaurant portions and the popularity of high calorie foods in the American diet. Once you have become familiar with the number of calories you need to maintain or lose weight, the Calorie content of even ubiquitous foods becomes shocking for many consumers.

 

But does that mean that the high Calorie choice is always the healthiest choice?

 

A post shared by EHPlabs (@ehplabs) onFeb 23, 2018 at 8:09pm PST

 

Not by a long shot. While choosing the lowest calorie choice is often the best choice in promoting a healthy body weight, the nutritional content of many low-Calorie foods is sparse, and not just because of the low number of Calories overall.

 

Many low calorie foods are also very high in nutrient density: foods like whole fruits and vegetables, for example, contain a large amount of nutrients for very few Calories. Others, like processed snack foods, contain relatively few calories, but are comprised of refined starches and lacking in micronutrient density.

 

So how do I know when I should make the low-Calorie choice?

 

A post shared by EHPlabs (@ehplabs) onFeb 22, 2018 at 4:39am PST

 

In general, if you are a consumer who struggles to maintain or lose weight, you should make the choice that is most appropriate to your individual Caloric intake and individual needs and preferences.

 

75-90% of your total Caloric intake should be from healthy, whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, lean dairy, whole grains, and healthy fats. The remaining 10-25% can come from fun foods, regardless of nutrient density.

 

The goal of a diet is to provide a balanced -not perfect- nutritional intake. And to do so, many consumers must walk the fine line between deprivation and overindulgence. This means occasionally choosing higher calorie options to satiate a craving. If you’re consuming a diet that is primarily comprised of healthy, whole food ingredients, then the occasional high calorie indulgence is permissible. Just don’t consume the whole thing- eat a small portion, mindfully, and set boundaries before you begin to prevent a binge.


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